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  • Hello I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!

  • Oh my goodness, thank you so much for celebrating

  • with me last week.

  • It was so much fun!

  • I was thinking that I don't really want to

  • stop celebrating just yet.

  • So I've got something super special

  • to share with you today.

  • During May, this month,

  • mmmEnglish subscribers will be able to join

  • the mmmEnglish grammar challenge.

  • And I'm inviting you to join the challenge

  • to improve your English with me

  • and give you the chance to win some really

  • fun mmmEnglish prizes including

  • mmmEnglish t-shirts, mmmEnglish courses

  • and a chance to win

  • some conversation practice with me.

  • It's super easy to join

  • and a really good idea because just by participating,

  • you'll be improving your English skills.

  • So make sure you subscribe, that's the first step

  • just down there and then keep watching this video

  • to find out how you can join the challenge.

  • In this video I'm going to share

  • the ten most common grammar mistakes

  • that English learners make.

  • When I'm reading your comments below my videos

  • and I'm replying to your emails,

  • I always notice the same mistakes

  • that you consistently make.

  • And through years of teaching English

  • at language schools and at university,

  • these are the same mistakes that a whole range

  • of English learners make

  • from beginners right through to even

  • advanced level students.

  • They're just really common mistakes

  • that you keep making again and again

  • sometimes because, you know,

  • the grammar is difficult to understand but sometimes

  • because these mistakes have never been

  • properly corrected for you

  • so they become bad habits.

  • They keep happening without you even realising it.

  • And if you don't recognise them,

  • if you don't see the mistakes that you're making,

  • then you can't fix them, can you?

  • So I want to help you to do that.

  • I want you to start seeing the mistakes

  • that you're making.

  • I want you to see it in your writing

  • so that you can correct yourself.

  • And then when you start doing that you'll naturally

  • be correcting yourself when you speak.

  • The mmmEnglish grammar challenge

  • will help you to practise

  • and improve all of these mistakes,

  • the ones that you sometimes make.

  • So once you watch this lesson, make sure you sign up,

  • join the challenge, get your friends to join too!

  • A little friendly competition is a good thing

  • so that we can all have some fun together and

  • improve your English skills while we're doing it.

  • So what are the 10 most common grammar mistakes

  • that English learners make?

  • Number one,

  • uncountable nouns.

  • So you probably know that there are

  • two types of nouns in English

  • countable and uncountable nouns.

  • Countable nouns are easy!

  • You can count them.

  • And when there's more than one,

  • the noun becomes plural, we add an S.

  • One apple,

  • three cars,

  • a million subscribers.

  • The noun becomes plural when there's more than one

  • and we can use the singular articles a and an

  • when we're talking about just one of them.

  • But uncountable nouns are different.

  • They don't usually have a plural form.

  • You can't use a singular article with them

  • and you need to use quantifiers to help explain

  • how much of the noun there is.

  • The way that you use uncountable nouns

  • in English sentences is completely different

  • to countable nouns.

  • Let's just compare apple,

  • a countable noun,

  • and advice, an uncountable noun.

  • Now I have an apple for you.

  • I have a piece of advice for you.

  • How many apples do you have?

  • How much advice do you have?

  • I have a few apples for you.

  • I have a little advice for you.

  • It's not just the noun that's important,

  • the type of noun affects many other words

  • in your sentence.

  • So using the wrong words with the uncountable noun

  • in an English sentence

  • is a really, really common mistake.

  • And it's easy to do without realising that you're doing it.

  • Perhaps you don't realise that a noun is uncountable.

  • Mistake number, two irregular verbs.

  • Now these are also really common English mistakes.

  • Difficult to master because there are no rules

  • that you can learn to logically explain why one verb

  • is regular and the other is not.

  • Even though there are fewer irregular verbs

  • than regular verbs,

  • many irregular verbs are really, really common verbs.

  • You can't escape them, you need to learn them.

  • Number three,

  • subject-verb agreement.

  • Subject-verb agreement is as simple as it sounds.

  • The subject and the verb in English sentences

  • must agree, they must match.

  • So why is it such a common mistake in English?

  • Even my advanced English students

  • sometimes make these mistakes as well.

  • And it's simply because

  • they've got into some bad habits.

  • They don't realise that they're making these mistakes.

  • That car looks expensive.

  • Those cars look expensive.

  • Paul is looking out the window.

  • John and Tim are looking out the window.

  • Do those students like to eat bananas?

  • Does this student like to eat bananas?

  • These mistakes are very easy to fix.

  • Bad habits can be fixed but you need to see them.

  • So I'll explain more about this in detail

  • during the mmmEnglish grammar challenge.

  • Common mistake number four, auxiliary verbs.

  • Yes, the three main auxiliary verbs in English:

  • do, be and have.

  • They're very important and learning

  • a little more about them is going to help you improve

  • your English grammar a lot

  • because the relationship between an auxilary verb

  • and the main verb in an English sentence

  • is very clear and simple.

  • The auxiliary verb do appears in the simple tenses.

  • The auxiliary verb be appears in the continuous tenses

  • and also in the passive voice.

  • And the auxiliary verb have

  • appears in the perfect tenses.

  • This is one part of English that is really consistent.

  • So if you're making any of these mistakes,

  • we can fix them easily.

  • So join me for the challenge

  • and learn more about auxiliary verbs

  • and fix these common grammar mistakes.

  • Mistake number five, articles.

  • Which one should you use?

  • When and why?

  • Articles must cause the most headaches

  • for English learners.

  • The is the definite article,

  • a and an are indefinite articles.

  • The difference between definite and indefinite articles

  • is the difference between talking about

  • a specific noun and a general noun.

  • If you asked me "Can you pass me a pen?"

  • That means any of these pens, not a specific one.

  • But if you asked me "Can you pass me the blue pen?"

  • that only means this pen, none of the others.

  • But sometimes you don't need to use an article at all.

  • So it's easy to see why articles are some of the most

  • common mistakes that English learners make.

  • The good news is that there are some simple rules

  • that you can follow to choose the right article.

  • And I've got a few tips that I want to share with you

  • during the challenge

  • to help you learn a little bit more about articles

  • and how to use them.

  • Number six,

  • prepositions,

  • words like in, on, at, by, with,

  • for - you get my point.

  • These words, they help to give information about time,

  • location and direction in English.

  • Just like articles may also cause a few headaches,

  • sometimes the same preposition

  • can have different meanings depending on the context.

  • If your keys are in the car, the meaning is different to

  • at the car.

  • But if you're in school, the meaning is pretty much

  • the same as at school.

  • I had a coffee at Helen's.

  • That means at her house

  • or I had a coffee with Helen.

  • That means we had a coffee together

  • but it could have been anywhere.

  • These tiny little words can influence

  • the meaning of your English sentence significantly.

  • But they are a challenge because the rules and reasons

  • for using them are not always clear.

  • Plus, you could be thinking about the correct preposition

  • that's used in your own native language

  • but they don't translate directly into English

  • and this can be a problem too.

  • Anyway, to get them right you need to practise

  • and that's exactly what we'll do during the challenge.

  • Number seven,

  • we're going to talk about word order in questions.

  • So asking questions, giving answers.

  • It's the basics of a great conversation in English,

  • in any language, really.

  • But one common mistake is using the wrong word order

  • when you're asking questions.

  • We can go shopping this afternoon?

  • What you are cooking for dinner?

  • Word order in English questions is a common

  • grammar mistake.

  • I see it a lot and I hear even more often

  • and another thing,

  • different types of questions in English

  • use different intonation

  • so getting the structure and the intonation right

  • is important if you want to sound natural

  • like a native English speaker.

  • The good news is that English questions

  • are really consistent,

  • they follow a clear structure.

  • Question word, auxiliary verb,

  • subject and your main verb.

  • If you remember these words in this order,

  • your questions should always be correct.

  • Mistake number eight, lucky eight.

  • The present perfect tense.

  • Now, this tense is a challenging one.

  • There's the present perfect simple

  • and the present perfect continuous.

  • You can also use the words for and since

  • with these tenses to help you express information

  • about time.

  • Now, the structure of a present perfect sentence

  • is probably not the difficult part.

  • You probably know that there's the subject,

  • the auxiliary verb have

  • and the main verb in past participle form.

  • But in the present perfect continuous,

  • your past participle verb is been

  • and it's followed by a verb in -ing.

  • Don't forget to conjugate that auxiliary verb,

  • depending on the subject.

  • So it's confusing because this tense is about the past

  • and the present at the same time.

  • It connects something that happened in the past

  • to the present moment

  • and there are a few different ways

  • that this can happen in English.

  • So although it's complicated,

  • it is a really commonly used tense in English

  • so you need to understand it.

  • If you join the mmmEnglish challenge,

  • I'm going to explain how to use this tense in more detail

  • and help you to practise using it as well.

  • Another mistake, this is number nine,

  • the difference between the past simple

  • and the present perfect tense.

  • The present perfect is also about the past