HELPFUL HINTS – COMMON MISTAKES

(general conversation)

“Would you a coffee?”

Problem: Incorrect use of would.

Solution: Use would you like.

> Would you like another cup of coffee? – Yes, thanks!

Consideration: Being a modal verb, would is used together with another verb (in this case, like). It does not mean “want”.

(general conversation)

“He said he would have been here at six.”

Problem: Reported speech.

Solution: Use would, not would have.

> Where’s Davis? He told me he would be here at six o’clock, and now it’s almost seven!”

Consideration: In reported speech with the past tense (said, told, etc.), will becomes would. Davis’s exact words were “I’ll be there at six o’clock.”

(talking with someone about their health)

“I see you well.”

Problem: How to comment on someone’s appearance, referring to their health.

Solution: Use you look or you’re looking.

> You look well. How do you feel?

Consideration: To express an apparent improvement, use the comparative better.

> You’re looking a lot better today. How are you feeling?

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