Fix Your Bad English


After watching this video you will make less mistakes, learn farther and be the best between all your friends in English. The lesson will have a great affect on you. If you think these statements are correct

Hi. James, from EngVid. Today’s video is on, well, “The Book of Bad English”. There are mistakes that native speakers make that ESL people pick up — and “ESL” is “English as a Second Language”. People learning English, they pick up because native speakers don’t even know they’re making this mistake. So I want to teach you six common ones that come regularly or happen regularly in conversation. And I want you to learn them and make your English perfect. Let’s go to the board.
Now, let’s start with No. 1, one of my favorite ones: “amount” and “number”. “Amount” is, sort of, like, “how much”. A “number” is, you know, “thing”. When we look at “amount”, you can think of you can’t count it, all right? A lot of times, when we say “amount” — like, “I have a large amount of water in my house” — you can’t count water. But you can count a number, so: “The number of people who come to the city is in the thousands”, so you can count them. Here’s an example. Tell me if this is right or wrong. “The amount of students who are late is growing every day” or “the number of students who are late is growing every day.” You should say “number” because you can count students. You can’t count amount. That rhymes. Maybe that’ll help, right? You can’t count amount. You can’t count amount. So when we want to talk about a number of something or a body of something, “amount” is for things you cannot count, and “number” is for things you can count. English people make this mistake a lot.
Next: “among” and “between”. When I used to teach “among” and “between”, I would say, “‘Among’ is ‘with’. So there’re five chairs, and you’re ‘with’ another. And ‘between’ is you’re in the middle.” That’s it. Because I was so smart. And then I found out it’s just this: two. More than two. That’s it. Nothing special. When you talk about “between”, except — and this is a major exception — when you’re talking about differences. Differences you have to use “between”. But generally speaking, “among” is more than two. “I was sitting among my friends at the bar.” You can know there’re probably four or five, not two. But “let’s keep this between you and me”? A lot of times, Canadians say, “Let’s keep this among us.” And it’s like, “Among who?” “The rest of those guys, you know. The Americans. They don’t need to know this.” Okay. So “between us” — usually two, right? It could be two groups. “There was a fight between this country and that country.” Right? Because it’s two groups. But “among” is for more than two, cool? All right. So “among” — more than two; “between” — two.
What about “bring” and “take”? This is something that a lot of students make a mistake on. So you say, “Bring this to me” or “take this to him.” It’s very easy. “Bring” is “to the speaker”, okay? And “take” is “away from the speaker”. Now, if you’re born in England, that’s easy because they always talk about “I want takeaway.” Takeaway. Because they take the food away from the restaurant, right? So one of my favorite sayings that we say in England — not England — that we say here is, like — watch every space movie: “Take me to your leader.” You’ll never see a space movie, unless it’s made by me — and it would say, “Bring me to your leader.” We don’t do that. You say, “Take them to the leader” because you’re taking them away from this spot where the speaker is to a new location or spot. So “take” and “bring” are easy because it’s “bring — come towards”. Here’s a mistake — not Canadians — English speakers make that you should be aware of. They’ll say something like, “Don’t forget to bring your bag with you” instead of, “Don’t forget to take your bag.” Do you know what the difference is? Well, you’re leaving, right? So you need to take it away. Remember I said “away from”? Take the bag away from you. When you say, “Bring the bag with you”, the speaker’s speaking, you’re still moving away from the speaker, right? So you’ve got to use this. But Canadians and Americans and Brits say it a lot. They’ll say, “Bring it with you.” No. “Take” it with you. You know the difference now because you’re smart. And you’re studying from The Book of Bad English. Good for you. There’s a worm in that book. Watch it.
Okay. “Fewer” or “less”. I’m going to make a statement, and think which one is correct. “‘Fewer’ than a million people have watched the videos on EngVid. ‘Less’ than a million people have watched the videos on EngVid.” Which one would be correct? Yeah. If you said “less than”, no. “Less” is similar to “amount”. You say “fewer” for things you can count.

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