English terms are often mixed with our local Filipino language in everyday conversations. While this has been acceptable, grammar Nazis cannot help but cringe whenever they hear grammatically incorrect phrases that most people unconsciously make. Below is a compilation of those errors and their appropriate uses.
Wrong use of adjectives
“Siya talaga yung pinaka-worst sa lahat ng ex ko!”
(“He’s the most worst of all my exes!”)
“Hayaan mo na; makakahanap ka rin ng mas better.”
(“Let that go; you will find someone more better.”)
While we empathize with your broken heart, maybe you should rest your heart and learn the correct use of those adjectives. The prefix “pinaka-” (or most) should not be paired with another superlative adjective. The same thing goes with the prefix “mas” (or more), which should not be paired with a comparative adjective. Instead, you should say “worst of all” or “better” by itself.
Pluralizing the wrong words
“Samahan mo naman ako sa mall. Bibili ako ng furnitures.”
(“Please come with me to the mall. I will buy furnitures.”)
“Sige. Titingin na rin ako ng stuffs.”
(“All right. I will look into some stuffs too.”)
How many of those are you getting? “Furniture” and “stuff” are some examples of uncountable nouns, and they should not have an additional “s.” Uncountable nouns are anything that cannot be counted as they are not considered individual objects. They are treated as singular and used with singular verbs. Other examples include “information,” “equipment,” “feedback,” “staff,” among others.
Wrong use of words
“Sorry na-late ako, traffic kasi!”
(“Sorry I’m late, it was traffic!”)
“Tara na. Magpapaxerox pa tayo ng notes!”
(“Let’s go. We still need to xerox our notes!”)
These words may sound right to some people, but they are incorrectly used. Traffic is a noun, not an adjective, that means the flow of vehicles or pedestrians along a route, so it is more proper to say “heavy traffic.” On the other hand, “Xerox” is a business name that mostly provides photocopying services. The term has been used as a verb by most people to describe the action, but for a more proper term, say you will “photocopy” it, or ask for a “Xerox copy” instead.
Wrong placement of words
“Where are the others? It’s 5:00 p.m. already.”
“They haven’t said anything but told me to wait only.”
“Already” is an adverb that should be placed after the verb and not at the end of the sentence. “Only,” also an adverb, should be placed after the noun or pronoun and in some cases, after the helping verb. Placing “already” at the end of a sentence, such as the first example, gives an impression that the person speaking is pissed or annoyed. On the other hand, placing “only” at the end of a sentence, such as the second example, makes the sentence awkward and may mean that it is the only thing to do when it could just be one of many options.
Redundancy (or Redundant Acronym Syndrome)
“Mag-withdraw muna ako ha. Hanap lang ako ng ATM machine.”
(“I’ll withdraw first. I just need to find an ATM machine.”
“Sige. Siguraduhin mong tama yung PIN number mo.”
(“All right. Make sure that your PIN number is correct.”)
These kinds of phrases create a redundancy in the sentence as ATM refers to Automated Teller Machine, so adding the word “machine” is not necessary. The same goes with PIN number, as it already means Personal Identification Number. Other cases similar to this include “HIV virus,” “LPG gas,” “GIF format,” among others.
While these words and terms are used in informal cases, such as your daily conversations with friends, family, or colleagues, we cannot let you be the receiving end of raised eyebrows or judging scoffs because of these grammatical mistakes. Now that you’re aware of them, we hope that you won’t make such mistakes, especially in formal contexts such as when you are writing an essay or academic research. Do you want to completely avoid and eliminate those grammatical mistakes? Lexcode Inc.—a certified localization company located in Makati City, Philippines—offers proofreading, copyediting, substantive editing, and style guide editing services. Be more confident about your written documents, and avail these services now!