AEE 180: Native Speaker Expressions that Are Not in Your English Textbook

native english speakers break rulesNative English speakers often break grammar rules – did you know that?

Today we discuss six common ways native English speakers mistakenly speak their own language!

Language creates culture, and people talk the way they want to be seen.

Sometimes this means being loose with the language, whether using slang or speaking in a way that is more comfortable than right.

 

Here are six rules that native English speakers break all the time:

  • Double Negatives: As in the phrase, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” Though it isn’t intended, a double negative would actually mean a positive! “I don’t want no more coffee” is the same as saying “I want more coffee.”
  • “Got” instead of “Have”: You might hear someone say, “Yeah, I got a car,” or “I got no money.” These are wrong because they use “got” to replace “have.”
  • “Ain’t”: Americans are usually told as children that “ain’t” is not a word, but many of us use it anyway. If someone says “I ain’t going,” or “I ain’t sure about that,” they usually mean to say “I’m not.”
  • “If I Was/Were”: In most cases, this should be “If I were,” but not always. When someone says “If I was wrong, I apologize,” the statement says the speaker accepts that he or she was wrong. But when someone says “If I were wrong, I would have apologized,” the speaker is saying that would have apologized if they were wrong, but they weren’t!
  • Past participle avoided: When someone says “I have went to all those countries,” they are using the simple past form of “went.” The correct form would be “I have been to all those countries.”
  • “Would Have” in a Past Conditional: It is wrong to say “If I would have had more money, I would have gone,” because Would Have cannot be used in a past conditional. Instead, the correct form is “If I had had money, I might have (or could have) gone.”

 

Have you ever heard native English speakers use grammar incorrectly?

Does it happen in your own language?

Tell us about it below in the comments section!

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