13 Everyday English Phrases You Might Be Using Incorrectly!
English can be a tricky language sometimes. A lot of things tend to get lost in translation due to variations in pronunciation of words and different accents in which English is spoken around the world. So, you may not realize but there might be a few mistakes you have been making since forever. Here are some of the common phrases used incorrectly - by most of us!
1. ‘Return back/ Revert back/ Reply back’
Return, revert and reply inherently have the essence of the word ‘back’ in them. So, you do not need to append it again.
Incorrect: I will revert back to you within a day.
Correct: I will revert within a day.
2. ‘Most essential’
The adjective ‘essential’ is non gradable and does not require a qualifier like more, much or most. It is self sufficient as it means something of basic need.
Incorrect: A good scrub is the most essential part of a facial.
Correct: A good scrub is an essential part of a facial.
3. ‘I personally feel…’
The word ‘I’ already signifies that whatever follows is your personal opinion or comment. Following with the word ‘personally’ is not necessary.
Incorrect: I personally feel that the note ban was a bad decision.
Correct: I feel that the note ban was a bad decision.
4. ‘Most nastiest/ most happiest’
‘Most’ is used before an adjective to convert it into its superlative form. Nastiest and happiest are already in their superlative form, so you do not need to add ‘most’ to it.
Incorrect: He was the most happiest person in the audience today.
Correct: He was the happiest person in the audience today.
5. ‘Got off scotch-free’
Scot free is often confused with scotch free. You cannot get off ‘scotch-free’ but you can get off ‘scot-free’.
Incorrect: Even though he failed his exams, he got off scotch-free.
Correct: Even though he failed his exams, he got off scot-free.
6. ‘Hair are long’
Hair is an uncountable noun and is always treated as a single entity.
Incorrect: My hair are so soft.
Correct: My hair is so soft.
7. ‘First come, first serve’
This is one where a lot of people go wrong. The meaning behind the phrase is that the first to arrive will be the first to be served.
Incorrect: We follow the policy of first come, first serve in our hotel.
Correct: We follow the policy of first come, first served in our hotel.
8. ‘Giving an exam’
You never give an exam, you take an exam.
Incorrect: I am giving my English exam today.
Correct: I am taking my English exam today.
9. ‘Try and do it’
This is a commonly used incorrect phrase. You don’t ‘try and do something’, you ‘try to do something’.
Incorrect: I will try and do something about this mess.
Correct: I will try to do something about this mess.
10. ‘Nerve wrecking moment’
The word wracking is often confused with the word wrecking, in this context.
Incorrect: It was a nerve wrecking moment.
Correct: It was a nerve wracking moment.
11. ‘On the other hand’
Using ‘on the other hand’ makes no sense without the first half of the phrase, which is ‘on one hand.’
Incorrect: You are complaining about it and on the other hand you are asking for more work on your plate.
Correct: On one hand you are complaining about it and on the other hand you are asking for more work on your plate.
12. ‘Wrecking havoc’
Wrecking is more often than not confused with the word ‘wreaking’.
Incorrect: The rain is wrecking havoc on the crop.
Correct: The rain is wreaking havoc on the crop.
13. ‘Tender hooks’
This one literally gets lost in translation.
Incorrect: The thought of a serial killer at large kept me and my friend on tender hooks.
Correct: The thought of a serial killer at large kept me and my friend on tenterhooks.
GIFs: Giphy, Tumblr
Published on Jan 24, 2017