The 13 killers

A group of teachers at the university of Grenoble 3 teaching at the Applied Linguistics department of English studies have identified thirteen grammatical mistakes that students make while translating from  French into English. In the first year of university, students are expected to work very hard at not making these mistakes and if they continue to do, are penalised very heavily at the exams. These mistakes have thus been baptised “13 Killers” as the presence of even a single one of them can result in a straight zero out of four marks!

I personally feel that these rules are not only applicable to students studying translation but also to those who want to avoid making basic mistakes in the English language.  Avoid them and your language will know new heights. 

Here’s a list of the 13 killers:

  1. Incorrect use of the present perfect with a past time reference
  2. Incorrect use of for, since, ago and during
  3. Incorrect formation of common irregular verbs
  4. Incorrect formation of basic tenses 
  5. Incorrect use of auxiliaries in questions and negation 
  6. Incorrect formation of modals
  7. Incorrect formation of the passive voice
  8. Basic errors involving the genitive
  9. Basic errors involving the article
  10. Incorrect use of “-s” with adjectives or noun groups
  11. Incorrect expression of quantity and price
  12. Absence of capital letters for days, months, nationalities, languages
  13. Gruesome gobbledygook and truly awful barbarisms

The powerpoint presentation The killers” should give you a better idea of what these killers mean and how to avoid making them. Feel free to download it, study it, work on it.

Don’t forget to drop me a line if you find this useful.