Often time we end up embarrassing ourselves due to our inability to speak English fluently. Most people when engaged in an argument, do use the statement, ‘ I stand to be corrected ‘ , without knowing they are wrong. In this article, I will open up to you guys the actual and ideal words to use rather than saying I stand to be corrected.

1a. She has added weight.❌

1b. She has reduced weight.❌

1c. She has put on OR gained some weight.✔

1d. She has lost OR shed some weight.✔

Please, note that you don’t add or reduce weight. This error is very common amongst us.

2a. He is a 40 years old man.❌

2b. He is a 40-year old man.✔

2c. He is 40 years old.✔

Note that once you have the determiner ‘a’, no matter how old the person is, ‘year’ does not take the plural marker ‘s’. So, in 2b, ’40-year old’ is an adjective modifying the noun ‘man’. However, look at 2c, the determiner ‘a’ goes off and ‘year’ becomes plural taking the plural marker ‘s’.

3. mature/matured

3a. He is a matured man.❌

3b. Ladies these days become sexually matured at 16 years.❌

3c. He is a mature man.✔

3d. Ladies these days become sexually mature at 16 years.✔

This one is so troublesome, most of us find it difficult untying this gordian knot. 3a & 3b are marked wrong because ‘mature’ functions as an adjective in those sentences, hence ‘mature’ and not ‘matured’, thus explaining the correctness of 3c and 3d.

But look at these:

3e. This tree takes 30 years to mature.✔

3f. He has matured into adulthood.✔

In 3e and 3f, mature functions as a verb and not an adjective.

Have this rule in mind: ‘mature’ can both be an adjective or a verb depending on our usage but ‘matured’ can only be a verb and nothing more.

4a. I want to go and gym.❌

Nigerians say this a lot, it is incorrect. You cannot use this in formal speech or writing. gym the short form of gymnasium is a noun and not a verb. Thus:

4b. I want to go to the gym.✔

4c. I want to go and work out at the gym.✔

Let us quickly learn to pronounce these words:

5a. Stipend= stAIpend✔

5b. Verbatim= VerBAYtim✔

5c. Fuel= FYu(e)l.✔

The letter ‘e’ is actually the schwa sound and can be omitted when enunciating the word.

5d. Mores= MorAYZ✔ OR MoRIZ✔

1a. Say the truth❌

1b. Tell the truth✔

1c. Speak the truth.✔

Note that “say the truth” is incorrect English.

2a. I slept out at my friend’s place.❌

2b. I slept over at my friend’s place.✔

Note that to “sleep out” is to sleep outdoors while to “sleep over” is to sleep at a place other than yours. Thus,

2c. We slept out by the river all night.✔

3a. Be rest assured, I will give you the money.❌

3c. Rest assured, I will give you the money.✔

Note that the phrase is fixed and unchangeable. It is– rest assured.

4a. I stand to be corrected.❌

4b. I stand corrected.✔

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