Phần 4

Are native speakers of English always right? Join Tim and his twin brothers Tough Tim and Tolerant Tim for an argument about a common 'mistake' with conditionals

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    Bài tập 1

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Stop Saying

Do native English speakers make mistakes?

It can be confusing when you've studied grammar hard and then you hear a native English speaker saying something that isn't in the rule books. 

One example is this: If I'd have known, I wouldn't have done that. Is it wrong? Watch Tim and find out...

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The problem

Native speakers sometimes use structures that are not taught in grammar books. But are they wrong? Opinion is divided. Let's hear both sides of the argument.

It's wrong

As you heard from Tough Tim, some people think that native speakers who use structures that aren't in the rule books are simply wrong. They think it's bad English and, as a learner, you should never repeat those structures as you too will be wrong!

It's OK (man)

Tolerant Tim, however, says that we need to be more relaxed about it. He says that there are many different types of English and in certain dialects different structures exist that you won't find in the grammar books. They are right for speakers of those dialects. 


Whether you agree with Tough Tim or Tolerant Tim, it's probably best if you use a standard from of English for exams and formal situations like job applications and interviews. But if you're talking to friends and want to try out your Liverpudlian or Baltimorese, then good luck!

To do

See if you can 'correct' these common 'mistakes' made by native speakers into standard English 

Non-standard to standard

5 Questions

Choose the corrected version of the sentences

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Excellent! Bạn làm rất tốt! Bad luck! Điểm bạn đạt được:
x / y

End of session

That's it for this session. Many thanks to the staff and students of International House, London for their help with this video.


In Session 5 it's time to visit The White Elephant restaurant.

Phần Ngữ pháp

  • Typical native-speaker mistakes

    • Using 'would have' in both clauses of a third conditional

    If I'd have known, I'd have told him.

    • Past participle mistake

    I have drank too much wine tonight.

    • Using of instead of 've after modal verbs like 'should', 'could' and 'would'

    I should of known he'd be late.

    • Using double negatives

    I don't know nothing.

    • Using less rather than fewer for countable nouns

    There are less people here than I'd expected.