Hello, and welcome again to Mistake Monday! I often hear my Spanish-speaking students make this mistake, but I've also heard native speakers of other languages saying these incorrect phrases, so it's a good idea to look at it:
|Common Error: Using "have" incorrectly |
|DON’T say this:|
|WHY?||-Phrases like this may make sense in other languages, but in English we sometimes have to re-phrase them or use a different helping verb. |
-For example, in English a person doesn't "have" a number of years; instead, s/he is a number of years old: "John is 23 (years old)."*
*Note: in this example, you can say "John is 23" or "John is 23 years old," but not "
-In the second incorrect example above, if you want to say how long something has been happening, generally you use a present perfect tense and the word for: "Tina has worked at her new job for 10 months" OR "Tina has been working at her new job for 10 months."
-In the third example, we also need to use the verb "to be" as our helping verb: "I am hungry." (Notice that we change hunger to hungry, since "hungry" is an adjective). We generally use the verb "to be" with other temporary emotions like:
(TO BE + __ ): hungry, thirsty, awake, asleep, tired, hot, cold, bored, annoyed, happy, etc.
-Finally, in some languages things can "have" sense, but in English if something is logical we say "it makes sense," and if it's illogical or confusing, "it doesn't make sense."
|INSTEAD, SAY THIS:||-"I am 23 (years old)." |
-"Tina has worked at her new job for 5 months." OR "Tina has been working at her new job for 5 months."
-"I am hungry/thirsty/bored/excited."
-"This question makes no sense." OR, more naturally: "This question doesn't make sense."
Well, that's it for this week--I hope it all makes sense! If you are confused or have questions or comments, please leave a comment or contact us. Thanks for reading!