6 Typical Mistakes in Learning English

Man Erasing the Written Phrase

Five minutes spent on reading this article will save five years of your life! The most common mistakes are taken red-handed and made public! Beware of these thieves of your time and enjoy the learning process.

Today we will talk about the typical mistakes in learning a language. Do you make mistakes about which we will speak? If yes, then they can be easily corrected. You just did not think about some things. We will cast a light upon them.

  • Error 1. You Learn the Words

    Do not learn words. It is necessary to learn READY PHRASES.

    When you were a child, did you learn something like "go-went-gone"? No, you learned "words" like "mamIwantthischocolate!!!!" Therefore, if you have heard or read a phrase where there is an unfamiliar word and you want to learn a new word, never make a dictionary with the word learned and its translation. Instead, write down the entire sentence and underline the new word. And besides, any new word will be remembered much more vividly in a natural context, and not in a word-translation combination.

    Therefore, teach not words, but bright, emotionally colored phrases with new words.

  • Error 2. You Think that Knowing the Grammar, You Will Speak Well

    Having learned all the grammar rules, you will protect yourself from only a small part of the errors.

    Imagine: I come to you and say: "Now, I will inform you of a single adventure that occurred on the territory of my personal full-sized dwelling before sunset. The house cat, which I own, stole a sausage product from my refrigerating chamber, making a conscious effort to open its door."

    Do you like it? Would at least one person tell such phrase? Never! And now try to find at least one grammatical error in the story!

    Girl Surrounded with Books

    Similarly, when we focus our efforts on learning grammar, we say without errors, but unnaturally!

    Therefore, focus your attention not on grammatical rules and the mastery of all English tenses, but on natural phrases in a vivid context! Yes, if you want to speak purely, you need to learn grammar rules, especially complex constructions. But grammar is a dessert! And for starters and the first and second courses, please order listening, speaking, and learning phrases.

  • Error 3. You Think That the Language Can Be Learned by Reading

    Learn English without reading, but LISTENING AND CONSIDERING. Reading the texts in English, you will not do anything to improve your speech. The key to speaking is in other things – hearing, repeating, and learning the vocabulary in context.

    Reading is necessary for studying and fixing both active and passive (that is, one that you understand, but do not use) the dictionary. Reading is necessary to get acquainted with a very large layer of words, which is used only in books. I did not conduct research, however by intuition, I feel that we use 5-8% of the vocabulary of the literary language in colloquial speech. The rest is in the books. Reading is, finally, necessary for pleasure.

    Therefore, you must read it. But, please, clearly realize that by reading you will not advance in the spoken language.

  • Error 4. You Do Not Enough Repeat the Material You Learned

    The more haste, the less speed – in the language this rule works 100%. Do not need to learn a lot of new material. It is necessary to repeat the material completed much more times than you used to. And not in one sitting. Let us suppose that you need to repeat the new phrase 200 times (yes, that's it!) To remember it forever. It is better to drag out these 200 reps for three days and repeat every day, a little bit in the morning, afternoon, and evening. And then repeat again 15 times in a week. And again come back in a month. "Repeat actions make perfection" is a proverb that is very popular in many languages.

    Therefore, go back to the material you have read many times.

    Word Repetition
  • Error 5. You Listen and Repeat After the Speaker Instead of Expressing Your Thoughts on the Language

    Repeating the phrase after a broadcaster is one thing, and expressing one's thought is another. Have you ever had such a thing: in the classroom everything seems to be fine, but when you need to talk to someone, there is a sort of stupor? If so, it means that you do not enough express your own thoughts in the class. The conclusion is simple: you must speak the language! But, unfortunately, to do it alone is almost impossible.

    Therefore, find yourself a medium for communication in English. It is always possible, where there is a will, there is a way. What about English per Skype?

  • Error 6. You Are Afraid of Making Mistakes

    This is one of the most enduring delusions: one can learn the language, diligently and slowly building "unmistakable" phrases. Unfortunately, such a strategy is losing. Firstly, if you speak with flawless grammar, this does not mean that it is correct English (see point 2). Secondly, you can learn to speak well only with a lot of practice. And, trying to protect yourself from mistakes, you are depriving yourself of practice. Look at the young children when they learn to speak. Do not they make mistakes? They do, and very much. But they are not afraid to talk, and in the end, the quantity turns into quality.

    Therefore, do not be afraid to make mistakes! Only with the help of practice, it is possible to overcome the errors.

    Scared Face


  1. Learn the words only in context, that is ready-made phrases.
  2. Do not spend much time studying grammar. Grammar is a good helper, but it is not a universal key to the language.
  3. Learn English without reading, but talking. Like grammar, reading is a good helper, but it is not a universal key to the language.
  4. Repeat the completed material very many times and for several days, and then, return to it one week later, and then, a month.
  5. Find an environment for communication. The language cannot be learned Alone.
  6. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Only practice can help you to overcome mistakes.

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