All the international students who’re studying in American colleges have to pass English 101 – the entry-level English class that teaches the basics of analytical reading and essay writing. To most of Chinese students, this is not an easy task, because Chinese and English are two totally different languages:
These differences taken into account, it’s really hard for the Chinese students to learn English easily, and they often make mistakes in their writing.
According to study from teachers both home and abroad, below are some common errors that Chinese students make in their English 101 essays.
Errors involving countable nouns where the s is left out, e.g. 20 year (years) and many car (cars)
Here we can also add errors involving singular countable and uncountable nouns where the s is included. For example, a pieces of cake (piece) and buy foods in the supermarket (food).
A vivid example would be I very much thank you. In Chinese it’s 我非常感谢你，and the correct saying in English is Thank you very much.
Another sample – Five flower meat (in Chinese it’s 五花肉, 五=five，花=flower, 肉=meat, the correct saying is streaky pork).
This is the common mistake for almost any Chinese student, because articles do not exist in the Chinese linguistic system. Thus, the absence of articles in Chinese indirectly influences them to commit errors when using English articles.
Wrong choice of prepositions
Insertion of prepositions
Omission of prepositions
These are a few common mistakes that Chinese students usually make in their English 101 essays. As Chinese and English are two languages belonging to different language systems, it’s very normal for non-native speakers to have errors in their writing. However, always believe practice makes perfect. The more you practise, the better you will be!