Part of learning a language is making mistakes. And part of the fun of learning a language is correcting these mistakes! Here are some common mistakes that ESL learners make.
1. My roommate he is a baker.
Incorrect because: It has two subjects! “My roommate” and “he” are both subjects. One needs to be chosen.
Correct: My roommate is a baker. (Perfect!)
Correct: He is a baker. (Good . . . IF the person you are talking to knows who “he” is.)
2. According to Jim, he thinks that California is a beautiful place to live.
Incorrect because: The phrase “he thinks” means something similar to “according to.” Therefore, the sentence repeats itself.
Correct: According to Jim, California is a beautiful place to live.
Correct: Jim thinks that California is a beautiful place to live.
3. He looking for his friend.
Incorrect because: It is missing the “be” verb. In this sentence “looking” should be part of the present continuous. The present continuous needs “is/am/are + ing.”
Correct: He is looking for his friends.
4. Due to he felt bad, he went to bed.
Incorrect because: The phrase “due to” must be followed with an “ing” word (gerund).
Correct: Due to feeling bad, he went to bed.
5. After breakfast today, we go to shopping.
Incorrect because: Two things are incorrect in this sentence! The first problem is the phrase “go to shopping.” It should just be “go shopping” (no “to’!). “To” is only used with an infinitive, and with the word “shop” we do not use an infinite: we use a gerund.
The second problem is that this sentence should include “will” because it is talking about the future. In this sentence, the first part (called a “time clause) begins with the word “after.” This shows us that the second part of the sentence (called the “main clause”) will be about the future (about something we will do “after” what is in the time clause). Because the main clause talks about something that is in the future, it needs “will” or “be going to.”
Correct: After breakfast today, we will go shopping.
Correct: After breakfast today, we are going to go shopping.