Common Advanced English Mistakes

Lesson #268 (Part 2): Mistakes Russian speakers tend to make in English

📗 Welcome to Part 2 of our Lesson in which we look at difficult areas for many Russian students of English in particular. You may find it helpful to check 👉 Part 1 first to understand why we chose Henry James’ excellent novel, The Portrait of a Lady (1881), for this Lesson, as well as […]

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Lesson #268 (Part 1): Mistakes Russian speakers tend to make in English

This month I am writing a series of Lesson posts covering the most common mistakes that students make. Today I am focusing on confusing English issues for native Russian speakers and hope very much it will help anyone who struggles with these areas. As I mentioned in my previous Lesson, there is no need to

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Lesson #144: Five Small But Important ‘Fruits’ Gathered From Gaskell’s ‘North And South’

I thought it would be nice for a change to take a short text from a classic and analyse it in today’s lesson.  So I have the pleasure of re-introducing one of my top favourite novels, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865), having been inspired today by this biscuit tin which I bought last year when I

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Lesson #141 (Part 2): American Vs British Punctuation: How To Use British English Quotation Marks

📘 ‘Why do you say “poor Rosamond”?’ said Mrs Plymdale, a round-eyed sharp little woman, like a tame falcon. – George Eliot, Middlemarch (1871) As observed in our last lesson post (Part 1 of this lesson, ‘American vs British Quotation Mark Punctuation’), there are 4 main rules on how to punctuate quotations in English. Today we will

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Lesson #141 (Part 1): American Vs British Punctuation: How To Use American English Quotation Marks

📙 “… my mother has not gone into details. She chiefly communicates with us by means of telegrams, and her telegrams are rather inscrutable. They say women don’t know how to write them, but my mother has thoroughly mastered the art of condensation. ‘Tired America, hot weather awful, return England with niece, first steamer decent

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Lesson #137 (Part 2): Understanding The Differences Between ‘Borrow’ And ‘Lend’ (Through Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Woodlanders’)

Part 2 of our lesson looking at the differences between ‘to lend’ and ‘to borrow’. ✍️ ‘to borrow‘: This verb means to take something from another person with their permission and consent, usually for a short period only. For example, we borrow books from the library – we don’t own them, neither does the library

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Lesson #137 (Part 1): Understanding The Differences Between ‘Borrow’ And ‘Lend’ (Through Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Woodlanders’)

As mentioned in our Mini-Lesson Monday this week, I would like to address some common mistakes that I sometimes see English language students making. One mistake I encountered in a few places was a tendency to mix up the verbs ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’. I met even advanced English speakers who tripped up on these two words.  There are

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Lesson #135: Mini-Lesson Monday (Part 2): Clarifying Modal Verb Forms (‘Must’, ‘Must Have’ And ‘Should Have’) Through Austen’s ‘Mansfield Park’

As mentioned in the first part of this Mini-Lesson (see previous post), ‘must’ is a modal verb expression commonly observed in written English. We looked earlier at usages of ‘must’ in sentences where the action is taking place in the present or future tense – ‘must’ followed by an infinitive such as ‘must yield’ or

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Lesson #135: Mini-Lesson Monday (Part 1): Clarifying Modal Verb Forms (‘Must’, ‘Must Have’ And ‘Should Have’) Through Austen’s ‘Mansfield Park’

English language learners are susceptible to certain common mistakes, even when they have reached an advanced level. To be honest, native English speakers also occasionally make these same errors. I hope to address some of these common issues this week. Beginning today with our Mini-Lesson Monday, consisting of two lesson posts, we will explore the

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