英会話のコツ: Common Mistakes

Here are some common mistakes that I have heard people make that I would like to help you with. 

"to"

Examples:

  • NG I'm going to there

  • NG She's coming to here

  • NG I'm going to home

With the words here, there and home we do not need the word "to". In English we just say "I'm going home", "I'm going there" and "She's coming here".

to put off

When we talk about clothes we use to put on & to take off. We don't use the verb "put off" for clothes. 

Example:

  • Before I leave my house I put on my shoes (or: I put my shoes on). When I get back home after work I take off my shoes (or: I take my shoes off).


with, by

I have heard many people use the word "by" incorrectly.

Example:

  • NG I fixed my car by tools. —> OK I fixed my car with tools.

  • NG He explained it by a picture. —> OK He explained it with a picture.


In these sentences above the word "with" means "using". We usually use the word "by" when we talk about transport.

  • I went to school by bike

  • We went to work by train


teach/tell

Many Japanese people use the word "teach" when they mean "tell".

Example:

  • NG Can you teach me how to get to the mall? —> OK Can you tell me how to get to the mall? 

"Teach" is only used for a teacher and a student in a lesson. "Tell" is used in other situations.


I hope this has helped! 


David