5 (More) Mistakes that German Speakers Make in English

Today I’m back with 5 more mistakes that I’ve heard many of my German students make. In case you missed it, click here for Part 1.

Keep reading to see if you’re guilty of any of the things on this list. I’ll also give you the correct version so that you can start improving right away.
Mistake 1: “Hello altogether.”

The problem?

This is a direct translation of the German “Hallo zusammen”, but we never say it this way in English.

Instead try:

“Hello everyone” or “Hi everyone”. You can even go for “Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone”.

Mistake 2: “I’ll send you the spreadsheet per mail.”

The problem?

Again, this is a direct translation from German. Unfortunately, we can’t use “per” this way in English.” Plus, “mail” in English refers to post, but that’s not the best way to send a spreadsheet.

Instead try:

“I’ll send you the spreadsheet by email.”

Mistake 3: “This is a book from Agatha Christie.”

The problem? If the book is from Agatha Christie, it only means that she gave it to you. The above sentence doesn’t tell me who the author of this book actually is.

Instead try:

“This is a book by Agatha Christie.” This unambiguously means that she wrote this book, and gives no information about who gave it to you.

Mistake 4: “She sent me informations about the course.”

The problem?

“Information” is a mass noun in English, so we don’t add an “s” to the end.

Instead try:

“She sent me information about the course.”

Mistake 5: “As I was young, I played football every day.”

The problem?

We don’t use “as” in this way in English – it’s a false friend of the German “als”.

Instead try:

“When I was young, I played football every day.”

I hope that helps. If you found this useful, keep an eye out for part 3. Best of luck to anyone out there learning English!

Image found here.
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