English mistakes to avoid

Nat   Saturday, October 30, 2004, 18:29 GMT
I'm French and I'll go in London next week. I know that I have to improve my English and I'd like to know if there are errors typically French to avoid in English. Something that English-speaking persons usually hear from French people who try to speak English and which is not say in the good way???
For example, "I'm agree" instead of "I agree".

Thank you for the answer :)
Damian   Saturday, October 30, 2004, 23:14 GMT
Hi Nat...if your spoken English is as good as your written, I don't think you will have many problems. Is your plea a genuine one??

I've not met that many French people here in the UK face to face, except one cool lassie whose English was almost perfect. I was hard pressed to notice any obvious errors when we chatted. I don't really know what "typically French errors" are? All I can say to you is...when you get to London just be yourself. Act naturally and try to converse as best you can without worrying too much about making mistakes. If you do, what the hell? Chances are you'll not be much worse than some of the native speakers you meet.

Just don't think about making mistakes..people will no doubt understand the gist of what you're saying anyway, and you're not going to be hauled away by the Language Police. If you get into any lengthy conversation with someone you can, if you wish, ask them to correct you on any point but they won't if they understand what you mean, which in all probability they will.

"I agree" is correct. Am I right in thinking you knew that all along? Hee hee! :-)

You must forgive me...I've only just come in from the pub and my typing is better than it should be! :-)
Tiffany   Saturday, October 30, 2004, 23:49 GMT
Here's a typical romance language mistake you just made - you're going "to" London, not in. In English, if one is going to a place that's on the map, they're going "to" it, never "in".
Nat   Sunday, October 31, 2004, 07:52 GMT

I can assure you that my question was, indeed, genuine. I was not joking.
I've known than English-speaking people say "I agree" since two weeks not. My English teacher told us (I'm a student). Before, I was saying "I'm agree" or "I'm disagree".
And it's that sort of mistakes that I don't want to do or others which could be worse. As I don't know the different English expressions, I fear to say some unwanted innuendoes or errors. I can say you that I write better than I speak... perhaps because I fear to speak in English face to face with an English-speaking person.^^ I know that it's stupid but it's like that ;) I can't help myself not to diminish my English accent because I have the impression that it is soooo bad!

In any case, I thank you for your good advices ;)

Tiffany : I also thank you :) I have a tendency to not know when I should say "in", "to", etc...
Ali   Sunday, October 31, 2004, 22:17 GMT
Typical mistakes made by French speakers include the missing of the initial 'h' in speech - and sometimes putting it where it shouldn't be (eg "I'll 'ave ha 'alf" for "I'll have a half"); using 'since' instead of 'for' ('since' is for a specific time in the past, whereas 'for' is used for a period of time); the use of the 'will' future when a native speaker would use the 'going to', present continuous or present simple.
You've also identified one of the most common errors - that of prepositions!
As Damian said, though, don't spend too much time worrying about your mistakes. The way to learn when you're immersed in the language is to relax and to practise as much as you can. Worrying about mistakes can put you off speaking at all, and that will never do!
Nat   Monday, November 01, 2004, 12:37 GMT
Thank you very much Ali :)
Concerning 'since' and 'for', I haven't got any problem. Ditto concerning the future but that's right that I have some problems with the initial 'h' and the sound 'th'.

I can't wait to go to London and, there, I'll follow your advices ;)