Sit at a desk etc, not on a desk etc Don’t Say:The bank manager was sitting on his desk. Say:The bank manager was sitting at his desk. Note:Also sit at a table. But on a chair, on a bench, on a sofa, etc; in an arm-chair, in a tree or up a tree. A bird…
Using the comparative instead of the superlative Don’t Say:Cairo is the larger city in Africa. Say:Cairo is the largest city in Africa. Note:Use the superlative when more than two persons or things are compared
Convince and Persuade Don’t Say:I am persuaded of Robin’s innocence. Say:I am convinced of Robin’s innocence. Note:Care must be taken no! to confuse persuade with pursued, the pasi tense of pursue (= to follow). Persuade and convince have very similar meanings and are mostly interchangeable in modern English; Delia persuaded me to take the exam…
Take an hour, not need an hour, etc Don’t Say:I’ll need an hour to do that. Say:It’ll take me an hour to do that.
Allow (to) or let (= give permission to) Don’t Say:The driver allowed/let to John (to) sit in the front seat. Say:The driver allowed/let John (to) sit in the front seat. Note:Permit has a similar meaning to let though it’s used in more formal situations: The teacher doesn’t permit us to talk in class.
Misuse of rest as an adjective Don’t Say:I spent the rest day at home. Say:I spent the rest of the day at home. Note:Here, rest is a noun, and we can’t use it as an adjective in the meaning of what’s left.
Covered with, not by Don’t Say:The mountains are covered by snow. Say:The mountains are covered with/in snow.
Using what or which after everything, etc Don’t Say:I heard everything which (or what) he said. Say:I heard everything (that) he said. Note:Don’t use the relative pronouns which and what after everything, atf, something, anything, a lot, (not much), little, or Nothing We can use that after these words, or it can be omitted.
Wrong use of personal pronoun in a relative clause Don’t Say:The book which I lost it was new. Say:The book which I lost was new. Note:Don’t use a personal pronoun as well as a relative in the relative clause if They both refer to the same noun In the first sentence both which and it…
The qualifying adjective misplaced Don’t Say:My uncle has a garden very large. Say:My uncle has a very large garden. Note:Put the adjective immediately before the noun it qualifies.
Presently for At present Don’t Say:His uncle is in London presently. Say:His uncle is in London at present. Note:At present and presently are not synonymous At present means now, but presently means soon: She will come back presently (= sooa)