English is the language that most businesses use when communicating with customers. Because of its vast usage, it remains the language of choice, even if it is not the native tongue of the people working in the company.
It is usually easy to spot emails written by people who are not native English speakers, as they unknowingly translate their native language directly to English – here are the six common mistakes people make when writing in English:
1. Revert back:
Revert means to return or roll back a certain action. Therefore, the word ‘back’ is an unnecessary repetition here.
Correct usage of “Revert” in a sentence:
“Please feel free to revert with any further questions”
“Try not to revert to your previous working habits”
2. PFA attached:
PFA is short for “please find attached”. Therefore, “PFA attached” is redundant. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Correct usage of “PFA” in a sentence:
“Further to our phone conversation PFA the contract we discussed”
“PFA my resume and cover letter for your consideration”
3. Discuss about:
Discuss, by definition, means to have a dialog about a subject. The word ‘about’ is thus already included in the meaning of the word “discuss” and therefore not needed.
Correct usage of “discuss ” in a sentence:
“We need to sit down and discuss the new business idea “.
“The management team stepped aside to discuss their strategy.”
4. Let’s and lets/ it’s and its:
The difference between it’s and its (the conjunction “it is” vs the possessive form of “it”) is quite common – however, there’s another similar mistake which writers often make between let’s and lets:
Let’s: Stands for ‘let us’.
Correct usage of ” Let’s” in a sentence:
“Let’s plan a date night”
“Let’s cut the meeting short and proceed with the plan”
Lets: is the first person singular form of the verb to let.
Correct usage of ” Lets” in a sentence:
“He lets me use his computer”
“She usually lets me leave early”
5. I and Me:
These two are often confused even by native speakers. The best way to figure this out us by adding yourself to the sentence:
Example: Jack and (I? / Me?) will join the conference.
Once you have written the sample sentence, just delete the part about jack and read the sentence again. “Me will join the conference?” or “I will join the conference?”. Easy, right?
Correct usage of “Me” in a sentence: “me” generally follows a preposition:
“She is younger than me by two years.”
“Can you take the call for me?”
Correct usage of “I” in a sentence:
“I didn’t understand a word you said”
“I totally disapprove of what you did there”
6. Until or By:
“Until”: is a preposition that describes a span of time before a target date.
“By”, in contrast, is a usually used in when referring to a deadline and means “on” or “before”.
Correct usage of “by” in a sentence:
“I need the report done by 5:00 pm”
“Please approve the agenda by December 22nd”
Correct usage of “until ” in a sentence:
“I studied until 7pm last evening”
“The package will not reach here until the end of the week”