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Thread: Common Mistakes Native Germanic Language Speakers Make

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    Common Mistakes Native Germanic Language Speakers Make

    I've often seen Americans and Brits confusing you're with your, its with it's etc., even more often than people who speak English as a foreign language do.

    Some further examples:



    What are some mistakes you've noticed native speakers of English, as well as any other Germanic languages make and what do you think is to blame for it? Illiteracy, lack of education, laziness, etc.?

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    A common mistake native English speakers seem to make make and I never understood why and still don't, is using "would of" instead of "would have". I simply can't wrap my head around it how someone could confuse of for have in written language.
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    Don't worry, I am right there with you on this issue! Please keep pointing out the improper use of commas, periods, apostrophes and of vs have. As for grammar, I don't care how others do it, but reserve the right to use the passive voice and even got into an argument with my University professor, citing academic sources for my reasons.

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    I've seen almost all of these a zillion times and willfully continue doing some of them, perhaps even in this post A teacher once told me you weren't allowed to break the rules of English until you've learned them.

    One that I've seen time and time again and has, for the most part, gone under the radar is the difference between well and good. Strong suspicion that it's a class marker too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juthunge View Post
    A common mistake native English speakers seem to make make and I never understood why and still don't, is using "would of" instead of "would have". I simply can't wrap my head around it how someone could confuse of for have in written language.
    My guess is that most of us hear it purely as a contraction in our heads (would've) and rarely say it in its full form. Definitely a weird mistake to make.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Juthunge View Post
    A common mistake native English speakers seem to make make and I never understood why and still don't, is using "would of" instead of "would have". I simply can't wrap my head around it how someone could confuse of for have in written language.
    It’s just the sound of it. People don’t think of it as “would’ve” when they finally write it down. Most people hear the contraction as closer to “of” and make the mistake without thinking too much about it.

    Speaking of this, when I began learning German it made me reflect on how interesting the word “have” is in English. Possessive, yet it can also function like an auxiliary verb: “must” or “should”. And then when you really sit there and think about a sentence like “he would have had to have known!”, it hurts your head a little, but spoken - it makes complete sense.

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    I had thought , that it is auto completion responsible for those mistakes .
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    My absolute favourite is "could of" instead of "could have". That's just horrible.
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    This might be a bit off-topic, since this thread is about native speakers, but one thing I've noticed about Germans writing English, is their some times odd use of contractions like I've (as in: 'I have'). For example in sentences like: "There's something I've to tell you". It seems very off to me, and I wonder if those who write it actually talk that way as well. I've never noticed any English-speaking Germans ever saying something like that, so perhaps it's an oddity that only happens in writing.
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    One such re-occuring error I've noticed is Anglos writing "dominate", when what they really meant to write is "dominant".
    “We think that we are born today tabula rasa without a history, but man has always lived in the myth. To think that man is born without a history within himself — that is a disease. It is absolutely abnormal, because man is not bom every day. He is born into a specific historical setting with specific historical qualities, and therefore, he is only complete when he has a relation to these things. If you are growing up with no connection from the past, it is like being born without eyes and ears and trying to perceive the external world with accuracy. Natural science may say, “You need no connection with the past; you can wipe it out”, but that is a mutilation of the human being.” – Carl Gustav Jung, 1957

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    Your instead of you're is so common and really gets on my nerves each time I see it. I've seen it on this forum too a few times (e.g. "your an idiot")

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