10 Grammar Errors that Drive British People Crazy

In this article today, we will talk about phrases and grammar mistakes that drive English people crazy. And they’re normally mistakes made by native speakers. However, it would be really interesting for you guys to see these mistakes and to hear about them, so that you can identify when these mistakes are made.

Let’s get started with the lesson today!

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10 Grammar Errors that Drive British People Crazy

1, Using “Of” instead of “have/’ve”

The first one, and this one is massive, it really does annoy people.

So, it is correctly said that “I would have, I should have”

  • Oh, I should have gone to the shops.
  • Oh, I would have eaten it but I was full.

However, people often mishear it when it’s in a contraction form “should’ve”, “would’ve”. They think we’re saying “should of” and “would of”, which is incorrect, and so that’s now becoming quite common.

  • Oh you should of.
  • Oh, you would of.
  • Oh, we could of.

Saying like that is totally wrong, but it’s so frequently used and it does annoy people.It is technically incorrect, so if you ever see people writing it, or hear people saying it, you know that it’s incorrect. They should have studies a little harder in school.

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2, Using “Can I get” or “Can I grab” instead of “Please can I help?” or “Please may I have?”

This phrase is often used when people order food, or drinks in restaurants and coffee shops. It’s something that’s quite American that’s come over to Britain and the British don’t seem to like it a lot.

And it is when people say, instead of “please may I have”, or “please can I have”, they say “can I get”, or “can I grab”.

  • Can I get a glass of water,
  • Can I get a coffee?

It’s just not very polite, because we’re missing out that all-important “Please”.

“Please may I have…” is the most polite. “Please can I have…” is acceptable, but saying “can I get”  is like saying “can I obtain”. It sounds like, yes you can, or you physically can, but you’re not really asking for it. So that annoys a lot of people.

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3, Starting sentences with “So…”

This grammar error is made by a lot of native speakers as it gives people a little bit of time to think before they say something.

If you are making the same mistake, what should you do is to practice thinking more before you speak.

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4, Wrongly pronouncing “H”

Many people pronounce the letter H as heytch /heɪtʃ/. Instead, its correct pronunciation is eytch /eɪtʃ/.

The main reason for this common error is because the letter H makes a ‘ha’ sound, so it makes sense that it would be pronounced heytch, right? Wrong, unfortunately. It should just be pronounced /eɪtʃ/.

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5, Overusing the word “like”

The thing that really grinds people’s gears, really annoys them, is the overuse of the word ‘like’.This may have come over from America in TV shows from  teenage TV shows. But it’s widely used, especially amongst the younger generation. They like saying “like” all the time without any specific meaning, and it’s so annoying.

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6, Saying “sat down” instead of “sitting down”

Instead of saying “sitting down”, many English native speakers tend to say fast “sat down”. So, it is grammatically correct to say “I was sitting on a bench”, many people would say “I was sat on a bench”, and it’s incorrect. It should be ‘sitting’.

But people seem to say ‘sat’ a lot, and it cheeses them off.

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7, Misusing reflexive pronouns

There are many case where people misuse reflexive pronouns. It may be when people say “myself” instead of “me” or “I”.

For example:

  • “Hi, can I talk to John please?” => “Yep, that is myself”

Why don’t you just say “yep, that’s me”?

  • “Myself and my colleague will be here to help you”.

You should just say “my colleague and I will be here to help you”.

It is just unnecessary and it even sounds really bad if you overuse of the word “myself”.

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8, Using an adjective instead of an adverb

For example:

  • He did good.
  • He did it well

Now, good is an adjective, well is an adverb.

So if I say he did good, it means he did a good deed, he did something good. But if I say he did well, it means he did something in a good way.

So a common mistake is when people say “how are you doing?”. And they say “yeah, I’m doing good”. It should be “I am doing well”.

Doing good would mean “I’m giving loads to charity, gave my lunch to a homeless person”. That’s not what they intend to say, unless they did do that which is excellent.

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9, Using “No offence, but…”

If you say “no offence”, it means that you don’t intend to offend anyone, but if you say “no offence, but”, and then you say something really offensive, this will really annoy listeners.

For example:

  • “No offence, but you look terrible in that dress”
  • “I really hate you, no offence”

Well, you’ve just said something offensive, so don’t say “no offence” because it’s offensive.

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10, Saying “them” instead of “those”

It should be said that “I want those shoes”, but some people may say “I want them shoes, them ones over there”. It’s not correct, it should be those.

  • “Those” is the plural form of “that”.

For example: That cat => those cats.

  • Them is a pronoun. It’s the objective case of they.

For example: I gave them the cat.

However, “them” is used in place of “those” in certain dialects now. In certain places in the UK, it’s completely acceptable because the mistake has been made so many times.

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This is the end of today’s lesson. It was different, but please let me know if you liked it. If there are any other things that annoy you in the English language such as common mistakes, or common mispronunciations, do comment it down below.  In order to get further explanation and practice your listening skills also, watch the video below. Thank you for reading and see you in the next writing!

Credit: Youtube Channel “English With Lucy”


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