English is a language that many of us begin learning from a very young age yet surprisingly a number of English speakers ,including native ones,  are prone to making frequent slip ups.  On the occasion of the UN English Language Day we list the 10 most common English mistakes and tell you on how to avoid making them.

One of my friend/ One of my friends

“Friend” is singular. “One of my friends” is the correct phrase.”One of my friend” does not have make any sense unless you only have a single friend and penchant for self-deprecating humor.

An year/ A year

The article “A” is used before a consonant. In the case of the word “year,” the “Y” functions as a consonant, so “a year” is the correct phrase.

Alot/ A lot

“A lot” means a great deal of something while “Alot” is an incorrect word. Nobody in his right mind writes “acow” instead of “a cow” so why make the mistake in this case.

Anyway/ Anyways

Anyways? Might as well spell it “Anywayz” so you can be more “Gangsta” and equally dumb.   “Anyway” is the grammatically correct word and sane people prefer to use it.

Pronouncing “Gif”

Many people pronounce “Gif” as “Jif” which is incorrect. It is not a “Joat” walking on the “jrass” that you see through your “joggles” while drinking a “jlass” of chocolate milk.  Any word that has a G, then a vowel, then an F, is pronounced with a hard G e.g. Gaffe. Gift, Gif.

Called as / Called

“Called as ” cannot be used in the same context as “Called”.

I have been called a witness. INCORRECT

(The speaker has been given the name witness.)

I have been called as a witness. CORRECT

(The speaker has been summoned as a witness.)


“Loose” as a  verb means to set something free while “lose” means to be deprived of something. You don’t set the hounds “lose”; you set them loose.


Perhaps the most common crime people commit against the English language is to  confuse between “Your” and “You’re”. “Your”  means belonging to or associated with you e.g. “your success”, “your trust” while “You’re” is simply a shortened term for “Your are”, e.g. “You’re successful”, “You’re trustworthy”.

Should of/Should’ve

“Should of” is an incorrect word and does not make any sense.  “Should’ve ” is the shortened formed of “Should have” and is correct.


“Fewer” is a comparative term used for items that can be counted. “Less” ,on the other hand, is used to refer to commodities that you cannot count individually.


When referring to yourself and someone else, the rule is to put their name first in the sentence and then choosing between  “me” or “I” by removing their name and seeing which sounds grammatically correct. It is not “Me and Obama are joining the circus” , it is “Obama and I joining the circus”. As for “myself ” , one only uses it in sentences  where ” I” has already been used before e.g. “I am joining the circus myself”.

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