As an English teacher I hear a lot of the same mistakes from people of all levels and languages. Here are some of the most common mistakes I have noticed are trouble spots for ESL learners.


Incorrect Correct
Do you know New York?




Have you been to New York?


Know can only be used for people and information, never places

My childrens are three and five years old My children are three and five years old


Child is singular and children is plural, do not add an ‘s’ to make the word plural

I have studied the English for six months I have studied English for six months


The indicates a specific noun such as, the chair, English is one proper noun that doesn’t need specifying

Remember me to call my mother tonight Remind me to call my mother tonight


Reminding indicates being told information, to remember is to have a memory of something

I bought the new computer last week I bought a new computer last week


Using the correct article is important (a, an, the) the is for specific nouns, a singular and general

I have been to Egypt two years ago I went to Egypt two years ago


Tenses must agree with each other

Try to remember these common mistakes and notice if you find yourself using them in conversation. Can you correct them?