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  • 2017-08-21 08:19 Language, Business English, Grammar

    10 English mistakes that can ruin your professional image

    It’s easy to make mistakes, even simple ones. Saying or presenting something incorrectly is bad enough but publishing flawed content online increases the potential exposure of your mistake enormously, which can lead to serious embarrassment.

    Most of us instinctively shy away from using words we feel unsure of, especially if they are not commonly used or seem complicated. However, it’s the words that we think we’re using correctly that can really ruin our image. The following simple mistakes are also made by a lot of native English speakers.

    1. Teach Vs Learn
    You can teach yourself or other people but you cannot learn other people. People learn things themselves, which they can then teach to others.

    2. There/their/they’re
    These words sound the same but have different meanings.
    • Use “there” to refer to a place that isn’t here – “over there”.
    • We also use “there” to state something – “There are no chairs in the room”.
    • “Their” indicates possession – something belonging to them, e.g. "their books are new".
    • “They’re” is short for “they are” e.g ."they’re very happy to be on holiday".

    3. I.e. and e.g.
    I.e. is the abbreviation for “that is to say” and is used to add explanatory information.
    Example: A synthetic shoe i.e. not made from leather.
    E.g. is the abbreviation for “for example”.
    Example: He loves fruit and vegtables  e.g. apples and carrots.

    4. Me/myself/I
    • When referring to yourself and someone else, put their name first in the sentence e.g. John and I are going to the cinema (Not “John and me are going to the cinema” or “Myself and John are going to the cinema” or “Me and John are going to the cinema”).
    • You only use “myself” if you’ve already used “I”, making you the subject of the sentence e.g. “I’ll do it myself” or “I thought to myself”.

    5. Your/you’re
    “You’re” is short for the two words “you are”. The apostrophe stands for the omitted “a” of “are”.
    E.g. You’re going to enjoy this.
    “Your” is a possessive determiner and pronoun which means “belonging to you”.
    E.g. What’s your name?

    6. Its/it’s
    The difference between these two words gets lots of people confused. Apostrophes should be used to indicate possession, but there is one exception to this rule, and that is the word “it”.
    • “It’s” is usually used  short for “it is” e.g . "it’s raining". (Note:" It’s" is also short for "It has", e.g. it’s been a while…)
    • “Its” indicates something belonging to something that isn’t masculine or feminine (like “his” and “hers”). E.g .the book looks great with its new cover.

    7. Then/than
    Confusion between “then” and “than” probably arises because the two look and sound similar.
    • “Than” is used in comparisons e.g. “ John is taller than Jack” or “ It was more than enough”
    • “Then” is used to indicate something following something else in time, as in step-by-step instructions, or planning a schedule “we’ll go to the cinema first and then to the restaurant”.

    8. Affect vs. Effect
    This is another easy enough mistake to make given how similar these two words look and sound, but there’s a simple explanation to help you remember the difference.
    • Affect is a verb – “to affect” – meaning to influence or have an impact on something. E.g. He hoped the company’s excellent results would have a positive effect on his salary.
    • Effect is the noun – “a positive/negative effect” – referring to the result of being affected by something. E.g his job was directly affected by the organisational change.
    • There is also a verb “to effect”, meaning to bring something about – “to effect a change” but this is not commonly used.

    9. Farther vs. Further

    • Farther refers to physical distance, while further describes the degree or extent of an action or situation. “I can’t run any farther,” but “I have nothing further to say.”
    • If you can substitute “more” or “additional,” use "further".

    10. Imply/Infer

    To imply means to suggest something without saying it outright e.g. "The reporter implied the politician was lying, without explicitly stating it". To infer means to draw a conclusion from what someone else implies e.g." From the facts in this report we can infer that there is a property bubble". As a general rule, the speaker/writer implies, and the listener/reader infers.

    One mistake can be dismissed as a typo but making the same simple mistakes repeatedly looks very unprofessional. We strongly recommend getting someone to proofread important presentations and documents. Please feel free to contact us for a professional proofreading quote. You are also very welcome to follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook for regular updates and English language advice.

    The London School of English offers high quality English language training for motivated adults from all professional backgrounds. We give you the tools and skills you need to communicate successfully in your field of expertise and to expand your business and career opportunities. Call us on +46 8 5999 4000or email us at info@londonschool.se for more information about our tailored tuition or simply take our online test to check your English level.
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  • 2017-01-23 11:23 Language, Grammar

    Which should you use?

    They sound the same and even look similar (except that one is spelled with a “c” and the other with an “s”) but their meanings are different.

    The simple rule

    The word “practice” is a noun. It refers to an act itself, not who is doing it. On the other hand, practise is a verb meaning 'do something repeatedly to improve one skill'.

    If you're using American English, however, you don't need to worry about the difference as you can use practice as a noun or a verb.

    Examples of practice (as a noun)

    You need more practice
    Practice makes perfect
    Are you coming to football practice this evening?

    Examples of practise (as a verb)

    You should practise more
    Why don’t you practise what you preach?
    She is a practising doctor

    Take a quick test

    1. This is a cruel __________ which should be banned immediately.
    2. I need to __________ my English.
    3. He refused to play the guitar, because he was out of _________.
    4. She is a confident and ________ speaker.
    5. Everyone should have the right to ________ their religion.

    Answers

    1. Practice
    2. Practise
    3. Practice
    4. Practised
    5. Practise


    The London School of English offers high quality English language training for motivated adults from all professional backgrounds. We give you the tools and skills you need to communicate successfully in your field of expertise and to expand your business and career opportunities. Call us on +46 8 5999 4000or email us at info@londonschool.se for more information about our tailored tuition or simply take our online test to check your English level.
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  • 2016-09-01 09:50 Language, Grammar

    What’s the difference between i.e. and e.g.?

    These two abbreviations are commonly confused and many people use them interchangeably. However, their uses are very different.

    The simple rule
    • I.e. means “that is” or “in other words”.
    • E.g. means “for example”.

    Note: In formal documents, it is better not to use these abbreviations and to write out the meanings (“that is” or “for example”).

    Examples of e.g.
    I like a lot of different types of fruit, e.g. apples, pears and peaches.
    There are many ways of getting there e.g. by bus, train or car.

    Examples of i.e.
    He is still considering his options i.e. he won’t be making a decision today.
    It’s a bit too wet and damp for a picnic today i.e. I think we should postpone.

    Remember: I.e. is not used for listing examples - It’s used to clarify a statement.

    The London School of English offers high quality English language training for motivated adults from all professional backgrounds. We give you the tools and skills you need to communicate successfully in your field of expertise and to expand your business and career opportunities. Call us on +46 8 5999 4000 or email us at info@londonschool.se for more information about our tailored tuition or simply take our online test to check your English level.

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  • 2016-08-23 12:33 Grammar, Language

    What’s the difference between “affect” and “effect” and when should they be used?

    These two words are often confused as they look and sound very similar. However, there is a simple explanation to help you remember the difference.

    The simple rule

    • Affect is a verb – “to affect” – meaning to influence or have an impact on something.
    • Effect is the noun – “an effect (a positive or a negative effect) is the result of being affected by something.

    Warning
    There is also a verb “to effect”, which means to bring something about – “to effect a change”. However, this is not very commonly used.

    Examples of “affect”
    -Several of my colleagues have been directly affected by the re-organisation
    -High levels of stress can affect performance
    -The storm knocked down power lines, affecting thousands of people

    Examples of “effect”
    -My doctor said it would take a few hours for the medicine to take effect
    -Wet weather often has a bad effect on your mood.
    -We are still unsure what sort of effect the new regulations will have

    The London School of English offers high quality English language training for motivated adults from all professional backgrounds. We give you the tools and skills you need to communicate successfully in your field of expertise and to expand your business and career opportunities. Call us on +46 8 5999 4000 or email us at info@londonschool.se for more information about our tailored tuition or simply take our online test to check your English level.
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  • 2016-08-10 10:56 Grammar, Language

    What’s the difference between “its” and “it’s” and when should they be used?

    These two words confuse a lot of people as the way they are used is an exception to the normal rule for apostrophes. Apostrophes usually indicate possession, but not in the case of the word “it’s”.

    The rule

    • “It’s” is used in 2 cases

    -as an abbreviation for “it is”.
    -as an abbreviation for “it has”

    • “Its” indicates possession i.e. something belonging to something that isn’t masculine or feminine, like “his” and “hers”. "Its" is used when you are not talking about a person.

    Examples of "it’s"

    -It’s raining outside (abbreviation for “It is”)
    -It’s really nice to meet you (abbreviation for “It is”)
    -It’s been very not recently (abbreviation for “It has”)

    Examples of “its”


    -Your office looks great with its new furniture
    -Your car works better now that its breaks have been serviced
    -The village had a lot more tourists once its restaurant opened

    The London School of English offers high quality English language training for motivated adults from all professional backgrounds. We give you the tools and skills you need to communicate successfully in your field of expertise and to expand your business and career opportunities. Call us on +46 8 5999 4000 or email us at info@londonschool.se for more information about our tailored tuition or simply take our online test to check your English level.
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  • 2016-08-01 12:40 Grammar, Language

    What’s the difference between “your” and “you’re” and when should they be used?

    Mixing up these two words in a very common problem, even among native English speakers. There is, however, a simple rule to get it right.

    The simple rule


    “Your” indicates possession, i.e. something belonging to you.
    “You’re” is short for “You are”.

    Examples of how to use “your”


    -Your CV is excellent.
    -Your offices could do with some maintenance.
    -Your colleagues are very helpful.

    How not to do it
    -Do you know when your going to be finished?
    -Your very talented.
    -Your going to meet a lot of people at the event tonight.

    Examples of how to use “you’re”

    -You’re a real asset to this team.
    -You’re bound to do well in this organisation.
    -You’re welcome.

    How not to do it
    -May I borrow one of you’re pens?
    -What does it say on you’re business card?
    -You’re offices are very modern.

    The London School of English offers high quality English language training for motivated adults from all professional backgrounds. We give you the tools and skills you need to communicate successfully in your field of expertise and to expand your business and career opportunities. Call us on +46 8 5999 4000 or email us at info@londonschool.se for more information about our tailored tuition or simply take our online test to check your English level.
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  • 2016-07-19 10:34 Language, Grammar

    Fewer or Less?

    When should you use fewer and when should you use less in a sentence?

    The simple rule:


    Fewer is used for countable nouns e.g. cars, books, people
    Less is used for uncountable nouns e.g. alcohol, education, traffic

    A more detailed explanation

    Use fewer if you’re referring to people or things in the plural e.g. children, men, houses
    Examples
    Fewer than 100 children die of this deadly disease each year.
    Fewer men opt for nursing as a career than women.
    Young people are buying fewer houses as they have become so expensive.

    Use less when you’re referring to something that can’t be counted or doesn’t have a plural e.g. rain, privacy, money
    Examples
    Our holiday would have been more enjoyable with a little less rain.
    More people in this house will mean less privacy.
    This role is good experience but pays less money than other jobs.

    Exceptions to the rule

    Time, weights and distances can be counted or measured but less is also used with numbers when they are on their own or with expressions of measurement or time.
    Examples
    His weight fell from 80 kilos to less than 70 during his illness.
    The journey took less than two hours.
    Uppsala is less than 100 km from Stockholm.

    The London School of English offers high quality English language training for motivated adults from all professional backgrounds. We give you the tools and skills you need to communicate successfully in your field of expertise and to expand your business and career opportunities. Call us on +46 8 5999 4000 or email us at info@londonschool.se for more information about our tailored tuition or simply take our online test to check your English level.



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  • 2016-06-14 09:10 Grammar, Language

    What’s the difference between of and off and when should they be used?

    The short answer

    Of shows connection
    E.g. The provinces of Sweden

    Off shows disconnection
    E.g. Turn the heating off

    A longer answer

    Of
    The word ‘of’ is most commonly used as a preposition that denotes various relations described in the sentence:

    -A point of reckoning
    E.g. North of the border

    -What something is made of or contains
    E.g.  A cup of tea; Doors of steel

    -To describe possession
    E.g.  The king of Sweden

    Off
    ‘Off’ is also a very common word with a large number of functions, but it is most frequently used as an adverb or a preposition.

    -As an adverb, it is usually used to describe a state of discontinuance or suspension

    Examples
    Turn off the light.
    The dishwasher is switched off
    He took off without a word

    -As a preposition, it is used to indicate physical separation or distance

    Examples
    Take it off the shelf
    The glass fell off the table
    The shopping centre is just off the bend ahead
    The boat sank 3 miles off the coast

    The London School of English offers high quality English language training for motivated adults from all professional backgrounds. We give you the tools and skills you need to communicate successfully in your field of expertise and to expand your business and career opportunities. Call us on +46 8 5999 4000 or email us at info@londonschool.se for more information about our tailored tuition or simply take our online test to check your English level.
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  • 2016-05-31 14:15 Language, Grammar

    What's the difference between "who's" and "whose"?

    The reason why this is so confusing is that an apostrophe usually indicates possession. However, in the case of “who’s”, it is a contraction.

    Who’s is a contraction of “who is” or, alternatively, “who has”

    Example 1.  Who’s coming to the cinema tonight?
    Example 2. Who’s forgotten to switch the light off?
    Example 3. Who’s this?
    Example 4: Who’s already been to this restaurant?

    Whose is the possessive of “who”
    Example 1. Whose scarf is this?
    Example 2:  Do you know whose book this is?
    Example 3: Whose side are you on?
    Example 4. The man whose car crashed made a full recovery.

    A simple rule to follow
    If you can replace the word with who is or who has, use who’s. If not, use whose.

    The London School of English offers high quality English language training for motivated adults from all professional backgrounds. We give you the tools and skills you need to communicate successfully in your field of expertise and to expand your business and career opportunities. Call us on +46 8 5999 4000 or email us at info@londonschool.se for more information about our tailored tuition or simply take our online test to check your English level.
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  • 2015-05-20 10:30 Grammar, Language

    Do you make these spelling mistakes?


    Despite the easy availability of spell check tools, it's amazing how often people, even native speakers, misspell common words. Have a look at the following list, which consists of 20 of the most commonly misspelled words in English, to check if they ever cause you any spelling confusion. Remember, good spelling is never noticed but bad spelling sticks out like a sore thumb.



    Correct spelling           Remember   Common misspelling

    accommodation                 two cs, two ms, accomodate
    achieve                         i before e, acheive
    business                  starts with bus, buisness
    calendar                   -ar not –er, calender
    colleague                   -ea- in the middle, collegue
    committed                     double m, double t, commited
    disappear                       one s, two ps,       dissapear
    disappoint                      one s, two ps,       dissapoint
    forward                    begins with for,     foward
    government                   n before the m, goverment
    independent                 ends with –ent,     independant
    liaise, liaison         two i's, liase, liason
    noticeable                    remember the middle e,   noticable
    occasion                     one c, two s’s,       occassion
    preferred                      two rs,       prefered
    separate                 -par- in the middle, seperate
    successful               two cs, two s’s, succesful
    tomorrow                   one m, two rs,    tommorow
    referred                  two rs,      refered
    unfortunately                 ends with –ely,   unfortunatly



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