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Correct the Mistakes 14.

The four participants discussed it between


themselves.
1. She recommended me that I take a few days
off from work. 15. We thought we were going to expand this
year, but we actually have less people now
2. I tried to explain him the problem, but he had than we did two years ago.
difficulty understanding me.
16. She’s trying to concentrate herself on
3. I don’t know why you didn’t go. If I were you, finishing her degree.
I should have gone.
17. Unfortunately, the species has gotten
4. Kate claims that if she got an MBA after extinct due to human activity.
finishing her bachelor’s degree, she might have
been considered for the position. 18. I’m a little afraid to do this by my own.

5. Kevin says he stopped to travel 19. He told me that he had never been in that
internationally because of his family. restaurant before.

6. We regret informing you that your 20. Never before I had seen something quite
application has been denied. like that.

7. The interview was broadcasted live over the  


internet.

8. I’m so glad that he spoke in my behalf Answers and Explanations


because I felt awful that I couldn’t make it to
the event. 1. She recommended me that I take a few days
off from work.
9. At first I studied engineering in college, but I
ended getting a marketing degree. We need to use the subjunctive in this
example. An excellent explanation of the
English subjunctive can be found here. The
10. It was a frustrating situation because we subjunctive form in this example is the infinitive
were uncapable of helping. without “to” (go, eat, do, run, etc.).

11. When the check came, I tried to pay but Common expressions followed by the
John told me to put away my wallet and subjunctive:
insisted that he paid for dinner. recommend that
insist that
12. They had managed a few crisises in the demand that
past, so they were able to handle this situation request that
fairly well. asked that
suggest that
13. If you would’ve told me, I would have given
you my honest advice. Examples:
They demanded that we lower the price.
They demanded us that we lower the price.
They demanded that we lowered the price. 4. Kate claims that if she got had gotten an
My boss requested that I use my vacation days MBA after finishing her bachelor’s degree, she
before the end of the year. might have been considered for the position.
My boss requested me that I use my vacation
days before the end of the year. To talk about a hypothetical past, we need to
My boss requested that I used my vacation use the past perfect in the if clause. For more
days before the end of the year. information on conditionals, see
this conditionals guide.
For practice, try these subjunctive exercises.
Examples:
  What would you have said if you had been
there?
2. I tried to explain him the problem the What would you have said if you were there?
problem to him, but he had difficulty
understanding me.  

Some verbs can be followed by the indirect 5. Kevin says he stopped to


object and then the direct object. For example, travel traveling internationally because of his
we can say I gave John the book. John is the family.
indirect object and book is the direct object.
However, not all verbs follow this We can use the verb stop with both the gerund
pattern. Recommend, explain, and and the infinitive. When we use stop with the
describe are three common verbs that take the gerund, it means that someone was doing
following form: something and then stopped. When we
recommend/explain/describe + what + to use stop with the infinitive, it means that
whom someone stopped an action in order to start
doing something else.
Examples:
We explained the situation to the client. Examples:
We explained the client the situation. Kevin stopped working at 6 p.m. last night.
Could you describe the problem to our IT Kevin stopped to work at 6 p.m. last night.
manager? At 10 AM, Lucy and Fernando always stop to
Could you describe our IT manager the take a coffee break.
problem? At 10 AM, Lucy and Fernando always stop
taking a coffee break.
 
For more verbs that can be used with both the
3. I don’t know why you didn’t go. If I were you, infinitive and the gerund, see this page.
I should would have gone.
 
To talk about a hypothetical past, we can
use would/might/could + have + participle. We 6. We regret informing to inform you that your
do not use should to talk about a hypothetical application has been denied.
past. We use should to criticize past actions or
express regret.
Regret is normally used with the gerund.
However, to communicate bad news (usually in
  writing) we use regret + infinitive. For more
verbs that can be used with both the infinitive
and the gerund, see this page.
  11. When the check came, I tried to pay but
John told me to put away my wallet and
7. The interview was broadcasted live over the insisted that he paid pay for dinner.
internet.
See explanation to number 1.
Broadcast is an irregular verbs. It
doesn’t change in the simple past and  
participle form, just like the verbs let, bet, set,
put, cut, and shut. 12. They had managed a few crisises crises in
the past, so they were able to handle this
  situation fairly well.

8. I’m so glad that he spoke in on my behalf Many words that end in “is” have an irregular
because I felt awful that I couldn’t make it to plural form that ends with “es.” The plural form
the event. rhymes with the word “cheese.”

This is a collocation with on that students Examples:


typically have difficulty with. We say speak on crisis – crises
someone’s behalf. For practice, try this in vs. diagnosis – diagnoses
on collocations exercise. hypothesis – hypotheses
analysis – analyses
 
For more irregular plurals, see this page.
9. At first I studied engineering in college, but I
ended up getting a marketing degree.  

We use end up instead of end to talk about 13. If you would’ve had told me, I would have


something that eventually happened after other given you my honest advice.
things happened first.
To talk about a hypothetical past, the if clauses
Examples: takes the past perfect. We
We couldn’t decide on where to go for dinner, use would/might/could + have + participle in
so we ended up eating at home. the result clause.
We couldn’t decide on where to go for dinner,
so we ended eating at home.  Examples:
What would you have done if you had been
  there?
What would you have done if you would have
10. It was a frustrating situation because we been there?
were unincapable of helping. If I had known the weather was going to be so
bad, I might have chosen a different day for the
party.
Overusing the prefix “un” is a common mistake. If I would have known the weather was going
See this page for a more complete explanation to be so bad, I might have chosen a different
of how to correctly use negative prefixes. day for the party.

 
Note that we could also use the inverted form  
of the third conditional here (Had you told me, I
would have given you my honest advice). 17. Unfortunately, the species
has gotten become/gone extinct due to human
  activity.

14. The four participants discussed We can often use get to communicate that
it between among themselves. something has changed or transformed (get
angry, get depressed, get scared, get excited, etc.).
However, we can’t always use get (get famous, ,  get
We need to use among here because we are available, for example). See this page to learn about
talking about more than two things that are not using turn, become, get, and goto talk about changes
distinct items. For a good explanation on when and transformations.
to use between and when to use among,
see this page.  
Note that amongst would also be correct, but it
is not as commonly used as among.
18. I’m a little afraid to do this by on my own (or by
myself).
 
We have the expressions by myself and on my own. By
15. We thought we were going to expand this my own does not exist.
year, but we actually have less fewer people
now than we did two years ago.  

Although using less before count nouns (cars, people, 19. He told me that he had never
resources, etc.) is becoming more acceptable, the rule is been in to that restaurant before.
that we use fewer before count nouns and less before
non-count nouns (time, patience, determination, etc.).
We say been to, not been in to communicate
places that we have visited (countries, cities, towns,
Examples: restaurants, stores, etc.). Note that If we are talking
We have fewer candidates for this position about a specific room, we would use in.
than we expected.
We have less candidates for this position than
we expected. Examples:
Carl has less stress now that he has started Have you been to Italy?
working out after work. Have you been in Italy?
Carl has fewer stress now that he has started I can’t believe you’ve lived in Paris for 10 years
working out after work. but haven’t been to the Louvre.
I can’t believe you’ve lived in Paris for 10 years
but haven’t been in the Louvre.
 
I’ve been to his house, but I’ve never been in
the basement. (specific room = in)
16. She’s trying to concentrate herself on finishing I’ve been to his house, but I”ve never been to
her degree.
the basement.

We don’t use reflexive pronouns (myself, yourself,


himself, etc.) after the verb concentrate.
20. Never before I had had I seen something
quite like that.
Examples:
We need to concentrate on the task at hand. We use subject-verb inversion when we start a
We need to concentrate ourselves on the task sentence with a negative adverb (never,
at hand. hardly, seldom, etc.). For more examples of
when to use subject-verb inversion, see this
page.