Common Mistakes part two

Skill: Vocabulary

Category: General English & Academic English

Level: Upper-Intermediate

Common Mistakes

8) waiting on / waiting for 

Wait on is an expression that means “to serve” For example, Peter’s wife waits on him hand and foot. But wait for indicates prediction and expectation. For example, the students are waiting for the bus.


            INCORRECT: The foreigners waited on the train, but it never showed up.

            CORRECT: The foreigners waited for the train, but it never showed up.

9) me / I

Me is the object form of pronoun I. So it should never be used as the subject of the sentence. The same principle is applied to all other object pronouns such as him, her, us, you and them.


            INCORRECT: Me and Jeriko are traveling to Mexico.

            CORRECT: Jeriko and I are traveling to Mexico.

10) toward / towards

They are both acceptable, but towards is more common in British English. For example, when the earthquake happened, I ran towards to door. When the earthquake happened, I ran toward the door. 

11) bring / take

Both bring and take have the meaning of conveying one thing from one place to another place. Take is used when something is going away from the speaker, but bring is used when something is going to or with the speaker. For example, the students of medicine faculty are planning to go on a field trip. For example, the principle might say, “all of you should bring your medical clothes.” It indicates that the principle himself goes on this trip. On the other hand, if stays at university and doesn’t accompany the students, he would says, “all of you should take your medical clothes.”

11) e.g. / i.e.

The abbreviation e.g. is taken from Latin expression exempli gratia that means “for example. On the other hand, the abbreviation i.e. stands for the Latin expression id est “it is” that means in “in other words.” For example, Japan exports several kinds fruits to other countries, e.g., apple, banana and grapes.

11) mankind / humankind

The term mankind had been widely used for a couple of years for many generations with the meaning of “all humankind.” But in recent years, many English speakers fell that the word mankind refers only to men with the exclusion of women from the society. So, they propose the word “humankind” to refer to all human in the word including men and women.

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