When learning anything, it's completely normal to make mistakes. This is especially true when learning a new foreign language. We are not expected to immediately know everything perfectly. Foreign languages can be complicated and challenging, and this is specifically the case with the English language. Mistakes in English often sneak their way in due to some words being pronounced the same or because of words having a very similar meaning.

This blog will show us some of the most common mistakes in English which occur due to homophones, to at least make things easier when it comes to them.

1. Than/then

Since the words than and then are pronounced the same, it's clear why they create problems in usage.

Then is used to express a chronological order - something happened after something else.

He brushed his teeth, and then he went to bed.

Than is useful in comparisons.

He likes her more than he likes me.

If you cannot recall which word to use, remember that then answers the question when?, and they differ in just the initial letter.

2. Your/you’re

Here we have another example of homophones, i.e. words which are pronounced the same, but are written differently.

Your is a possessive determiner, just like my, their, his, her, its and our. Therefore, it tells us who owns something.

This is your cat.

You’re, on the other hand, is a contraction of the phrase you are. The apostrophe in this case represents the omitted letter "a" from the word "are". are.

You’re great at this job!

3. Their/there/they’re

We again have an example of homophones that make the language more difficult. In this case there are three words used daily, but people still sometimes have issues.

Their was already mentioned in the previous example as a possessive determiner, and we will use it like this:

Their shoes are old.

They’re is also similar to the aforementioned: just like you’rethis word is a contraction of the phrase -they are.

They’re from my teacher.

There signifies a location, but it can also be used to express that someone or something exists.

He is there.

There is a book on the desk.

4. Pore/poor/pour

Of the three words in the subtitle, the most commonly used is probably the word pour- which is a verb which means "to cause something to flow from or into a container or place".

Can you pour me a cup of coffee?

Poor is an adjective that usually means "having little money", but is can also be used in the context of "low quality or skill" (e.g. poor team player). Riječ također može biti i imenica ako uz nju dodamo određeni član i tako stvorimo riječ koja označava grupu ljudi koja je siromašna (the poor).

Riječ pore može, također, biti glagol i imenica. Kao glagol označava detaljno gledanje ili proučavanje.

I want to pore over this book.

As a noun, it stands for "a tiny opening on the surface of your skin".

5. To/too

To is a preposition used in almost every sentence. We use it to express the direction or goal of movement.

I am going to work soon.

It is also used to determine the object or the receiver of something.

He means a lot to me.

Or when we want to indicate a range.

The train is going from Zagreb to Osijek.

There are more applications of the word to, but these are the most common ones.

greške u engleskom jeziku - razlika između to i too

And regarding the word too, it can simply be used instead of the word "as well" or "in addition".

I am going, too.

Apart from that, it is used to say when you want to express excessiveness.

This car is too slow.

Mistakes in English that we've mentioned are a common occurrence for beginners,but they can also be made by experienced speakers of the English language if they are not careful. In everyday speech, the mistakes are unnoticeable, but if you want to make a good impression in your written communication, you should pay attention to what we've learned today.

And if you need a translator or a proofreader, our expert translators and court interpreters can do that job for you, so that you don't have to worry about whether something is over there, next to their table that they’re looking at.

Contact us at info@dialog-group.eu.