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Mistakes most frequently made by Poles

Autor /Adalbert Dodano /11.11.2011

MISTAKES MOST FREQUENTLY MADE BY POLES -- typical Polish errors in English and how to correct them. Here are two such common mistakes:

1. I have bought the ticket yesterday.

2. He is painting the kitchen since 10 o'clock this morning. (The correct way is:

1. I bought the ticket yesterday.

2. He has been painting the kitchen since 10 o'clock this morning.

MISTAKE: Julie is not very good in bridge.

PROPER WAY: Julie is not very good at bridge.

EXPLANATION: The preposition 'at' is used when describing people's abilities in different pursuits.

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MISTAKE: This species of pine is typical for mountainous regions.

PROPER WAY: This species of pine is typical of mountainous regions.

EXPLANATION: The preposition 'of' is always used with the adjective 'typical'.

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MISTAKE: There were above two hundred people in the audience.

PROPER WAY: There were over (or more than) two hundred people in the audience.

EXPLANATION: With numbers use 'over' or 'more than'. AN exception are points on a scale:: It is three degrees above zero. The patient's temperature should not be permitted to rise above 39°. We live at an altitude of 600 metres above sea-level.

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MISTAKE: My wife and her sister love to discuss about food and fashions, but I find that boring.

PROPER WAY: My wife and her sister love to discuss (...) food and fashions, but I find that boring.

EXPLANATION: The verb 'to discuss' requires no preposition and takes a direct object.

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MISTAKE: My uncle is married with Monica Foster, the well-known film star.

PROPER WAY: My uncle is married to Monica Foster, the well-known film star.

EXPLANATION: 'Married' requires the preposition 'to' (see following example).

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MISTAKE: Irene plans to marry to Bill Hathaway next month.

PROPER WAY: Irene plans to marry (...) Bill Hathaway next month.

EXPLANATION: The verb 'to marry' requires no preposition and takes a direct object.

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MISTAKE: Who is that beautiful blonde dressed all on green?

PROPER WAY: Who is that beautiful blonde dressed all in blue?

EXPLANATION: The preposition 'in' is used when describing the colour or type of garment someone is dressed in.

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MISTAKE: Thank you for all you did to me when I visited you in Prague.

PROPER WAY: Thank you for all you did for me when I visited you in Prague.

EXPLANATION: The expressions 'to do something to somebody' and 'for somebody' both exist in English, but their meaning is different. 'To' is used when harm or various bad things were done to someone. 'For' when good things, favours, helpful gestures, etc. Were performed.

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MISTAKE: That big, beautiful church in Oakmont Square was built during only nine months.

PROPER WAY: That big, beautiful church in Oakmont Square was built in only nine months.

EXPLANATION: The preposition 'during' tells when something took place (during the winter, during Easter break, etc.); 'in' is used to indicate how long something took to complete.

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MISTAKE: I don't care much for pizza and my brother doesn't too.

PROPER WAY: I don't care much for pizza and my brother doesn't either.

EXPLANATION: The adverb 'too' is used only in affirmative statements, whilst 'either' is used in negative ones.

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MISTAKE: My maths teacher turned up to be my dad's former university room-mate.

PROPER WAY: My maths teacher turned out to be my dad's former university room-mate.

EXPLANATION: Both expressions exist in English but mean something different. 'To turn up' means to appear unexpectedly. 'To turn out' means 'to prove to be' or 'to become' as in: As a youngster Joe was never mechanically inclined, but he turned out to be a pretty good mechanic.

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