I didn’t initially plan to write a sequel to my post about common mistakes that Russian learners of English actually make, but the post proved extremely useful. Instead of explaining the mistakes over and over again, I simply gave my students the link and the number of the mistake they kept making. Seeing how well it worked, I’ve decided to put together one more list of common mistakes Russian learners make.
The root of all the mistakes below is the direct translation from Russian. Again, the list is based on my personal teaching experience. The order is almost random.
#1 Feel yourself good
Feel good. If you think about it, isn’t ‘yourself’ redundant anyway? Of course, it’s yourself you are talking about, so you don’t need to say it. On top of that, ‘feel yourself’ actually means something you probably don’t want to say. Google it. Seriously, do.
Weekend, just one. If you are talking about your last or next weekend, a combination of two days Saturday and Sunday, it’s singular. For example, “My last weekend was entirely devoted to editing this post.”
#3 Nearest future
Near future. Just accept it. And I hope I won’t hear this mistake again in the near future. I actually hope I won’t hear it in the distant future either.
#4 In the street
Outside, outdoors. This is what ‘in the street’ means in Russian. In English, ‘in the street’ means ‘on the road in a city with building along it.’ So if you go jogging in parks or play football on open-air pitches, you do it outside / outdoors, not in the street.
Option, choice, alternative. A variant is a different form of the same thing. For example, “Other variants of the game are known in other parts of Europe,” or “This is the American variant of this word.” But those 3 different things you are choosing from are options, choices or alternatives.
Realized. You understand rules and people. But when you tell stories and share epiphanies, you realize things. For example, “… and then I realized I had left my phone in the office,” or “This was when I realized that something was wrong.”
#7 (In the) last time
Lately, recently. You haven’t talked to your best friend a lot lately. You’ve been chainwatching “The Big Bang Theory” recently. ‘Last time’ has a meaning of its own, which is ‘an occasion when you last did something.’ For example, “The last time I went to the cinema was in August,” or “When was the last time you watched a movie in English?”
#8 Do mistakes
Make mistakes. Yes, make mistakes. But do homework and do exercises. Certain words that are used together are called collocations. Collocations have to be memorized. There is no way around it. Make an effort and do your best to memorize them.
Mistake #8 is my student’s suggestion. He messaged me because he noticed somebody making mistake #5 in my previous post. He then noticed a mistake that he
did made in his message, corrected it, and suggested adding it to my list. I thought it was a great idea. It is also a great conclusion to my post.
PS: It really and truly is OK to make mistakes, but it’s not OK to keep repeating them.