Common Errors : Incorrect Use - fasten


Fasten” means : 
 to attach / to fix firmly / to tie / to secure 

For example : 
1) Please fasten your seat-belt as the plane will be taking off soon. 
2) I am not sure if the door has been fastened well. 
3) You can fasten the cloak using this brooch.

Another meaning of “fasten” is to focus attention or
concentrate / to focus steadily
For example : 
1) All eyes fastened on the bride and groom when they walked into the dinner hall.
2) They fastened their eyes on the singer for he was an entertaining performer. 
3) I know he is the one who has stolen her diamond pendant as his gaze fastened on her pendant the moment she walked into the room.

Common error 

I have noticed some people using “fasten” when they want to say “go faster/make the process go faster”. 
For example, you CANNOT say :
fasten the cooking process as they are all hungry.
Please fasten your work as the due date for the project 
is near. (X)
Please fasten the product delivery as there are a lot of orders for that product. (X) 

If you want to say : “make something go faster”, then you can use the following words :

1) quicken
For example : 
A) Her pulse quickened when that gorgeous hunk walked into the room. 
Gorgeous hunk : Handsome / Good looking man
B) She quickened  
her pace down that lonely alley when she heard a noise behind her.

alley : a narrow street / path 

2) hasten    
For example : 
A) She used a hair dryer on the wet paint to hasten the drying process.

3) accelerate  
For example : 
A) To accelerate the growth of the company, we all have to work hard.
Image :
B) The car accelerated down the road.

4) expedite 
For example : 
A) I have put in a request to the shipping company to expedite the delivery of products.
B) We have offered our assistance to the committee as there has been a request from the management for the committee to expedite their work.
C) Please have all the information ready so as to expedite the processing of the loan.

Image : Fantasy Art 3D Wallpapers 

Time Related Vocabulary

"clock" "time vocabulary"
Here are a few words related to time. 

1) biannual / semi-annual
twice a year (once every 6 months)
For example :
i) She made her usual biannual visit to the dentist.   
"Paris" "France"
Image :
ii) She was excited about her semi-annual trip to Paris.

2) biennial
once every two years
For example
i) She was assigned the task of planning the biennial dinner for her company. 
ii) They all look forward to the biennial treasure hunt sponsored by that club.

3) biweekly
once every two weeks or twice a week (semiweekly) "cartoon" "library" "many books" 
*bi here means two or twice
For example
i) She decided to subscribe to that Entertainment Magazine so she can receive a copy of the magazine on a biweekly basis. 
ii) I try to make biweekly visits to the library.
"cute kitty" "Animated kitty" "Animated cat" "cute kittens" "Snowy cat" "snowy kitten" "Snow" "Winter"
4) fortnight
14 days (2 weeks)
For example
i) In about a fortnight, we will be experiencing a cold winter.
ii) She has lunch with her parents, once every fortnight.
iii) During the coming fortnight, I will be busy preparing for Christmas.

5) annum / per annum
per year / yearly / annually 
For example
"Christmas" "Christmas tree" "Animated Christmas tree" "Animated tree" "Glitter Christmas Tree" i) The magazine subscription fee is RM100 per annum.  
Annual :
For example :
ii) She looks forward to her company's annual Christmas party. 
(annual = once a year)
ii) They will look at your annual performance before they let you join that prestigious club. 
(annual = for the whole year)
* prestigious = well-known / high reputation / respected
*An annual subscription : lasting for one year.  
6) century / centennial : 100 years  
For example
i) People have believed in fairies for over a century.
ii) She was responsible for organizing a grand dinner to celebrate the company's centennial celebration. 

7) decade : 10 years
"Genie" "Animated genie" "blue genie"For example :
i) This movie is about a genie that will choose a human once every decade and grant him or her three wishes.  
ii) They have been married for over a decade.

8) millennium : 1000 years
For example
i) He was proud to be a member of the committee that was in-charge of planning special events to celebrate the start of the new millennium.
"Earth" "Planet" "Blue Planet" "Planet in my hand" "earth in my hand" "hand holding planet" "hand holding the earth" "global warming" "planet at risk"ii) I cannot imagine the state of this planet in the next millennium.  

Letter Writing Tips

"animated write" "email" "letter" "letter gif" "writing gif" "write gif"
Here are a few tips related to letter writing.

Opening / Salutation

1) If you are sure of the identity of the person receiving the letter, you can use :

Dear Mr. …..., or
Dear Ms. …...,

2) If you are NOT sure of the identity of the person receiving the letter, you can use :
"write letter" "letter" "businessman writing"
Dear Sir / Madam,

You can also use :
To whom it may concern
This is the correct phrase :  
To whom it may concern
You CANNOT Say :
To who it may concern (x) or
To whom it may concerned (x)

* Try to avoid phrases like “Honored Sir” or “Respected Sir”


"yours truly glitter" "yours truly animated" "letter glitter" "write animated" "write glitter" "letter writing"
There are a few ways you can close your letter. Here are a few examples:
Yours sincerely,
Yours faithfully,
Yours truly,

Please remember that it should be “Yours”
You CANNOT say :
Your sincerely, (X) (without 's') or
You're sincerely, (X) or
You's sincerely, (X)

* A few points to remember :

1) If you open the letter with Dear Mr. Smith or Dear Ms. Lim (that means you KNOW the recipient or KNOW the name of the recipient), then you close the letter with :  
Yours sincerely,
2) If you open the letter with Dear Sir or Dear Madam (that means you do NOT KNOW the recipient or do NOT KNOW the name of the recipient ), then you close the letter with : Yours faithfully,


A common phrase in most Asian letters is the use of the word “revert” :
Please revert back to me at your convenience.
I will revert back to you as soon as possible.

Although this is a common practice in most letters, the actually meaning of “revert” is :
1) to return to a previous condition / state / habit / practice / belief
For example :
i) We reverted to the old way of doing things.
"animated smiley" "naughty" "up to mischief"ii) Once he was released from prison, he reverted to his wicked ways.
wicked : means evil / bad

2) Law : To return to the former owner or the owner's heirs
For example :
1) The house reverted to her after she paid off the loans on the house.

So the use of “Revert” to mean “Reply” or “Respond” is not correct.
It is better to say :
I will get back to you as soon as possible.
I will send a reply to you as soon as possible.
I will respond asap.
(asap : as soon as possible)


The correct phrase is :
Please contact the undersigned.
(must have 'ed' : undersigned)
NOT : Please contact the undersign. (no 'ed' – WRONG)

However, the use of the word “undersigned” has been found to be too formal and distant especially when writing to your superior so it is better to use a pronoun like “me”. 'I' or “us”.
For example :
Please contact me when you receive this letter.
If you have any questions, please contact me.

The undersigned will visit you tomorrow.  
(NOT so appropriate).
Better to say : I will visit you tomorrow.

Here are a few other phrases that can be avoided as they have become clichés.
cliché : a word or phrase that has lost originality or impact because of overuse (used too many times)
It is not wrong to use these phrases but it is best to avoid them.
  1. Please do not hesitate to contact me. (it is to be avoided as most readers do not hesitate. 
    It is better to say : Please contact me.)
  2. Kindly contact me if you have any questions. (“Kindly” is common in Malaysia English. It is better to use the word “Please”. For example : Please contact me if you have any questions.
    "animated send my regards" "typing send my regards"


When you say :
Please send my regards to your family.
Please give my regards to your husband.
With regards. (* used in the closing part of a letter)
Kind regards. (* used in the closing part of a letter)
*In this context, it has to be “regards” (with an 's'). You CANNOT say : regard (No 's' - WRONG)

However, when you want to say :
With regard to your question,
In this regard, I have to agree with her. 
(Means : In this matter/issue/subject, I have to agree with her).
In regard to
* In this context, you CANNOT USE 's'. 
So it should be : regard
“With regard to” is more commonly used instead of 
“In regard to”.

Common Errors In English

Here are a few English Grammar related questions people have asked me and also a few common mistakes I have observed over the years.
"Forty" "animated smiley" "40 glitter" "40 animated" "40 picture" "40 gif" "forty gif"

1) Forty

4 = Four
However, 40 = Forty
You CANNOT SAY : fourty.  
The correct spelling for 40 is forty
"injured cat" "cartoon cat" "cartoon" "animation" "injury funny" "Sick" "Accident"

2) MC

One common error when people would like to take “sick leave” or “medical leave, which means a day off from work due to illness/health problems is : 
“I MC today” / "I am on MC today" (x) (This is incorrect).
The correct expression is “sick leave” or “medical leave”.
MC means Medical Certificate
So you CANNOT say “I'm on MC today”.
You can say : Here is my MC / This is my MC.

MC also means : Master of Ceremonies (you can also say “emcee”). An MC acts as a host during events. The job of a MC is to make the welcoming speech and present/introduce speakers or performers during the event.

3) Pain

The common expression used in this country is :
My tooth is paining. (x) or
My stomach is paining. (x)
This is INCORRECT. We cannot say : paining.

We CAN say : aching / painful / hurting
For example :
"tooth rotten" "cartoon tooth" "cartoon tooth rotten"
1) My tooth is hurting.
2) My stomach is very painful.
3) I am in pain.
4) My head is aching.
5) My foot is hurting.
6) There is a pain in my foot.

We can also use the word “pain” for emotional distress. 
For example :
1) It pains me to hear you making such atrocious grammatical mistakes.
atrocious : shockingly bad / terrible
"sad" "depressed" "tension" "hurt" "in trouble" "bad news"
2) I am in such pain after hearing her insulting words.
3) It pains me to say this to you but I have to be honest; your house is a mess.
4) The pain of loneliness is making her do crazy things.
5) It was so painful seeing him with someone else.

When you want to talk about the severity of the pain or how bad the pain is, you can use the word “severe”.
For example :
1) I have severe pain at the side of my abdomen.
2) I have a severe toothache. 

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane /
Image courtesy of digitalart /
Image courtesy of watcharakun /

Common Errors : Thanks

Thank :
is used to express gratitude / appreciation / acknowledgment

For example :
1) He thanked them for helping him with that project.
2) I will send her a bouquet of flowers as a way to thank her for her services.

When you want to thank someone, you can tell them : “Thank you”.
"Thank You Smiley" "Animated smiley" "Thank you gif"

Common Error : You CANNOT Say : Thanks you. This is WRONG. It should be :  
Thank you.

"Thank you animated" "Thank you glitter" "thank you cute"
If you want to say it without the word “you”, then it should be “Thanks”. with 's'.

For example :

1) Thanks! You did a great job!
2) Thanks for the help.

3) You have found my little girl. Thanks!

To express relief / thankfulness / pleasure when something you have hoped for comes true, you can say “Thank goodness”.
NOT “Thanks goodness”.
It should be “Thank goodness” (no 's')

For example :
"Calvin and Hobbes" "Calvin animated" "Calvin and Hobbes animated" "Mischevious" "up to mischief" "naughty" "Calvin mischief" "Calvin mischievous"
1) Thank goodness you made it here safely.
2) Thank goodness my children are well-behaved.
3) You have passed your exam! Thank goodness!

Idioms :

Thanks to :
because of / due to / as a result of

"win" "lose" "win lose" "win lose cube" "dice" "win lose dice"For example :

1) Thanks to her, we won the competition.
2) Thanks to him, we lost.
3) Thanks to their hard work and dedication, the project was a success.

No thanks to :
without the benefit or help from someone / something

For example :
1) No thanks to her, we still managed to win the competition.
2) She started a successful business, no thanks to her lazy husband.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /