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Rediff.com  » Getahead » 'I could not able to do it'

'I could not able to do it'

By Shilpa Archaya, SM Hussein
May 03, 2007 14:31 IST

Terrible grammar and error-riddled speech is frequently a problem for young adults.

 

Poor English makes you sound unprofessional and can lead to laughs at your expense! If you need to touch up on your English, or just want a few giggles, read on!

 

Continuing our user-driven series on common English bloopers, let's highlight a few mistakes overhead by Rediff.com users.

 

Shilpa Archaya sent several bloopers she encounters frequently.

 

~ Please return my book back.

~ Could you repeat that last line again?

 

In both cases, the final word is redundant. When you return a book, you give it back to the owner. When you repeat a line, you're saying it again. They should read:

 

~ Please return my book.

~ Could you repeat that last line?

 

Shilpa also noted the following common mistake.

 

~ I, my sister and Deepa went to the mall

 

'I' and 'me' are always placed at the end of a list of names/ pronouns. The correct usage is:

 

~ My sister, Deepa and I went to the mall.

 

SM Hussein from Andhra Pradesh notes the prevalence of other redundancies:

 

~ The fish aquarium is very large.

~ The dance ballet was lovely.

 

In both cases, the descriptive word is unnecessary. An aquarium houses fish and a ballet is always a dance! The correct usage is simply:

 

~ The aquarium is very large.

~ The ballet was lovely.

 

Another mistake Hussein hears frequently:

 

~ I could not able to do it, sir.

 

In this case, either able should be removed or could should be replaced with was. Here are the two correct possibilities:

 

~ I could not do it, sir.

~ I was not able to do it, sir.

 

 Later this week, we'll provide gut-busting bloopers arising from errant Hindi-English translations!

 

DON'T MISS

Common English goof-ups
Mistakes we make while speaking English

We thank our readers for the witty emails detailing common English bloopers they've come across! Keep them coming in, and we'll keep publishing. This is the third in a series of articles featuring your responses.

If you'd like to share common bloopers you come across when people speak/ write in English, do mail your list of common bloopers, along with their correct alternative to englishbloopers@rediffmail.com -- we'll highlight them right here as a helpful guide to those trying to improve their English. Also make sure you include your FULL NAME, AGE, OCCUPATION and the CITY you are based in.

Shilpa Archaya, SM Hussein
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