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  • Hey guys, I'm Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on five common native English speaker mistakes.

  • So, these are mistakes that native speakers make in conversation with other native speakers.

  • So for those of you who are just learning the language, this is good for you too

  • because you will hear these mistakes being made on the street.

  • And if you're wondering: "Hey, that doesn't sound correct. Why, why is that person not using correct grammar?"

  • It's because they might not know that they are using incorrect grammar.

  • Those of you who are English speakers: well, this is the stuff that drives English teachers absolutely crazy.

  • So, let's begin with number one: Double Negatives.

  • Okay, so what's a double negative? There are three examples on the board. We have:

  • "I didn't see nothing.," "She didn't do nothing.," "They don't buy nothing with trans fats."

  • Okay, now you see two negative words in each of these three sentences. In the first one:

  • "I didn't" so "didn't" obviously is a negative word. We have "nothing" which is also a negative word.

  • So if you say "I didn't see nothing," you actually mean that you saw something.

  • So you're giving the opposite meaning of what you actually want to say.

  • So what word should replace "nothing" in these three sentences?

  • "Anything", that's absolutely correct.

  • So, you can say, "I didn't see anything.," "She didn't do anything." Or: "They don't buy anything with trans fats."

  • Okay, so just remember: watch out for those double negatives.

  • Now, on to number two: "Less" vs. "Fewer." Okay, so this is a question of count and non-count nouns.

  • Basically, when you use "less," you should only be using it with non-count nouns.

  • So we're talking about nouns like honey, water, milk -- anything you can think of that

  • you can't really count like abstract concepts like love or justice, for example.

  • Now, things that you can count and are in plural form should be using "fewer."

  • So in these three examples there are three mistakes. We have: "There were less than 50 people at the club.,"

  • "There are less reasons to own a home phone today.," "I know less languages than my cousin."

  • All of these are absolutely wrong because they all use "less,"

  • which you should be using for non-count nouns. But, if you look at this closely: "people" -- you can count people.

  • You have "reasons" -- you can count reasons. "Languages" -- you can also count languages.

  • So with all of these, you should actually be saying, "fewer, fewer, fewer."

  • Now, I know this is a mistake that I hear commonly, especially with relation to people. "Less people" --

  • you should actually be saying, "Fewer people, fewer reasons, fewer,"-- sorry -- "fewer languages."

  • Okay. So remember: if it's plural, it's countable, you're thinking "less/fewer."

  • If you can count it, it's plural: "fewer."

  • Now, let's move on to number three: "I could care less." This is an expression we use when

  • we want to say that we have almost no interest in something that one of our friends or somebody has just said.

  • So for example: -"Spain won the World Cup!" And you might, say, hear somebody say, -

  • "I don't care about soccer, I could care less about this.," -"Dianne bought a new purse!" -

  • "I don't know Dianne, I don't know her very well; I could care less about Dianne buying a new purse."

  • -"Do you like U2?" -"I could care less about U2." Maybe

  • because I'm not a fan of rock and roll or I just don't like the band, or I don't like

  • Bono's political views or something like that. Now, this expression: "I could care less,"

  • actually says that you care a little bit. So what you're trying to say is not exactly

  • what you're trying to say. If you want to say that you have no interest or this doesn't affect you in some way,

  • the expression is: "I could not care less." Okay? So let's just fix this up here and say: "I couldn't care less."

  • This means your interest is so low that there's nowhere for you to go.

  • If you say: "I could care less," maybe you care this much and you could still care a little more -- or sorry --, care a little less.

  • Okay guys, so again, next time

  • you want to show that you don't have any interest in a topic a person is talking to you about,

  • say: "I couldn't care less." Now let's move on to number four: "Have went."

  • This is a problem of using the incorrect verb form. So basically in English, you're going

  • to have three verb forms for each verb. So for example: with the verb "go" we have the

  • present: "go," the past: "went," and we have the past participle which we use in the perfect forms of English,

  • which is "gone." So when you use: "have + went," you actually mean:

  • "have gone" and you should be saying: "have gone."

  • So I have three examples here. "I've went to Ohio 3 times!," "We should've went earlier.,"

  • "They could've went with us." All of these are wrong because they all use the incorrect form of the verb "go."

  • So instead of saying: "I've went to Ohio 3 times!" we should be saying:

  • "I've gone to Ohio 3 times!," "We should've went earlier." --"We should've gone earlier.,"

  • "They could've went with us." --"They could've gone with us."

  • So basically, any time you have "have" plus the verb "go" in like the past form so:

  • "could have, should have, might have, would have" or just simply "have,"

  • please use the correct form of the verb, which is "gone." Now, let's move on to the final mistake,

  • number five: "Is/Are" and "Was/Were." Now, this is a mistake between thinking there is one of something

  • versus many of something. So for example: normally we use "is" with the subject "he/she," right?

  • "He is," "she is," or "it is," and we use "are" with which subject?

  • Well, we can say: "You are" or "they are," right? For the plural "they." However, many

  • English speakers make the mistake of using "is" when they should be using "are,"

  • like in the three examples I have here. So we have "There's 2 cars in the driveway,"

  • "There was 3 mice in the kitchen!," and "There wasn't enough students to run the program."

  • Now, all these three examples have plurals. So we have "2 cars," we have "3 mice,"

  • we have "students," these all mean plural. So if you have a verb -- a verb, I apologize,

  • I meant an object --, a noun that is plural, you should be using "are."

  • So we don't say: "There's 2 cars," we say: "There are 2 cars in the driveway."

  • We don't say: "There was 3 mice in the kitchen!" --"There were 3 mice in the kitchen."

  • We don't say: "There wasn't enough students," you say: "There weren't enough students to run the program."

  • Okay guys, so just as a reminder: please, please try and avoid these mistakes.

  • We have double negatives, "less and fewer," "could care less," "have went," and up here: "is/are, was/were."

  • If you'd like to test your understanding of this knowledge, you can check out the quiz on www.engvid.com.

  • Good luck guys, and take care.

  • Learn English for free www.engvid.com.

Hey guys, I'm Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on five common native English speaker mistakes.

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A2 US care count plural ohio incorrect native

5 Native English Speaker Mistakes

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    VoiceTube posted on 2014/10/01
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