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Vocabulary Mistakes

There are several types of mistakes that could be included in the list of the most common writing mistakes among English students. While structure, content and grammar errors very often can undermine the quality of the essay, vocabulary mistakes can make it difficult to understand and, sometimes, even change the meaning of certain sentences completely.

Let us look at several common mistakes in relation to vocabulary that students and professional writers make on regular basis.

  • Use of verb “make” or “do.

    Basic meaning of the words is very clear, “make” means to produce, construct or create, while “do” mostly refers to act and carry out. The complexity comes in some of the idiomatic expressions that use both words. In order to avoid these mistakes, make sure to use idiomatic dictionary.

  • Incorrect use of the words “rise“, “arise” and “increase is the common mistake of not only foreign students, but native speakers as well.

    In order to avoid these common writing mistakes, it is useful to make a self-check. The basic meanings of the words are: rise increase, arise appear, increase become bigger, greater in size. When you are not sure which word is appropriate, try to replace it with one of the synonyms above and it will help you to avoid errors.

  • Another chapter in the common writing mistakes is the confusion between nouns, verbs and adjectives, as in English they very often differ in only one letter.

    Most common mistakes are observed in the words like “practise” (verb) and “practice” (noun), “advise” (verb) and “advice” (noun), “affect” (verb) and “effect” (noun). These words should be just remembered and it is very easy to make your paper of higher quality by simply applying correct words.

There are several specific common mistakes that are observed in the works of students for whom English is not a native language. Mostly, these mistakes come from indirect translation from native language and can be easily avoided by using thesaurus and idiomatic English dictionaries.

A lot of people underestimate the effect that vocabulary mistakes have on their writing, but for a good quality essays such mistakes are not acceptable.

To improve your skills, view our Writing tips section.

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