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What do you ALWAYS get wrong in your native language


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For me it's lead / led. I remember maybe 8 or 9 years back a client dropping me a note to say 'hey, you quite often get led/lead wrong: "this has lead the MIT to introduce..."

 

A decade later, and I'm still doing it. I don't even want to think how many times I've done it and not noticed and sent it in. I'm sure it's lead to much embarrassment. 

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I have trouble with verb tenses. This was pointed out to me by a 同行 who speaks native Dutch and English, and with English verbs working slightly differently from Dutch ones I'm often not quite sure whether her corrections are influenced by her English or whether I really did get it wrong and if so, whether her corrections are right.

 

In English I used to spell a certain word 'definately', but I figured that out after years of getting it wrong.

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Possessive "it's" vs. "its", as in "The dog chewed its bone". Possessive nouns get "'s" added, as in "The dog chewed the dog's bone", so I automatically want to add it here to make "it's bone". After someone pointed out that "it" is a pronoun and not a noun, I remember the correct usage a lot better.

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somethingfunny

I pronounce "uck" and "ook" the same.  Which means book=buck, took=tuck, look=luck.  It's not a big problem, but it was pretty funny when a friend and I realised this a few years ago.

 

In terms of grammar, it's got to be semicolons.  My solution has been to never use them, but I feel it harms the level of my written English.

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