|Introduction to the student
||Why have we produced a special web site
on common errors in English?
||To help you to identify and correct common
errors in your written work and so help you to
express yourself in a clearer and more acceptable
way. Good grammar helps you to express your own
and others ideas in a way which is easily
comprehensible for your readers. All teachers
like to read clear and understandable reports,
projects, and essays, so good grammar may
translate into good grades!
studied common error books at school. Why do I
have to do this again?
||There are a number of published common error
books for Hong Kong students of English but none
of them focus on errors in written academic
English. This material has such a focus
and should, therefore, be directly relevant to
the need of university students.
||Where do the error
samples come from?
||All the error samples are real they
were produced by Hong Kong students writing in
English. The samples have been collected over a
long period of time and have been ordered into
categories to aid systematic study and access to
particular errors. The samples present the
commonest or most frequent Hong Kong errors in
English. Many of these errors are, of course,
common to all non-native users of English, but
there are some categories of error (e.g. word
class: convenient/convenience) which are far more
common in Hong Kong than elsewhere.
||How is the material
||The booklet is a workout and so is organised
in the same way as a physical workout in 3
stages: warm up, exercise, and cool down.
Warm up activities are designed to help you
distinguish between appropriate and less
appropriate ways of expressing the same idea or
information. The exercise section is more
productive and requires you to identify errors
and correct them. Please note that rather than
guessing answers you are not sure of, you should
go to the CILL to find help in grammar reference
books. The cool down section requires you to
reflect on the rules of English grammar. At your
relatively advanced stage of learning a clear
knowledge of the rules can be very helpful.
||What can I use the
||Apart from practising your grammar in a
focused way, the material can also be used as a
useful checklist to help you proofread your
written work. Please note that the answer key
is separate from the workout itself.
||Do I have to work
through the material unit by unit in the order
||You can, but you dont have to. If you
are already aware of the most troublesome
categories of error for you individually, then
you can tackle those categories first.