An English Teacher’s Halloween Nightmare!!
Ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and ogres… most of us find these to be the spookiest Halloween disguises. But for teachers, blood, guts and hairy monsters are nothing compared to the gruesome realities of the everyday English classroom; COMMON GRAMMAR MISTAKES made again and again!
This Halloween, we compiled a list of language students’ MOST FRIGHTENING errors. No matter how many times a teacher tells you off for getting these wrong, you just can’t stop! What is the worst offense of the typical English student? What makes a teacher scream more than a baby watching a horror movie in a haunted house?
Here’s the top 5! If you’re a teacher, beware, this list may give you goosebumps!
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1. LETS, ITS and other Apostrophe Catastrophes
Language students make all sorts of blunders with apostrophes. It’s time to fix this. We only use them in two cases: Contractions like let’s and it’s replace a vowel with an apostrophe, so we use these when we mean ‘let us’ and ‘it is’.
E.g. It’s a contraction = It is a contraction!
We also use the apostrophe to indicate possession, followed by the letter ‘s’.
E.g. Whose spider web is that? I love it!
Do you mean Mark’s Halloween costume? I love it too!
Another chaotic blunder is the apostrophe apparition, when an apostrophe curiously appears in a plural noun!
E.g. ‘I’m not scared of ghost’s! I’m scared of grammar error’s and misplaced apostrophe’s!
Can you feel those shivers yet?
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2. ‘Possessed’ Pronouns
Possessive pronouns like your and their are perpetually being misplaced! Your is used to refer to something that belongs to you, and their refers to something that belongs to them. Students often confuse your and their with you’re and they’re, which are contractions. (see above)
That should give you the heebie jeebies! Let’s go on…
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3. Spooky Spellings
There’s only one way to fix this… intense memorisation.
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4. Mysterious Meanings
We get lots of students saying that their English lessons are very funny, but we’re sure that they mean fun! But don’t feel badly about it (we mean bad!) Adverbs can be bizarre. Fun means that your lesson was enjoyable, that you had a good time because you did great activities that taught you English and made you smile. When something is funny it has made you laugh. Sometimes it’s a joke, or maybe something strange has happened in your classroom.
Bad is an adjective that is used after verbs such as be, feel, seem and become.
E.g. That horror movie was so bad, I hated it!
But badly is used to describe an action that is unpleasant or negative, or emphasise how greatly you need to do something.
E.g. Dracula sings so badly.
I’m so hungry, I need to eat, badly!
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5. Fewer and Less: The Curse of the (un)Countables
Our final ghastly grammatical error is the creepy confusion between fewer and less. Few is used with countable nouns such as ghost, witch, and pumpkin.
E.g. This year there were fewer pumpkins on Halloween because the witches ate them all!
Less is used with uncountable nouns, which are things we cannot count like water, magic potion and fairy dust.
E.g. This magic potion tastes disgusting! Next time, please use less fairy dust.
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Don’t forget to make ‘fewer’ grammar mistakes this Halloween, by heading to www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish and save your teacher some screams!