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Use of Phrases in English

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Use of phrases in the English language is a very interesting and at times a hilarious affair. As Indians, we love to translate the entire sentence, word to word, from Hindi to English; therefore sometimes it becomes quite hilarious. Here’s a look at some of the most commonly used phrases in English which are incorrect.

 

“What’s your good name?”

There is no good or bad name. A name is just a name. So, instead of asking a person’s “good name” what we can ask instead is “May I know your name? or May I take your name?”. It sounds polite and is the correct way of knowing someone’s name.

“Where do you put up?”

Do we put down also!! Well! There is a proper way to ask where the person lives. You can simply ask “Where do you live or where do you reside?”

“Kindly revert back”

Another commonly used phrase is “Kindly revert back”. Revert itself means to reply back so we need not add an additional back with revert.

“Discuss About”

Next comes the humble “discuss about”. Now, you will ask what’s wrong with this phrase. Well! Discuss means to talk about things. Therefore, we again need not add an extra about to it.

“Today Itself”

Next in line is “I will do the work today itself”. Today means by end of the day. So we need not add itself to it

Similar to the above is “I came back today only”.. Again, if you have come today , then it means you are already here, so need not again put an extra only to it.

“Backside ”

Now comes the most amusing phrase used “My house is at the backside of the park”. Ahh!! Backside!! Well, we all know what it refers to!! Instead of saying the backside entrance, we can simply say “the rear of the park or the back of the park or entrance”.

“Out of Station”

We Indians love traveling. And it’s a common phrase to say “out of station”. Again, in earlier times when railway was the preferred mode of transport, this phrase could have still made sense as it referred to moving out of the railway station. But no longer is this phrase apt for today’s era. We can replace this phrase by simply saying “I was out of town”.

“Passed Out”

Next in line is “passed out”. Again a term very commonly used. Now, this means that a person has become unconscious or fainted. We never ever use this phrase to ask “When did you pass out from college?” It literally means “When did you faint in college?” The correct way to as is “When did you complete your college education?” or “When did you pass from college?”

“Giving Exams”

We are all scared of giving exams, isn’t it? There we go!!! Again an Indian phrase commonly used by all “Are you giving your board exams?” That’s completely incorrect. The suitable way of saying this is “Are you taking you board exams?”

“Real Brother / Sister”

As Indians, we love to talk incessantly about our family. And then comes another Indian phrase widely used by most of us; “My real brother/sister”. Come on!! Do we have a fake brother or sister too? No!!! So simply say “siblings”. Another error which we make while talking about our family is “cousin brother/sister”. Cousin is a cousin; you need not add a brother or sister to it.

“Hinglish”

Let’s talk about Hinglish now!! Adding a “Na” at the end of sentence. “You are coming for the movie, na?” Come to think of it!! You are literally asking that person to not come!! Just ask “Are you coming for the movie?” Let that person say a ‘haan’ or a ‘na’!!

“Himself /  Herself”

Another language fallacy is the use of “herself”, inappropriately. e.g. “She herself only completed the work”. Which means that she did the work on her own. A better and of course the correct way of saying this is “She did the work all by herself or she did the work on her own.”

“Back”

Back is back again!! This time wrongly used in a different concept. Ever heard people saying ­­“Two years back I was in China?” Well! Well! Well! No back here please!!! Usage of a small word here, will change the way you talk. Please replace “back” with “ago”. Hence, it’s “Two years ago, I was in China.”

“Overusing Present Continuous Tense ”

Last, but not the least is the over usage of the “Present Continuous Tense”. Words like having, liking, etc. How does this sentence sound – He’s is loving those shoes? Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! It should be “He loves those shoes”. Another common one is “Are you having your laptop with you?” Didn’t know we can eat laptops too!!! “Having is consuming”. Therefore, we cannot use having unless we are referring to an eatable item. Instead please say” Do you have your laptop with you?” “Have” indicates possession.

Hope, the above fantastic fifteen will be an eye opener and we stop using these phrases to make our English sound more refined.

Getting my point!! Ohhh!!! I mean, got my point?

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

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