SPEAK RIGHT, MIND YOUR GRAMMAR
- Less, fewer (countable nouns)
- Don’t say: There were less people.
- Say: There were fewer people.
‘Less’ is used before uncountable nouns while ‘fewer’ is used before countable plural nouns
- better/more better
- Don’t say: My opinion is more better than his.
- Say: My opinion is better than his.
‘Better’ and ‘more’ already both have comparative markers, so it is wrong to use two comparative markers together. It will lead to tautology(unnecessary repetition).
Incorrect: The deal is between you and I.
- Say: The deal is between you and me.
‘I’ is the subject of ‘me’. Objects are used after prepositions. So, only the object of ‘I’ can be used after ‘between’ since it is a preposition.
- Don’t say: She feels well.
- Say: She feels good.
‘well’ is the adverb of ‘good’. Only adjectives can be used as the complements of stative verbs. Therefore, that informs the correct use of ‘good’ instead of ‘well’.
- Linking verbs take the adjective form (bad/badly)
- Don’t say: The meat smells badly. I feel badly.
- Say: The meat smells bad. I feel bad.
- Close friend/tight friend
Incorrect: He is my tight friend.
- Say: He is my close friend.
- Beside (means “next to”)/besides (means “in addition to”)
- Don’t say: Ask him to sit besides me.
- Say: Ask him to sit beside me.
- eat your cake and have it/have your cake and eat it
- Don’t say: You cannot eat your cake and have it.
- Say: You cannot have your cake and eat it
If you think that someone wants the benefits of doing two things when it is only reasonable to expect the benefits of doing one, you can say that they want to have their cake and eat it. Idiomatic expressions are fixed, so it cannot be the other way.
- I am coming/I will be back
- Don’t say: Wait for me here; I am coming.
- Say: Wait for me here; I will be back.
This is influenced a lot by our mother tongue. ‘I am coming’ should depict a continuous progression towards the listener instead of a movement away.
- feel heat/feel hot
Incorrect: I feel heat.
- Say: I feel hot.
The complement of ‘feel’ here is expected to be an adjective and not a noun.
I shall add more later.