Like all languages, English has various pitfalls that can lead to confusion and poor communication for native and non-native speakers alike. By knowing how to avoid the most common mistakes, you’ll be getting a deeper understanding of the language as a whole and learning how to spot more complex errors later on.

In order to help you get your English learning off to a good start, we prepared a short guide on the 3 most common English errors people make. Familiarizing yourself with these will make you a better English speaker regardless of whether you’ve been attending Los Angeles language courses for months or you’re just now encountering the language for the first time.

Read on to learn more.

What are the common mistakes in the English language?

Before we begin, we need to make two things clear. First, you WILL make mistakes (it’s unavoidable), and second, you’re not allowed to feel embarrassed because of them! English is much more complex than people give it credit for, and even native speakers regularly make mistakes while writing or speaking. It’s completely normal.

As someone who’s just now learning this wonderful language, you need to view every error not as an obstacle or a cause for embarrassment, but rather as an opportunity to improve and get a deeper understanding of the subtleties of the English language.

Without further ado, here are 3 errors both native and non-native English speakers make:

1. Misplacing apostrophes

An apostrophe indicates that something belongs to someone or something else. For example, the apostrophe in “the boy’s dog” indicates that the dog belongs to the boy. An apostrophe is also used to shorten words, such as writing or saying “can’t” instead of “cannot”.

Correct usage:

  • The cows are in the barn
  • During the early 2000s
  • We can’t do this
  • Barry’s cat is here

Wrong usage:

  • The cow’s are in the barn (apostrophe unnecessary)
  • During the early 2000’s (apostrophe unnecessary)
  • We cant do it (missing apostrophe)
  • Barrys cat is here (missing apostrophe)

2. Its vs it’s

While apostrophes are used to indicate possession in the English language, that’s not the case with the word “it”. “It’s” is actually a contraction of “it is”, while “its” indicates possession in the same way that “his” and “hers” does. Needless to say, understanding this distinction can be a challenge for new English speakers.

Correct usage:

  • It’s raining today
  • The car looks fantastic with its new upholstery

Wrong usage:

  • Its raining today
  • The car looks fantastic with it’s new upholstery

3. Your vs you’re

“You’re” is a contracted version of “you are”, while “your” indicates that something belongs to you. This is a very important distinction, as mixing “your” and “you’re” is such a widespread English language problem that it’s nowadays seen as a sign of poor education in native English speakers and laziness in non-native ones.

Correct usage:

  • You’re gorgeous
  • Your perfume smells nice
  • You’re running late

Wrong usage:

  • Your gorgeous
  • You’re perfume smells nice
  • Your running late

Where can I enlist in top-notch Los Angeles language courses?

Located in Santa Monica, just a 20-minute drive from Downtown Los Angeles, the College of English Language is a premium English language school with almost 20 years of industry experience and a long list of satisfied students.

In addition to being fully recognized by the US Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIC) and accredited by the Commission of English Language Accreditation (CEA), our long-term devotion to providing students with the optimal learning environment has also earned us membership in EnglishUSA.

Enlist in our courses today, or give us a call if you’d like to learn more about why we’re the best.