Common Mistakes in English
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By Priyadarshini Mahendran
English has become the language of survival if we want to see growth in our careers. Here are a few common mistakes we make:
Cope up with – This phrase is incorrect. The correct form is ‘cope with’. It means being able to handle something successfully when under pressure.
Example: Surprisingly, Deepthi was able to cope with the stress that came along with the job.
Cope (v) conveys the meaning “to deal with a difficult situation”; colloquially synonymous to “get by” or “deal with”.
Suggest me/forward me: The right way is to say ‘suggest’ or ‘forward’ and leave out the ‘me’.
Example: Could you suggest a nice restaurant where we can host Nishanth’s farewell party?
Please forward the email that you sent Mr.Sharma last week to me.
Suggest (v) means to “mention or introduce”;
forward (v) has the meaning “to direct or move onward”.
What’s your good name?: I can assure you, that when your parents named you, they believed that you were a good person with a “good” name. This is an amateur way of asking someone their name. It does not reflect greatly on your English skills. Be simple and go with –
What’s your name?
Cousin sister/brother: The word cousin refers to a child of your aunt or uncle. Only Indians like to say “cousin sister” or “cousin brother”.
Example: “Sudha is my cousin.”
In most Indian languages, the concept of cousins is absent, so all cousins are sisters and brothers. There is a strong regionalism in the phrase “cousin sister/brother.”
Please intimate me: The word ‘intimate’ is used to denote something very private or personal. It is used in the wrong context when one wants to be informed of something. The right word to use is ‘inform’.
Example: Please inform me about any changes in our current situation.
The confusion arises because the word “intimation” means “to make known indirectly”, which is completely different from the word “intimate” used in this context, which means “private or personal.”
You need not to: This, is adding of words unnecessarily. Simplify. Leave out ‘to’.
Example: You need not worry about the sales for this month. (or)
You do not need to worry about the sales for this month.
When you tend to add words that aren’t necessary, it shows that your command over the language may not be up to the mark. It’s these small differences that will make you stand out in the crowd.
Now – go shine and make us proud!
Priyadarshini is a CELTA Cambridge graduate and a passionate English language trainer. She enjoys reading, writing and listening to music.