Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Native speakers often make English grammar mistakes.

You might hear a native speaker say, “We might can do that.”

This is a very common mistake!

When native English speakers make grammar mistakes, it may be difficult to know how to react.

In today’s episode, learn three grammar mistakes made by native speakers and what you should do when you hear them.

Grammar mistakes by native English speakers

Even native English speakers make mistakes.

It doesn’t matter what their profession is or where they are from, people can make mistakes.

Lindsay recently heard her lawyer say, “We might can do that.”

It is grammatically incorrect.

Aubrey explains that this may be an effect of colloquial language.

She hears people saying this phrase in Idaho as well.

There are certain regions in America where this grammar mistake is so common that it is considered correct.

Is this grammar mistake acceptable?

It is important to know when it is acceptable.

You can often tell where people are from because of how they speak.

They may not realize or care that it is incorrect because it is normal to speak that way in their hometown.

However, this doesn’t mean it is considered grammatically correct in standard English.

In today’s episode, we will share how to determine these mistakes and how to deal with them when you hear them.

Incorrect English grammar

Today we are sharing some grammar mistakes that you may have heard.

It can sound like nails on a chalkboard which means something is really annoying to hear.

Lindsay and Aubrey will discuss them one by one and share how you can deal with each mistake.

They will also share what the correct grammar structure is for each example.

#1: ‘We might can do that’

This really means, ‘We might be able to’ do that.

Grammatically, it is incorrect but often the speaker does this to shorten the sentence.

This saves time and is acceptable in their regional dialect.

The correct way to say this is ‘We might be able to do that’ or ‘Maybe we can do that.’

#2: ‘You might could do that’

This can be part of someone’s regional dialect, but it is still grammatically incorrect.

This is not recommended to use in formal settings.

The correct way to say this is ‘You might be able to do that.’

#3: ‘Used to could’

  • Incorrect: You used to could turn right there, but now you can’t.

This means that you used to do something.

It can also be heard in rural areas of America.

This is another example of shortening sentences and getting the idea across faster.

The correct way to say this is ‘used to be able.’

  • Correct: You used to be able to turn right there, but now you can’t.

Roleplay

Aubrey and Lindsay share two roleplays that can help you better understand today’s topic.

The first includes these common errors.

The second roleplay shares the conversation with corrected grammar.

In this first roleplay, Aubrey and Lindsay are talking about their hometown and using colloquial incorrect grammar.

Aubrey: You used to could play in a park over there but it’s been replaced with apartments.

Lindsay: That’s such a bummer! They might could add a new park on the corner there.

Aubrey: Yeah, I might could ask someone if that’s in the works.

In this second roleplay, Lindsay and Aubrey use the correct grammar.

Aubrey: You used to be able to play in the park over there but it’s been replaced with apartments.

Lindsay: That’s such a bummer! They maybe could add a new park on the corner there.

Aubrey: Yeah, I could maybe ask someone if that’s in the works.

What should you do when you hear a mistake?

English is a very dynamic language and there are a lot of differences in speaking.

Though many phrases are grammatically incorrect, they are accepted in some regional English dialects.

We do not recommend you use these phrases, as they will sound incorrect to most English speakers.

However, you should be aware that you may hear these from time to time.

You don’t want to judge the person who made a mistake.

They may be talking like this because of where they are from and what they are used to saying.

It is spoken speech and what is most important is that you understand the point they want to make.

Takeaway

It is a vital soft skill to hear a mistake and move on.

Don’t break that human connection just because of a mistake.

As an English learner, you also don’t want to be judged as you are mastering a second language.

This same compassion should be shown to others as well.

What is a grammar mistake you often hear?

Share it in the comments below and let’s talk about the correct way of saying it.

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