211. Set a watch by, not put a watch with
Don’t say: I put my watch with the radio news.
✓ Say: I set my watch by the radio news.
212. A watch is slow or fast, not goes behind or in front
Don’t say: My watch goes two minutes behind.
✓ Say: My watch is two minutes slow.
Note: We can also say –> My watch loses or gains.
213. Show a film, not play a film
Don’t say: This film will be played shortly.
✓ Say: This film will be shown shortly.
214. Have one’s hair cut, not cut one’s hair
Don’t say: I’m going to cut my hair.
✓ Say: I’m going to have my hair cut.
Note: Avoid I’ll make a pair of shoes (or a suit of clothes). Say instead –> I’ll have a pair of shoes (or a suit of clothes) made.
215. Learn by heart, not learn from out
Don’t say: We have a poem to learn from out.
✓ Say: We have a poem to learn by heart.
216. Put on weight, not put weight
Don’t say: I’ve put at least three kilos.
✓ Say: I’ve put on at least three kilos.
Note: The opposite of to put on weight is to lose weight –> She has lost five kilos.
217. It works miracles, not it makes miracles
Don’t say: That medicine makes miracles.
✓ Say: That medicine works miracles.
218. Getting on with, not going with
Don’t say: How is Susan going with her work?
✓ Say: How is Susan getting on with her work?
219. This morning, etc., not today morning, etc.
Don’t say: I haven’t seen him today morning.
✓ Say: I haven’t seen him this morning.
Note: Avoid today morning, today afternoon, today evening, yesterday night, this night. Say: this morning, this afternoon, this evening, last night, tonight.
220. Quietly, not slowly, slowly
Don’t say: The boy came in slowly, slowly.
✓ Say: The boy came in quietly.
221. What’s the matter not What have you?
Don’t say: What have you today?
✓ Say: What’s the matter with you today?
Note: What’s wrong (with you)?, What’s the trouble (with you)? and What’s the problem? are also correct.
222. What do you call…? not How do you call…?
Don’t say: How do you call this in English?
✓ Say: What do you call this in English?
Note: If the question isn’t about a thing, but about some expression, we’d say “How do you say this in English?”