5 Common Mistakes in Spoken English in 2023

Learning Dec 10, 2023

As the year comes to an end you can happily look back on your language journey and on all the progress you have made. 

Throughout the year there were certain language learning mistakes that was common among English Language Learners

If you are interested in finding out what the 5 most common mistakes were in 2023, then keep reading. 

Confusing “lend” and “borrow” 

Mixing “lend” and “borrow” doesn’t only happen to new language learners. Many native speakers still make this mistake. 

You might be wondering what the difference is and how to use “lend” and “borrow” correctly.  

Standard English defines “to borrow” as taking something from someone with the intention of giving it back. While “to lend” or “to loan” means you are giving something to someone to use for a short period of time 

Most often people will use “borrow” instead of “lend”

for example: “Can you borrow me a pen? When the person really meant to say, “Can you lend me a pen?”  

Incorrectly using “me too” and “me either” 

Have you ever found yourself in a conversation and the person says something you can relate to, but you are unsure whether to comment with “me too” or “me either”? Let us have a closer look at the differences: 

The main difference between these two phrases is the one is positive while the other is negative

When you say “me too” you are making a positive comment, 

for example: someone says they love going to the beach then you would say “me too” which means you also like going to the beach.  

However, when you use the phrase “me either’” you are using it in a negative form, for example: when someone says they do not like mountain biking, and you comment “me either” you are basically saying that you also do not like mountain biking.  

Using “nobody” when you mean “anybody” 

Many language learners make the common mistake of replacing “anybody” with “nobody”.

A good example that happens quite often is - “I didn’t meet nobody instead of “I didn’t meet anybody.

The main reason why the sentence is incorrect when using “nobody” instead of “anybody” is because you cannot use “nobody” in a sentence that already has the word “not” in it because the sentence is already in the negative form.  

Mixing up “since” and “for” 

This is a mistake that even native speakers still make sometimes. When you use the word “since” you are referring to something to a time where an action has begun and is continuing; whereas when you use “for” you are referring to a time in the past, present, or future 

For example: 

  • “John has been away for the past month”  

  • “She is coming to visit for a few days” 

  • “I have known him since we were children” 

  • “I have been working here since the beginning of 2023” 


Confusing “less” and “fewer” 

When talking about countable and non-countable nouns many English speakers still incorrectly use “less” and “fewer” in a sentence, even native speakers!  

The best way to correctly use each is to know what they mean. When you use “less” in a sentence you are talking about a non-countable item whereas “fewer” is used when you want to refer to countable items

Here are some examples to help you better understand: 

  • “People who have fewer than 10 items can use the express lane” 

  • “I have fewer euros now than I did last week” 

  • “I have less patience today than I did yesterday” 

  • “You have less comments today than you did on Monday” 

And there you have it – the 5 most common mistakes in Spoken English in 2023. You might have noticed that most of the mistakes occur because people mix up their word. 

But that is okay, because it is normal to make mistakes. Do not feel discouraged when you make mistakes. Mistakes are what help you learn and grow.  

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