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Learning from each other's mistakes is very useful. There are many common errors that people make when they are learning a language. Learners who share a native language often make similar mistakes. This is because they are bringing the rules of their own language to their new language.
Members often send me private messages with questions about the English language. I usually ask them to put their questions on my wall instead. Sometimes I ask them to pose their question at the Grammar Help Desk or in the Help Each Other With English forum. This is because I know many other members probably have the same question, and other members will benefit from the answer if it is out in public view.
This month I'd like you to share an English mistake that you used to make. This can be any kind of mistake, including a speaking, spelling, pronunciation, punctuation, or grammar error. However, it must be a mistake that you no longer make. You have learned the rules, and you no longer make this mistake.
1) Think of an English mistake that you used to make. This might be a mistake that you see or hear others making.
2) Start a new blog post. Use the title: Writing Challenge: A Mistake I Used To Make
3) Write an opening statement naming the error that you used to make. Be sure to use "used to" in your statement.
4) Note what kind of mistake this was (spelling, pronunciation, grammar etc.).
5) Explain any tricks you learned for remembering NOT to make this mistake. You can also tell us how you learned the correction. Did a teacher help you? Did you learn from a book, website, or friend?
6) Come back to this post and share a link to your blog post.
A Mistake I Used To Make
I used to write the word "definitely" incorrectly. This is a common spelling mistake. I've never been a strong speller, and I often found myself looking up this word. One day I noticed a spelling tip online. It said that the word definitely has the word "finite" in it. The word "finite" means having limited bounds. Now, whenever I go to write the word "definitely" I remember that it has to have the word "finite" in it. That prevents me from accidentally putting an "a" after the "n". This is also how I learned to spell the word "friend" when I was a young child. I used to reverse the "ie" in some words. Someone taught me that a "friend" is a friend to the "end". It has the word "end" at the end. I used to be embarrassed about my poor spelling. Now I know that my brain just needs to be taught how to remember the spelling of difficult words in memorable ways. I will definitely keep learning new spelling tricks.
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