Writing and writing correction - how to get the most out of it

“So although within their limited vocab they may be gramatically exčellent, they all without fail, make mistakes only a 5 year old would in England.”–Ferdy
I suppose this is really true. I understand that five-year old boys are not working for the company.

As a “speaker of European English” I find the phrase “i need the report til Friday’” perfectly fine :slight_smile:

(and now you have ruined it for me, I will never be able to use this phrase again)

On a serious note, I also work for an International company (mostly working with partners in continental Europe, so almost no native speakers of English), the language of correspondence is English and “the report until Friday” is the mildest mistake I can think about (and until your post I would use it without the slightest hesitation).

We are all capable of making spelling mistakes and typos or other careless mistakes in our own language. There are a few in Ferdy’s post, and I make a lot of them myself.
I am always conscious of the fact that when I speak a foreign language, I may use unnatural phrasing. I look to writing correction as one opportunity to take note of these habits of mine in the hope that I can slowly reduce the occurrence of these mistakes.
There are examples of these kinds of common mistakes of usage in jviktors post here, and especially in Cosmo’s profile. If you would like, I will point them out.

I’m looking forward to see my mistakes pointed out :slight_smile:

Not a big deal but you can “think about” an issue, a problem, a book etc. but you “think of” a specific occurrence, like the “mildest mistake” your colleagues make.
Also “'until your post I would have used it without…”

Thanx for the corrections.

I find that prepositions (and articles for someone who doesn’t have articles in his native language(s)) are the hardest part. Actually I grasped the concept of articles only when I started to learn German, before that my English was almost completely article-less.

The book “Make it Stick, the science of learning” talks a lot about the importance of “reflection” and “elaboration” as learning techniques. For language learning, I find that writing engages both of these techniques (above the level for which reading, listening, speaking alone will bring to me). Often, when speaking, I don’t reflect a great deal on conversations. Often, when reading and listening, I don’t elaborate on the material I have just absorbed.

Writing is a good exercise by language learning. And it’s an important part of the language exam if you somewhen would like to have it. There are 4 parts in the exam: listening, reading, speaking and writing. You can prove your writing skills in Lingq.com by posting your writings here. You needn’t to write a long text: 6-8 sentences would be enough to see your typical grammar and stylistic mistakes. What about writing corrections I think they are often too captious, every tutor wants to add his\her ‘two pence’, especially in English- and I believe that such nagging, faultfinding corrections are hardly useful for the ‘poor student’ who is to decide which correction is better. What about ‘native’ and ‘non-native’ correctors. Of course, the native speakers can better see all stylistic mistakes, but often the non-native teachers can better improve and explain (that’s often a weak point of the native speakers!) your grammar mistakes. If you are interested, you can read my article here in Lingq.com in Russian and in English: ‘How to write and verify written texts’. Here is the link to the English version: Login - LingQ
And here you can find the Russian version of the article “Как писать и как проверять письменные тексты” : Login - LingQ

Jviktors, just replace with one of the following:

I need the report by Friday
You have until Friday to submit the report

Only if you need to keep the report (one that has already been written) until Friday. ‘Til Friday’ is better written as ‘until Friday’. The pronoun ‘I’ is always written in upper case.

@ginko, yes you’re right, and this is my point exactly. Something that seems a small mistake actually gives completely different meaning to the sentence. Another common mistake involves using ‘coming’ instead of ‘going’, ‘how’ instead of ‘what’, etc etc. These mistakes are commonly accepted as correct in European English. When i first arrived i got very confused, but now I’ve learnt to translate.

We can argue about 'til, till and until, till the cows come home, but they don’t change the meaning of a sentence. I usually write 'til although I’m pretty sure there is no such word. Till or until I believe are the correct English forms.

I think that the LingQ forum is the best place for practicing writing. You can write in every language on almost everything under the sun, and you can expect insightful responses from the LingQ members.

This message was not written as an advertisement. I wrote this for the sake of it, addicted to writing in English.

In a sense, the LingQ forum is a relatively safe space; most of us are just interested in learning one, two, or more foreign languages. I have a blog, but I don’t want to see my blog receiving flames from anonymous people. My blog is not interactive; I receive no comments there. However, you are an insightful moderate person, so you might be safe in any space. ( I wrote this for the sake of it. )

If you have your own blog, you can select which people are allowed to give comments there. I only allow people with official nicknames to give comments and their comments are only posted after I have acknowledged them. With such regulations trolling is made impossible.