Common Mistakes made in English + Bonus!


  • -ed VS -ing 


A very common mistake is mixing up the endings of adjectives.

Let’s look at some sentences below:  



I am exciting for the party tomorrow. X
I am excited for the party tomorrow.    O
The party was exciting.   O
The party was excited. X


When do we use -ing and -ed? 


We use -ed to describe the emotion that the subject is feeling. 


We don’t normally use -ed for non-living things, like a party or a table.
We only use -ed for people or animals. 


For example,


Sue was bored. (Sue feels bored.)


We use -ing to describe the subject itself. It is a description of the subject.


For example,


Sue was boring. (Sue is a boring person.)



  • To play / to do


In Japanese, to play or do something has the same verb – やる.

A common mistake is to confuse them when describing sports.


Wrong Correct
I played swimming. I went swimming.
I played yoga. I did yoga.
I did soccer yesterday. I played soccer yesterday.
I do every week. I go hiking every week.


Play is usually used for games: I play soccer/tennis/chess.  (私はサッカー/テニス/チェスをする)

Go/went is usually used for activities we have to go to: I went hiking/swimming/skiing. (私はハイキング/水泳/スキーをしに行った。)

Do is usually for a non-team activity you do alone: I do yoga/gymnastics/meditation. (私はヨガ/体操/瞑想をする


  • Go to home / call to him


We use the preposition to” to indicate a direction or destination.


For example,


I will go to Kyoto tomorrow.
I will send a letter to Tom.


However, we don’t need to use to” for the verbs “home” and “call”. We can just say:


I will go home after dinner.
I will call Tom tomorrow.


  • BONUS!!: Idiom


  1. Break the ice

If you break the ice at a party or meeting, or in a new situation, you say or do something to make people feel relaxed and comfortable.



E.g. I broke the ice at the meeting with a joke. (私はジョークで会議の緊張をほぐした)

I tried to break the ice by offering her a drink, but she said no. (私は彼女にお茶をおごって話してみようとしたが、彼女は断った。)