Common English mistakes Indians make !!

English can be a very tricky language. Here’s a list of very common mistakes we make. Scroll and learn with a bit of smile!

1. Myself < insert name here >
using myself

If you’ve been a regular reader you’d probably know how many times writers mentioned this.

But we cannot stress enough how much we cringe each time someone introduces themselves as:

“Myself so-and-so!”

Instead say: My name is so-and-so!

or

I am so-and-so!

Photograph: Still from the film English Vinglish.

2. There, their, they’re:

Hey put that vase down I am not offending you, but many of us use the three interchangeably– while speaking and/or writing.

Unfortunately they mean totally different things.
‘There’ often indicates location. For example: I will be in New Delhi next week. You could meet me there.

‘Their’ is a possessive pronoun. For example: Citizens must be aware of their rights.

‘They’re’ is short for ‘they are’. For example: Have you met Rajeshwari and Satyen? They’re here to assist you!

Got the difference?

Photograph: Still from the TV show Star Trek

3. X Years back:


Here’s yet another classic English mistake (that isn’t necessarily an Hinglish) that can be easily avoided!

Back is used to refer to a specific period in the past.

For example: Back in my childhood things weren’t as expensive.
Or

Back in the 19th century, people rode on horses.

Ago too is used to refer to a specific period in the past… but always in relation with the present.

For example: The class started 10 minutes ago. Or I graduated from school 15 years ago.

When you use ‘ago’ the unsaid is ‘always from the present moment’. So, never say:

The class started 10 minutes back.

Or

I graduated from school 15 years back.

Photograph: Still from the movie R Rajkumar

4. Starting with ‘I’:

When referring to a group that includes you, list yourself at the end:
For example: Ramesh, Nitin, Raju, Suneet and I went on a road trip.
Not

I, Ramesh, Nitin, Raju and Suneet went on a road trip.

Nor

Ramesh, I, Nitin, Raju and Suneet went on a road trip.

Actually no other way really!

Remember the movie: It’s The King and I and not the other way around!

Photograph: Poster of the filmThe King and I

5. Mr and Mrs…


Although it isn’t wrong to say Mr and Mrs, it is politically correct to lead with the lady.

So while addressing a letter to a couple or introducing them, go with Mrs and Mr XYZ instead and be a gentleman!

Photograph: Poster of the film Mr and Mrs Iyer

All images used here for representational purposes only. Credits to its Copyright holders.


©MAGNETIQUE TRUST – 2014
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About Shabab Khan

A Journalist, Philanthropist; Author of 'The Magician', 'Go!', 'Brutal'. Being a passionate writer, I am into Journalism and writing columns, news stories, articles for top media house. Twitter: @khantastix khansworld@rediffmail.com
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