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False Friends in English

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Common False Friends in English – for French Speakers

Attention French speakers – beware of false friends in the English Language

It’s easy to confuse similar words, especially when learning a new language. Here are some examples of ‘False Friends’ in English and French, but we have them in other languages too.

Confused man icon - thinking

What is a False Friend in a foreign language?

There are many common English words which appear to be the same in French, but which have an entirely different meaning. Lots of French and English words are indeed the same, as they often have the same origin, but there are some words which look or sound identical and are in fact ‘False Friends’ or ‘False Cognates’ as they are known in linguistic circles. So be sensible and make a habit of checking if the words which you happily recycle into English, really convey the meaning that you expect.

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4 Tips to Improve Your Grammar

Posted on in English language tips, Improve English grammar, Learn English Advice 2 Comments

How to Improve English Grammar?

Listen to the podcast or read the article below:

One obvious answer would be to join a good English course. However, the age of the internet has brought along many wonderful and useful tools that have made our life easier.  Sat-navs, e-book readers and the myriad tools available in Microsoft Word such as spell-check and auto correct all attempt to improve our productivity in some way.

The downside of using these tools without giving it much thought, especially inbuilt typing tools such as auto-correct commonly found in MS Word also means that without a conscious effort, we could very likely be using words inappropriately without having fully understood what they mean.

Female English learner writing an essay in English using correct grammar structures

Lets take a look here at some very simple ways you can steadily improve your English grammatical skills and mistakes to avoid

1)  Understand the meaning and spelling of the more complex words in your vocabulary before you use them

This is perhaps the most common mistake people make when speaking in English: using incorrect spellings not just of complex words but often very simple ones as well.  Take the example of ‘they’re, their and there’.

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Common mistakes in English: stationary vs stationery

Posted on in Common mistakes in English, English language tips, Learn English Advice 3 Comments

Common mistakes in English: stationary vs stationery

Are they two different words or is it just a spelling mistake?

Stationary vs stationery

These two words are often confused. Stationary is an adjective. Means standing still, not moving.
Stationery is a noun. Means writing materials, as pen, paper, envelope, ink, ruler.

Words origin

Word origin: from Latin ‘stationem’ (station). ‘Stationarius’ in Medieval Latin was a stationary seller. (Peddlers were more common in the Middle Ages). ‘Stationers’, sellers with a fixed location, were often bookshops. From the 18th century ‘stationery’ was used for articles sold by a stationer, seller of books and paper.

Do you know if the pronunciation of these words is the same of different? Write in your comment below if you know the answer.

Read more about common mistekes in English and how to get it right:

– Common Mistakes in English: Adapt vs Adopt

– Common Mistakes in English: Connect to or With

– False Friends in English

– Our Weekend English Courses

Learn English: ‘does anybody’ or ‘do anybody’?

Posted on in Common mistakes in English, English language tips, Learn English Advice 12 Comments

This is a question very often asked by our students: Does anybody or do anybody?

Does or do anybody, which is correct?

Answer: DOES is correct.

Does anybody vs Do anybody

Do you know why ‘Does anybody’ is correct?

‘Anybody’ is a third person singular form and takes -s in the present simple tense. That’s why the question form requires -s and ‘Does anybody’ is correct.
The same would apply to ‘Does anyone’, ‘Does anything’ etc. Here are some examples:

  • Does anyone have a pen I could borrow?
  • Does anybody know someone who speaks Croatian?

  • Find out about the difference between anyone and anybody.

    More articles relates to learning English and common mistakes in English:
    – Common mistakes in English: adapt vs adopt
    – How to Learn English with Films
    – Our FCE Exam Preparation Courses