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Chihiro: Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Common Mistakes in English.
Ryan: Hey, everybody, Ryan here. In this lesson, we're going to give you some tips on how to avoid common mistakes made by learners of English. This is so that you can be aware of certain errors and keep them in mind when you learn.
Chihiro: There are some common English errors made by people with the same language background, but in this lesson we'll try to touch upon very general points.
Ryan: Okay, so number one, Watch Your Spelling!
Chihiro: One thing you should be careful about is your spelling. When writing something in English, a single spelling error could ruin the whole piece of writing.
Ryan: English words are tricky in a sense that the spelling does not always match the way we pronounce a word. Be sure to use the spell checker on your computer, and even then double check with your eyes for any heterograph errors, which are words that sound the same but have different meanings and different spelling differently.
Chihiro: Also, be careful with American spelling and British spelling
Ryan: Good point. Now, onto number two. What is it Chihiro?
Chihiro: Tip Number Two is to watch your language!
Ryan: Although English is relatively casual compared to languages that have levels of formality, you still have to choose your words according to the company you find yourself in. Chihiro
Chihiro: Words that are most likely safe to use are from newspapers or words from the news on TV. Keep political correctness in mind as well... in other words, be sure not to use terms that may offend certain groups of people. For example, the word "stewardess" has been replaced by "flight attendant." It's better to stay safe and watch your language. Okay Ryan, give us number 3.
Ryan: Tip Number Three is, watch your nouns.
Chihiro: Nouns are easy when you learn them. They seem pretty straightforward, but some of them may be tricky.
Ryan: We can divide nouns into count and non-count nouns. We can make the count nouns plural by adding an "-s" or "-es" to the word, depending on the word. We generally don't make non-count nouns into plurals by adding an "-s." For example, we can pluralize the word "song" by adding an "-s," as in "that is his favorite song" or "those are his favorite songs."
Chihiro: However, an "s" is not usually added to a word like "music", and we usually say "pieces of music" or "types of music" as oppose to "that is his favorite musics."
Ryan: Good point. But since language changes over time, we cannot say this is a definite rule for all nouns all the time. Okay, coming in at number four is...
Chihiro: Know Your Vowels.
Ryan: Vowels in English are tricky. There are five written vowels
Chihiro: Depending on the combination with other vowels and consonants, the sound of the vowel may change. People with different accents may also pronounce the same vowel in a word differently, whether or not they speak it as a first or second language.
Ryan: So if you're coming from a language with flat vowels,
this might be a tricky thing to catch. A good way to practice this is by shadowing native speakers and by better understanding the positioning of the tongue.
Chihiro: Right, this way, you will not only become a clearer speaker yourself, but you will also be able to catch the sounds that you didn't hear before.
Ryan: Okay, the last tip, tip Number Five.
Chihiro: Know that Some Differences are VERY Different
Ryan: Many languages have speakers that speak with different accents, which as mentioned before is true also in English.
Chihiro: Yet speakers of English generally understand one another because in the end it is the same language.
Ryan: However, once in a while, differences in vocabulary arise and an odd word comes along with a completely different meaning in one English than the other.
Chihiro: For example, in American English, we call the piece of clothing on the lower half of the body "pants." Yet the same word in British English refers to the undergarment.
Ryan: Another example is that the first floor in the United States is the "ground floor" and often mark it with a "G" in an elevator, whereas in British English, it's marked with the number "1" to indicate it is the "first floor."
Chihiro: Here's another example - one that might cause embarrassment if you make a mistake.
Ryan: In British English, this is called a "rubber." However, "rubber" is slang for a "condom" in the United States.
Chihiro: So there are some common mistakes that you want to avoid if you can, but of course, at the same time, don't be afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes is important because you can learn from them. See you all soon!
Ryan: Bye for now!