There is no doubt that learning English is tough. Students whose first language is something very different from English (like Korean) may have some specific difficulties in speaking and writing. Here are a few common errors and how to fix them.
× I play with my friends.
o I spend time with my friends or I hang out with my friends.
▶ Children play with their friends; they often play games together. Adults spend time together or hang out – we only use play for adults to indicate a specific activity (i.e. we play soccer).
× I am so boring / exciting / embarrassing
o I am so bored / excited / embarrassed
▶ If an adjective is used to express emotions, the –ing form expresses the cause of the emotion, and the –ed form expresses the result. If you say that you are boring, you are saying that you make other people feel bored.
× I go to work. And I go home.
o I go to work. Then I go home.
▶ Don’t start sentences with “and.” Use “then” to show that one event happens after another. If you want to show multiple things happening, use “and,” then combine it with the preceding sentence using a comma.
× I had apples at home. Because I went to the store.
o I had apples at home because I went to the store.
▶ Because is used to show cause and effect. If you start a sentence with “because,” make sure there is a clause in the same sentence showing what the effect was.
By Judith Woods, Instructor, Language Education Center