Common mistakes in IELTS – Miscellaneous examples (Part 4)

161. Mixing up one form of the verb with another

Don’t say: It’s better to enjoy yourself when you’re young rather than wasting time worrying about the future.

√ Say: It’s better to enjoy yourself when you’re young than to waste time worrying about the future.

Don’t mix one form of the verb with another. If the first verb in a comparison is in the infinitive, the second must also be in the infinitive.

162. Wrong sequence of moods

Don’t say: If you would/’d do me this favor, I will/’ll be very grateful to you.

√ Say: If you would/’d do me this favor, I would/’d be very grateful to you.

Or: If you will/’ll do me this favour, I will/’d be very grateful to you.

163. The unrelated participle

Don’t say: Being in a hurry, the door was left open.

√ Say: Being in a hurry, he left the door open.

Take care to provide the logical subject relating to the participle phrase. In the sentence given, the logical subject to being in haste is he and not the door.

164. The question phrase isn’t it? misused

Don’t say: He played well yesterday, isn’t it?

√ Say: He played well yesterday, didn’t he?

Use the question phrase isn’t it only when the preceding statement contains the word is ft is a hot day, isn’t it?

Note: In this form of question, use the same tense and person as in the preceding statement and use the correct auxiliary if. However, the preceding statement is in the negative form, the question phrase omits not. We say

  1. They are on holiday, aren’t they?

          They aren’t on holiday, are they?

      2. You speak English, don’t you?

          You don’t speak French, do you?

165. Misuse of the gerund to express purpose

Don’t say: I come here for learning English.

√ Say: I come here to learn English.

Express purpose by using the infinitive, not the gerund

166. Yes or No in answer to negative questions

Question: Didn’t you see the game? Yes, – that is, I saw it./ No, – that is, I didn’t see it.

In answering negative questions, say Yes if the answer is an affirmation, and No if it’s a negative. That is, answer without any regard to the negative form of the question

167. Using a double negative

Don’t say: She says she’s not afraid of nobody.

√ Say: She says she’s not afraid of anybody.

Or: She says she’s afraid of nobody.

In English, two negatives are equal to an affirmative statement. You should avoid using two negative words in the same clause when not is used, none changes to any, nothing to anything, nobody to anybody, no one to anyone, nowhere to anywhere, neithernor to eitheror

168. Using one time or two times instead of once or twice

Don’t say: I was absent one time or two times.

√ Say: I was absent once or twice.

Use once and twice instead of one time and two times

169. Using a day, etc., instead of one day, etc.

Don’t say: A day they went sight-seeing in Florence.

✓ Say: One day they went sight-seeing in Florence.

Use one (not a or an) with day. night morning, afternoon and evening when the one means on a certain …..

170. Using the other day instead of the next day, etc.

Don’t say:: David slept well and was better the other day.

✓ Say David slept well and was better the next day (or on the following day).

Note: The other day is an idiom meaning a few days ago –> I met an old friend the other day.

Common mistakes in IELTS – Miscellaneous examples (Part 4)
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