What To Avoid: Common Mistakes In English Speaking

Bodhi RamosRevisado porKateryna Protsenko / más sobre Proceso editorial14 min
Creado: Sep 21, 2022Última actualización: Feb 5, 2024
Common Mistakes In English Speaking

If you have lived in an English-speaking country or studied the language for a long time, some things will trip you up. Even native speakers sometimes make common mistakes in English speaking, which can interfere with communication. It is quite important to be aware of them to sound more fluent and be better understood by other people. In this article, we will go over some common mistakes in English so that you can be on the lookout for them. Try to avoid them, and you will be well on your way!

Why You Should Know Common Mistakes in English Speaking

You might wonder why it is essential to know about common errors in English usage if you are already a good speaker. After all, if you can get your message across and are generally understood, does it matter if you make a mistake here or there? The answer is yes, it does matter. Here are a few reasons why it is important to be aware of the most common mistakes in English:

  • To sound more fluent. It is because making an error breaks our train of thought and makes us hesitate. We might even start to doubt ourselves and become self-conscious about our language skills.
  • To be better understood. If you can avoid making errors, people will have an easier time understanding you. It is because the worst grammar mistakes can change the meaning of what you are saying entirely.
  • To avoid embarrassing yourself. It is especially true if you make an error that sounds like you do not know what you are talking about. No one wants to be in this situation, so it is best to try to avoid mistakes.
  • To make a good impression. Finally, it is important to be aware of common errors in English usage so that you can make a good impression when talking to someone. If you make too many mistakes, people might think you are unintelligent or do not know what you are doing.

If you speak without errors, people see that you have a good command of the language, and they are more likely to take you seriously. On the other hand, you should not worry too much about spoken mistakes. Everyone makes them, even native speakers. The important thing is that you try to avoid them as much as possible and do not let them hold you back from speaking English.

21 Common Mistakes in English You Can Easily Avoid

In this section, we will go over 21 of the most common English mistakes in speaking. To make things easier, we will divide them into three categories: grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Avoiding them will significantly affect how you sound to others and how easily they can understand you.

Grammar Mistakes

Grammar is the foundation of any language, and it is crucial to get it right when you speak. Below, we provide some grammar mistakes examples that are common among English learners:

  • Incorrect use of articles. Many English learners frequently use the wrong article in a sentence. In general, indefinite articles are used when referring to something for the first time. In contrast, definite articles are used when you have already mentioned the thing or when it is clear from the context. For instance, you would say, “I saw a dog,” if you saw someone’s pet for the first time, but you would say, “I stroked the dog,” if it was clear which animal you were talking about.
  • Wrong word tense. English has many tenses, and it is important to use the right ones when speaking. For instance, if you want to discuss an event that happened in the past, use the past tense. You will use the present tense when talking about something happening now. Try to make your verb tenses match those of the person you speak to.
  • Repeated subject. This one is also among the common grammatical errors in English. We often repeat the subject in a sentence for emphasis. However, repeating the subject too often can make you sound like a broken record. Try to vary your sentences by using different words and structures. It will keep your speech interesting and prevent people from getting bored listening to you.
  • Wrong Usage Does and Do. The main verbs “Do” and “Does” have different uses in a sentence. While both can be used as auxiliary verbs, they are not interchangeable. The verb “Do” is used with plural subjects, like they, we, and you. On the other hand, the verb “Does” is used when the subject is singular, such as “he,” “she,” and “it.”
  • Double negatives. A double negative is among common spoken grammar mistakes. It occurs when you use two negatives in a sentence, such as “I don’t have nothing.” Double negatives are incorrect in English, and you should avoid them.
  • Subject and verb mismatch. In English, the subject and verb of a sentence must agree with each other. If the subject is plural, the verb must be plural and vice versa. In addition, the verb must agree with the person of the subject. For example, if the subject is “you,” the verb must be in the second person (e.g., “You are cold”).
  • Wrong word order. It is one of the common grammar mistakes in English made by non-native speakers. Word order is important in English. The basic word order for a sentence is subject + verb + object, as in "I see the dog." If you change the word order, it can change the meaning of the sentence.
  • Omission of prepositions. It is also one of the most common English mistakes. Prepositions are small words that indicate relationships between things, such as "in," "on," and "by." They are often omitted in other languages but should be used in English. For example, you would say, "I am interested in learning English," not just "I am interested learning English."
  • Incorrect usage of irregular plural nounsMany words have irregular plural forms (e.g., mouse/mice), which can often trip up learners who are used to regular plurals in their language. To avoid this mistake, learn the correct plural forms of common irregular nouns.

These are just some of the most common English grammar mistakes. Be sure to pay attention to your grammar when speaking and try to eliminate any habits you may have picked up.

Vocabulary Mistakes

Another area where many language learners often make common mistakes speaking English is vocabulary. It can involve using the wrong word or phrase, mispronouncing a word, or not knowing when to use a formal or informal term. It is important to choose your words carefully to ensure you convey the meaning you want. The following are some common mistakes in speaking English:

  • Too many filler words. Filler words are optional words that we often add to our sentences when speaking, such as “um” or “like.” While there is nothing wrong with using them occasionally, too many filler words can make you sound unconfident or unprepared. If you use them excessively, try to take a breath and pause for a moment before continuing your sentence. This will give you time to collect your thoughts and avoid stumbling over your words.
  • A lot of slang or idioms. Slang and idioms are informal words or phrases specific to a certain region or group of people. While they can add personality to your speech, using too many of them can make you sound unprofessional or difficult to understand. Try to use slang and various idioms sparingly and only with people who are familiar with them.
  • Using long or complicated words when shorter ones will do. This is a common mistake made by English learners and native speakers alike! We often think that using big words will make us sound more intelligent or important, but it usually has the opposite effect – it makes us sound pretentious or like we’re trying too hard. Instead of using convoluted language, try to use simple terms that people will understand easily.
  • Who vs. whom vs. whose. These words are often used interchangeably, but they have different functions. “Who” is a subject pronoun used as the subject of a sentence or clause. “Whom” is an object pronoun used as a verb or preposition object. “Whose” is a possessive adjective that shows ownership.
  • Between vs. among. This is one of the most common English mistakes. These words are often used incorrectly, as they have different functions. “Between” is used when you are referring to two separate things. For example, “The seats were arranged between the windows.” “Among” refers to multiple things together in one place. For example, “They sat down among the other passengers.”
  • In vs. into. These words are often confused, but they have different uses. “In” is used when something is inside of something else. For example, “She put the book in her bag.” “Into” is used when moving from one place to another. For example, “He walked into the room and sat down.”
  • Anybody vs. nobody. The key is to remember that “anybody” refers to one or more people, whereas “nobody” signifies no people. For example, you would say, “Can anybody help me with this?” but “Nobody knows the answer.”
  • Good vs. well. “Good” is an adjective, and “well” is an adverb. Adjectives describe, identify and quantify people or things and usually go before a nouns examples. They don’t usually change form. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs and usually come after the verb. For example, you would say, “He did a good job,” but “He did the job well.”

Now you can avoid the most common mistakes in English speaking. Try to learn them and expand your vocabulary by using a dictionary or looking up words in context. With time and practice, you can speak English more fluently and confidently.

Pronunciation Mistakes

One more aspect we’ll cover is pronunciation errors in English. While these might not seem like a big deal, they can be quite noticeable and make it difficult for others to understand you. The following are some common examples:

  • Not enunciating clearly. When we speak, our voice comes out in a series of noises called phonemes. Each sound typically has an accompanying muscle movement and should be pronounced clearly so that the person listening can understand it. If you’re having difficulty enunciating your words, try to practice speaking them aloud as often as possible until they become second nature.
  • Not pronouncing “th” correctly. The “th” sound can be complex for English learners, as it does not exist in other languages. As a result, it is often pronounced as an “s” or a “z” instead. 
  • Dropping the ends of words. It is a common mistake made by native speakers and English learners alike! We often speak wrong and don’t enunciate the last syllable or two of our words, making us sound lazy or uneducated. Try to slow down your speech slightly and pronounce all the letters in each word for clarity.
  • Not knowing when to stress words. Stress is the emphasis placed on certain syllables in a word or sentence. Putting too much or too little stress on certain words can change the meaning, so it’s important to get it right.

Now you know some of the most common speech errors in English speaking. Next time you’re conversing with someone, try to be conscious of these mistakes to fix them.


How to Fix Common Errors in English

This section will provide tips on how to fix common mistakes in English. You can use these tips to help you avoid making famous grammatical errors in your speech. Remember that practice makes perfect, so the more you speak, the better you will become at using proper English grammar.

Pronounce Words Correctly

One of the best ways to avoid making English mistakes is to ensure you know how to pronounce words correctly. It might seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many people do not take the time to learn proper pronunciation. As a result, they mispronounce common words and phrases, which can lead to confusion and embarrassment. 

The good news is that there are plenty of resources available that can help you with pronunciation. For instance, on Pronuncian, you can find a lot of useful information about pronunciation: minimal pairs, educational videos, podcasts, and assessments.

Learn the Difference between Similar Words

Another way to avoid common word mistakes is to learn the difference between similar words. Some examples are among and between, few and little, borrow and lend, and others. These words might seem interchangeable at first glance, but they have different meanings. 

Learning when to use each word is important to avoid making common errors in English. A good way to do this is by looking up the definitions of the words and then finding examples of them being used in sentences. You can also try using a dictionary app like Dictionary.com, which can help you quickly look up words and their definitions.

Pay Attention to Grammar

If you regularly use the wrong tense, have trouble with the word order, or make other common grammar mistakes in speech, it might be a good idea to focus on improving your grammar. A great way to do this is by reading books or articles in English and paying attention to the different parts of speech. 

Another way to eliminate English grammar mistakes is by doing some online exercises. For instance, Grammarly has a free grammar checker that can help you identify mistakes in your writing. Many websites offer quizzes and other activities designed to help you speak without common grammar mistakes.

Learn Which Prepositions to Use

A common mistake that English learners make is using the wrong preposition when they speak. They are small words, but they can change the meaning of a sentence completely. To avoid common English errors, you must learn which prepositions accompany verbs and nouns. A good way to do this is by looking up the definitions of words in a dictionary and then finding examples of them being used in sentences. Additionally, many online quizzes can help you test your knowledge of prepositions.

Sign up for a Speaking Class

If you want to avoid making common grammar mistakes in real life, one of the best things you can do is sign up for a speaking class. In these classes, you can practice your conversation skills with other students and get feedback from a qualified instructor. It is a great way to become more confident and comfortable speaking English. It can also help you learn proper pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and other aspects of the language.

Improve Your Speaking Skills with Promova

Learning a new language can be more accessible thanks to technology. Promova lets you practice your conversation skills with a native speaker in real time. Our learning platform provides classes led by certified tutors experienced in teaching English as a second language. You can choose from various class types, such as one-on-one or group, which can be customized to fit your schedule and learning goals.

During your classes, you can practice your conversation skills, learn new vocabulary, eliminate the most common grammatical mistakes in English, and get feedback from your tutor. You will have access to practice materials, such as dialogues and articles, which you can use to review outside of class. Also, we provide video courses you can use to improve your skills on specific topics, such as pronunciation and culture.

Some other benefits of Promova include:

  • Flexible scheduling. You can choose from many class times to find a time that works for you. 
  • Small group classes. You will be able to interact with other students and practice your conversation skills in a small group setting.
  • Mobile app. You can access your account, classes, and materials from your phone or tablet.

If you want to improve your English conversation skills, Promova will provide you with the tools and resources you need to succeed. To learn more about our platform and how we can help you reach your language-learning goals, visit our website or contact us today.


Learning a new language is never easy, but it is worth the effort. When you finally reach a level where you can hold a conversation in English, it will open up many new doors for you. However, it is important to be aware of typical grammar mistakes. Avoiding them will make you sound more fluent and better understood. In this article, we have gone over some common mistakes in English so that you can be on the lookout for them. The next time you speak English, try to avoid making these language mistakes, and you will sound more confident and fluent.


What are Some Common Mistakes in English Speaking?

In general, there are three types of common mistakes that people make when speaking English: grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. For example, grammar mistakes in English include using the wrong verb tense, forgetting to use articles, and using the wrong word order. As for vocabulary, some common mistakes include using informal words in formal situations and incorrect usage of different words that have similar meanings.

Why Is It Important to Fix Common Errors in English Speaking?

The main reason is that it can help you sound more fluent and be better understood. The most common grammar mistakes can interfere with communication and make it more difficult for others to understand you. Additionally, avoiding common errors can boost confidence and help you feel more comfortable speaking English. For these reasons, it is important to be aware of common errors.

How Can I Avoid These Common Mistakes in English Speaking?

The best way is to focus on your speech and be conscious of your common errors in sentences. Once you are aware of them, it will be easier to avoid them. Additionally, practice speaking as often as possible and get feedback from a native speaker or experienced English learner on how you can improve. Also, you can sign up for an online English course to get more speaking practice and feedback in a structured environment.

How Can I Improve My English Speaking Skills?

While the biggest grammar mistakes in English speaking highlighted in this article are important to avoid, there are many other aspects of English that you need to master to speak fluently. For instance, you have to work on your pronunciation, vocabulary, and fluency. The best way to eliminate the most common mistakes is to practice as often as possible in various situations.


Umaru Kanneh Boima Sep 28th, 2023
I am so grateful for what I have learnt here. Thanks you so much !
PromovaSep 21st, 2023
Self-correction is a valuable skill. To do it effectively, record your conversations or practice sessions, and listen to them later. Make a note of errors and practice saying the corrected version. Remember that making mistakes is a part of the learning process, so don't get discouraged. Focus on improvement.
Lee Sep 21st, 2023
Wow! The article mentions the importance of self-correction. How can learners effectively identify and correct their own mistakes while speaking without getting discouraged?
PromovaJun 22nd, 2023
Thank you for your positive feedback! When it comes to identifying and correcting common mistakes in English speaking during conversations, there are a few techniques and strategies that can be helpful. One approach is to actively listen to native English speakers and pay attention to their pronunciation, grammar, and usage patterns. Additionally, recording and reviewing your own conversations can help you identify recurring mistakes and areas for improvement. Lastly, seeking feedback from language partners or teachers can provide valuable insights and specific guidance on addressing your individual speaking challenges.
TravisJun 22nd, 2023
Great article on common mistakes in English speaking! Are there any specific techniques or strategies you recommend for identifying and correcting these mistakes during conversations?
CarolineMay 24th, 2023
Want to improve on public speaking skills. Speaking with out forgetting the right words to use.