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Common Mistakes in English
(made by Tunisians)
This’s a non-exhaustive list of mistakes that Tunisian learners of English (students
and professionals) have a tendency to make when using the language. Some are
due to the influence of the French language and others are overgeneralizations (or
oversimplification).
actually vs. currently
 actually = in fact
• Tunisia is in North Africa, not in Asia.
• Actually, Tunisia is in north Africa, not
in Asia.
 currently = presently
• I work for a big company now.
• I work for a big company, currently
(/presently).
take & pass an exam
 take an exam: answer the questions
 pass an exam: succeed in it
ameliorate & improve
 “Ameliorate” does exist in English, but very educated people tend to be the ones
who use it. Avoid using Shakespearean English in you everyday talk.
 Instead of “ameliorate,” use “improve.”
 Improve (v); improvement (n)
company vs. society
 company = business ; society = group of people
 You work in a company.
 You belong to a society.
discuss about something
 You don’t discuss about your projects; you discuss them.
It depends
 When people are not decided or sure of an answer, they tend to use “it depends.”
Remember that’s not a full answer. If you want to use “it depends, ” use it in full
sentence and… use it with the right preposition.
 It depends on something.
interested in
 You’re not interested by; you’re interested in something
I agree vs. I am agree
 “Agree” is a verb. So, when you’re of the same opinion of someone else, you
agree with them (not you are agree). Thus, when you want to verbally express it,
say ‘I agree” or “I concur.”
must, not must to
 When you have to do something, you must do it, you don’t “must to” do it.
 There’s no “to” after “must”. Remember the rule says that you use modals with
bare infinitives (infinitives without “to”)? Guess what? “Must” is a modal.
 So, if you have to study to succeed, you must study to succeed.
Pronunciation
 this /ðɪs/ vs. these /ðiz/
 comfortable /ˈkʌmf tə bəl, ˈkʌm fər tə bəl/
 hotel /hoʊˈtɛl/
 walk /wɔk/
 talk /tɔk/
 half /hæf, hɑf/

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Common Mistakes Tunisians Make in English

  • 1. Common Mistakes in English (made by Tunisians)
  • 2. This’s a non-exhaustive list of mistakes that Tunisian learners of English (students and professionals) have a tendency to make when using the language. Some are due to the influence of the French language and others are overgeneralizations (or oversimplification).
  • 3. actually vs. currently  actually = in fact • Tunisia is in North Africa, not in Asia. • Actually, Tunisia is in north Africa, not in Asia.  currently = presently • I work for a big company now. • I work for a big company, currently (/presently).
  • 4. take & pass an exam  take an exam: answer the questions  pass an exam: succeed in it
  • 5. ameliorate & improve  “Ameliorate” does exist in English, but very educated people tend to be the ones who use it. Avoid using Shakespearean English in you everyday talk.  Instead of “ameliorate,” use “improve.”  Improve (v); improvement (n)
  • 6. company vs. society  company = business ; society = group of people  You work in a company.  You belong to a society.
  • 7. discuss about something  You don’t discuss about your projects; you discuss them.
  • 8. It depends  When people are not decided or sure of an answer, they tend to use “it depends.” Remember that’s not a full answer. If you want to use “it depends, ” use it in full sentence and… use it with the right preposition.  It depends on something.
  • 9. interested in  You’re not interested by; you’re interested in something
  • 10. I agree vs. I am agree  “Agree” is a verb. So, when you’re of the same opinion of someone else, you agree with them (not you are agree). Thus, when you want to verbally express it, say ‘I agree” or “I concur.”
  • 11. must, not must to  When you have to do something, you must do it, you don’t “must to” do it.  There’s no “to” after “must”. Remember the rule says that you use modals with bare infinitives (infinitives without “to”)? Guess what? “Must” is a modal.  So, if you have to study to succeed, you must study to succeed.
  • 12. Pronunciation  this /ðɪs/ vs. these /ðiz/  comfortable /ˈkʌmf tə bəl, ˈkʌm fər tə bəl/  hotel /hoʊˈtɛl/  walk /wɔk/  talk /tɔk/  half /hæf, hɑf/

Editor's Notes

  1. This mistake is coming from French.