Common mistakes for English learners #4


Back once again with the recurrent errors. You have been working away making mistakes and I have been collecting that data (with your tacit consent, GDPR form coming soon). By that, I just mean writing down your mistakes. Please don’t take us to court or anything; I think this is considered fair use, or maybe not even applicable to data protection policies.


Your mistakes, corrected:




Many mistakes come about around these prepositions and I think that some explanation is necessary.

To and from are directional.

You go to a city when you travel, and you come from the place where you started (your home).

Of is categorical.

The Queen of Sheeba, the Department of Work and Pensions, The fall of Rome.

There is no direction or movement from one place to another, nor is there any kind of origin meaning (as with from) when we use ‘of’. If you straight up translate ‘de’ all the time then you are going to have problems. Try to think of the meaning and feeling of the word.

I live near of the sea

I live near to the sea

I my friend of Israel

My friend from Israel



Pluralisation and Possession


The good old ‘s in English seems to be pretty problematic for many. It is confusing when Peter’s is possessive and it’s is not (its is possessive). However, it is really the only exception to the rules and that is because it’s is a contraction so we have to differentiate there. Now Peter’s could be peter is contracted, or possessive but the next word will tell us.

Peter’s an idiot – Contraction, Peter is.

Peter’s idiot friend – The friend of Peter is an idiot.

Therefore, all the brands you know and love done messed up.

Original’s bakery

The original bakery / Originals bakery (still doesn’t make much sense)



Imagine registering a company name, creating a brand, printing all your signs and putting them up on all yours shops around the centre of Barcelona and then learning that you made such a mistake.


She likes a lot


Just a small final mistake. Like, similarly to many verbs, is transitive. That means it needs to have an object. If you don’t have an obvious object to use, then you can use the dummy subject/object ‘it’.

She likes it a lot

It’s sunny

Do you like?

Do you like them?


Some very important tips today, try to remember and practise them.


Written by James R. McCance for Aston School

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