If I had a £ for every time I heard …

Today, I want to look at some common mistakes I hear on a daily basis. When something happens too often it is possible for someone to say: “If I had a pound for every time I heard a politician lie I would be rich.”

The phrase works equally well with dollar instead of pound: “If I had a dollar for every time someone stood on my toe on the trolleybus I would be rich.”

You try! “If I had a pound/dollar every time …

Teaching students exclusively with the same L1 (Native Language) almost inevitably results in the repetition of the same mistakes (or should I say ‘non-standard forms’?). I have thought of 10 common ones which maybe some of you will be familiar with.

Common Mistakes by native Russian speakers

(In no particular order):

10. If I had a pound for every time I heard the word “advices” I’d be rich by now.

9. If I had a pound for every time someone used the word “learn” when they really wanted to say “teach” I’d be quite a wealthy bloke.

8. If I had a pound for every time I heard “If I will” in a first conditional sentence I’d be rich.

7. If I had a pound for every time someone said “this time is comfortable for you” I would be quite well off.

6. If I had a round pound for every time a student “made homework” instead of “done/did homework” I’d be rich

5. If I had a golden nugget for every time someone confused “he” and “she”, well, I really would be a millionaire

4. If I had a squid for every time a person said “on English” or “on Russian” I’d be swimming in caviar now!

3.  If I had a quid for every time someone said “I feel myself good” I’d have enough money to buy myself lobster for dinner.

2.  If I had a quid for every time I heard “he said me…” I’d be rich.

1. If I had a pound for every time a Russian speaker said “the Moscow” or “the London” I would be pretty wealthy indeed!

Do you recognise any of these mistakes? Could it be you? We all have our fossilized errors, our mistakes that we just can’t seem to get rid of.