Common mistakes in IELTS – Un-English expressions (Part 2)

196. Ask a question, not make a question

Don’t say: Naomi made me several questions.

✓ Say: Naomi asked me several questions.

197. Take an hour, not need an hour, etc.

Don’t say: I’ll need an hour to do that.

✓ Say: It’ll take me an hour to do that.

198. Give a discount, not make a discount

Don’t say: He made me a small discount.

✓ Say: He gave me a small discount.

199. Take exercise, not make exercise

Don’t say: You ought to make more exercise.

✓ Say: You ought to take more exercise.

200. Give or deliver a lecture, not make a lecture

Don’t say: He made an interesting lecture.

✓ Say: He gave an interesting lecture.

Or He delivered an interesting lecture.

Note: We say “He made an interesting speech.”

201. Say one’s prayers, not make or do one’s prayer

Don’t say: I make my prayer before I go to bed.

✓ Say: I say my prayers before I go to bed.

Note: To say grate is to ask God’s blessing before beginning a meal.

202. Pretend, not make oneself that

Don’t say: She makes herself that she knows.

✓ Say: She pretends to know.

203. Have a dream, not see a dream

Don’t say: I saw a strange dream last night.

✓ Say: I had a strange dream last night.

Or: I dreamt a strange dream last night.

204. Smoke a cigarette, etc., not drink a cigarette, etc.

Don’t say: He drinks too many cigarettes.

✓ Say: He smokes too many cigarettes.

205. Make a mistake, not do a mistake

Don’t say: I did one mistake in dictation.

✓ Say: I made one mistake in dictation.

206. Tell or speak the truth, not say the truth

Don’t say: Fiona always says the truth.

✓ Say: Fiona always tells the truth.

Or: Fiona always speaks the truth.

Note: Also to tell a lie (not to say a lie) –> He told me a lie.

207. See or watch a game, not to follow a game

Don ‘t say: Did you follow the game?

✓ Say: Did you see (or watch) the game?

Note: Avoid saying to follow the lesson when you mean to attend the class

208. Turn (switch) the light on or off, not open or shut the light

Don’t say: Please open (or shut) the light.

✓ Say: Please turn on (or off) the light.

Or: Please switch on (or off) the light.

Note: We light, blow out or put out a lamp, a candle or a fire.

209 Give an example, not bring an example

Don’t say: Can you bring a better example?

✓ Say: Can you give a better example?

210. Give a mark, not put a mark

Don’t say: The teacher put me a good mark.

✓ Say: The teacher gave me a good mark.

Note: Avoid to put a lesson, to put a goal. Say instead: to give a lesson, to score a goal

Common mistakes in IELTS – Un-English expressions (Part 2)
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