The Most Common Mistakes You Make.

The Most Common Mistakes You Make.

So, you’ve got a lecture or class to take in English next week. Maybe you’ve got an interview coming up for a job that requires English. You want to improve your basics fast and cut out those silly mistakes so you don’t sound like an idiot. What about those English emails at work? They aren’t going to correct themselves and you told your boss you can speak and understand English, right?

You need to know two things. One, what are the mistakes you’re making. Do you know? I bet you know some of them, but others you are not even aware of. Two, how do you correct those mistakes and bad habits (like forgetting to put an S on the end of verbs for he/she/it etc.) and how do you remember them?

Now, you know me. I like mistakes, it shows that you’re trying and not afraid. That’s great  of course, but, if you really want to improve quickly, one thing you can do is correct a few of those nejběžnější chyby v angličtině. I’m sure I made plenty of mistakes in my last post, which I wrote in Czech.

Luckily for you, over the last five years I have made notes on the most common mistakes that my students make and I’ve made a great, online, video course to help you correct many of those English mistakes. You can sign up for the mini course for FREE here and find out about your most common mistakes and how to fix them. Enter your email and I’ll send you the link. Entry is via email link only so sign up now or you might miss out.

Today, I’m going to focus on one of your most common mistakes. Confusing when to use come and go, and came, got and went.  An example of a typical mistake would be when we are sitting in a cafe and you say to me, “I came home from work at 6pm yesterday.” This is wrong because we are not in your home, we are in a cafe and where you are dictates which verb to use. You could remember to ‘come here’ and ‘go there’ but it’s not as simple as that.

In order to ‘come’ you usually need to be in the place you are referring to. I came home at ten yesterday.’ This means you are at home now.

If you are not at home we would naturally say ‘I got home at ten yesterday. (not ‘I came home’) but you can also use got if you are at home.

Of course, this being English, there are exceptional cases. If I have planned to meet some friends in a restaurant and I also want to invite you, I would say ‘Why don’t you come and join us? Or, ‘Come to the restaurant tomorrow.’ In this instance I am not in the restaurant now but I am planning to be there before you arrive and you will therefore come to meet me.

However, if you are talking about the time that you left somewhere (not the time you arrived home) then we would use went. ‘I was at the party but I went home (left the party) at midnight.’

go-sign-16620If you want to send somebody somewhere (away) and you will not be with them then use go. ‘Go to the cinema on your own, I don’t like Star Wars.’ (not come to the cinema). If you are inviting me to go with you to the cinema then you can use either come or go. ‘Will you come/go to the cinema with me tomorrow?’

Compare these similar situations:

‘Will you come to my house for the party next week?’ (I will be there)

‘Will you go to my house to pick up my keys please?’ (I have forgotten my keys. I left them at home. I am not there now and I will not be there when you get there to pick up the keys.

‘I went home at 11.’ (You are not at home now and you are talking about the time you left somewhere else)

‘I came home at 11.’ (You are at home now)

‘I got home at 11.’ (You could be either at home or not at home)

If you want it explained in Czech, has a good explanation here.

Next week, ‘What are the best ways to correct your most common mistakes and other ways to learn?’ video-player-richard-hill-english

I’ll talk again about learning styles and if you liked today’s content but prefer video to reading then take my FREE Most Common Mistakes Mini Course. Remember, admission to this free course is available to everyone on my email list but you need to sign up for it by sending me an email from this box below. I will send you the link when the course opens in the next few days.

I know that you will get massive value from this course and it will benefit you in many ways, not least, making your English sound a little more native, smoother and more intelligible.

That’s all from me for today. Remember, ‘every day’s a school day’ so let me learn from you by telling me what you think are the most common mistakes Czechs and Slovaks make when speaking English. Leave a comment below and sign up for the course above.



Muj Špatný Češtinu

Muj Špatný Češtinu

Pamatujete že ja jsem Anglický rodilý mluvčím?  Tak že, tadz mám problěm protože dneska musím napsát vaše blog v Čestině. Asi, ne, určitě, poynáte že muj řada slovu je jako Anglickz.

Ahhh… musím vzpnout 4esk7 kl8visnice kvůli muj y a z je správný.

Pokračuju… Zkouším napsát bez používajici slovník i překládač tak uvidíme jestli umíte mi rozumět. A, proč udělám Český blog kdzž vždycky psám v Angličtině?  Odpovězda je ukázat že nemusíte být perfektní být rozumění.

Jestli vaše gol je být rozumění je to duležitý jenom že máte důvěra zkoušit ynova a znova (Sakra!)  Mnohu Český lidi vubec říct ani nic protože “to není perfekt”, “to není dobrý”. Slište mě! ear-clip-art-McLLy6RXiNe bude lepšit bez zkoušení. Nevadí jak špatně vás Angličký jazýk, většinu rodilý mluvčí vy pomoc s trpělivostem.

Dneska ten blog bude krátký protože pro mě napsát na počitač trvalo mi hodně dlouhá. Měl jsem nějáký knihy se učit Česky ale pro mě nefungovat. Ja vím že dělám hodně chyby. Máte nějaký jiný nápady pro mě? Doufám že ano. Dolu mužete mi pomoc v commentsu. Dík. 🙂

Přes přístí dva týdnu budu napsát o vaše nejběžnější chyby a jak je opravit. Těšte se na videa mini kurz Zdarma.

Dolu řeknete mi co myslíte co je nejběžnější chyby.

Čau for now.

P.S. Mužete mi  sledovat kliknutím na FOLLOW.


3 Ways to Boost Your English Confidence

3 Ways to Boost Your English Confidence

It seems to me that every Czech person can speak at least a few words of English even if that is only ‘Hello, how are you, I’m fine thanks, goodbye’. So why is it that many of you are scared, too shy or even ashamed to use the English you already know? (Note that there is a difference between shy and ashamed) So what can you do about it? How can you overcome your shyness or reluctance to speak English?

Click here to go to my list of words for this article.

Improving your spoken English and your ability to understand other English speakers requires you to practise, a lot. So, putting yourself in situations where you have to listen to and speak English is certainly one way of doing it. This takes courage though, and that means overcoming your fears. So what are your fears? Do you think you will be laughed at? Misunderstood?  Make mistakes?

embarrassed emo

Growing your confidence is the key thing. Here are three ways you can do that..

1. Allow yourself to make mistakes and try new things.

School teachers, peers, and for most of us, our parents, started from a very early age to point out our mistakes and chastise us for making them without thinking of the future consequences this has on young children. We are conditioned to feel bad when we make a mistake and not to use it as a learning experience (which is exactly what it should be).

I may be wrong here but I would suggest that your shyness or fear to speak English comes from your upbringing. As a child were you given red Xs in your school books, shouted at or worse and generally made to feel very stupid for not knowing something?  Addressing these issues to conquer your fears is the way to building your confidence and allowing yourself to speak and understand more.


If your English teacher is someone who tells you off for making mistakes, I would consider looking for someone new to help you. You want a person who will pleasantly explain your mistakes and help you to practise corrections a few times. If you are consistently making the same mistakes, take some time to look at each one individually and work on it until you feel confident you have corrected it.

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You should also be going outside of your comfort zone in terms of the vocabulary and grammar you use. Yes, you can stick to the same words and phrases you already know but it’s much more exciting and rewarding to try out new things and not be scared to make mistakes when doing so. I know this personally from learning your Czech language.


2. Put yourself in situations where you have to speak.

This could be finding someone to practise with; a native English speaker (anyone English, American, Canadian, Australian, Irish or from New Zealand) or someone who speaks English as a second main language like Indians, Mexicans and many Africans. You will of course encounter many different accents and dialects within this diverse group of people. My wife has excellent English precisely because she worked in a pub in Cambridge, England where there were Americans and Irish people as well as others from all over the UK with very different accents (yours truly included). So that’s two more ways you can go out of your comfort zone; visit a native country for an extended period of time or go to one of the many Irish and English pubs in the Czech Republic’s bigger cities. If you already have a native English teacher then why not practise what you learn on other natives who you will usually find happy to tell you about their homeland.


3. Ask for help.

This can come in two forms; firstly, ask people to slow down and repeat things if you don’t understand what they are saying and secondly, ask them for specific words that you don’t know by using alternative words to describe it. Don’t stop at just using the word once though, repeat the word aloud a few times and use it again in the same conversation to help it stick. As soon as you can, write it down and think of a mnemonic for it; a drawing or visual image or put the word/phrase into a poem or song. If you don’t know about mnemonics go here to find out.

confidence cat lion

If you follow these three steps you will soon notice a big difference in your ability. You should become more fluent, more confident and even take pride in your level of English, whatever stage you are at.

So why do you think you are shy or embarrassed to speak the English you know?

Let me know in the comments below and subscribe to this blog using the ‘Follow’  button on the left.