Whose language are you using? This is a very serious question that can have a huge impact on your life. If you are trying to learn a second language, it can be particularly frustrating if you have spent years immersed in English. It's important to realise that not all communication is based on English, indeed many languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese are much more similar to English in terms of structure and vocabulary. In this article I'll be going through some of the most common mistakes people make when learning a new language.
For example, many people are unfamiliar with the phrase "you're". This phrase is actually the subject of the verb "to you" in the imperative mood. In most languages the word you come after the main verb, but in British English the "you" comes before the verb. For example "You're trying to". Notice how "you're" has moved out of the equation?
Another common error is incorrectly adding -ise in front of the words you are trying to say. The problem is that -it isn't a definite pronoun and can sometimes sound awkward. An easy fix is to add -ise if you know the word you're trying to say. For example "You are great" or "You're great at". However this doesn't work when the subject of the verb is the "you" keyword. You could also try -izze which is the equivalent of -ise but sounds much less formal (the German version is -ize).
Most languages are inflected. This is where the words get formed by adding certain endings to them. So, if you were speaking French you'd use "tu" for words that are feminine and "vos" for those that are masculine. However the word "you" doesn't end in a hyphen, it's only used if there is no other word before it such as "vous". It would be very hard to form the words "your" and "you're acting" without the "you" part.
Grammar check is another area where many English speakers fall foul of. They may check each word for grammatical errors using a pre-printed list of rules but often fail to check properly for spelling mistakes. If you're not using a dictionary then try a good book that shows you where the different spelling rules are. Some examples include: Thesaurus by Mark Twain, A Dictionary of Modern Language and Thesaurus International. There are lots of other books available too!
Don't assume that your friends speak English correctly. Ask them to repeat things to you, and when they do give them a dictionary and show you where the mistake is. It doesn't matter how fluent they are as you are not their teacher. It will help you learn the language quicker. So if you are thinking of learning English, get your own dictionary, learn the spelling, practice using it and then you'll be speaking like a native!