Two Kinds of Mistakes Made by Foreigners When Speaking English

By Robby

If you are new here please read this first.

Improve Spoken English

I’ve been writing extensively about the topic of making mistakes when speaking in English, and I’m sure you know my stance by now – you don’t have to worry about making mistakes too much ❗ You’re much better off making sure you use a lot of popular phrases and word combinations when speaking and that way you’ll be constantly working on your fluency!

There are folks, however, who feel strongly about this topic.

They think I’m sending the wrong message to my audience by condoning erroneous speech.

They are strong proponents of the ‘make sure to speak 100% correctly whenever opening your mouth’ approach, and they’re worried my articles and videos will teach my fellow foreigners bad habits and they won’t be able to get rid of their spoken English mistakes!

Let me address this issue now and settle the matter once and for all so that we’re on the same page when discussing any mistake related issues in the future! 😉

English Harmony is for Intermediate and Advanced Speakers!

In the context of my blog I always refer to mistakes from at least an intermediate foreign English speaker’s point of view, so it goes without saying that I’m not even considering mistakes related to bad grammar and so on.

Basically my point is:

I couldn’t have been possibly misleading my audience and telling them that it’s OK to use bad grammar when speaking and writing because my audience is made up of foreign English speakers who’ve already gotten the basics right.

Of course, I’ll always get some beginners watching my videos and browsing my blog articles, but then again – it’s completely unrealistic for me to make sure that only those with decent overall English skills are reading my blog!

Anyway – the bottom line is the following – those who aren’t bothered to learn correct English will keep speaking using bad grammar with or without my advice, you can take my word for it!

ALL Spoken English Mistakes Aren’t Equal!

You may think that any mistake is as bad as another, but nothing could be further from the truth!

Just think about it – is it not possible that you may make a mistake while being fully aware of its nature, yet somehow your tongue slips and you pronounce that word wrong, or get that grammar tense wrong?

Of course it is!

Ant that, my friend, is the kind of mistake I’m constantly talking about here on

A mistake which you most likely wouldn’t make if you were writing – as we all know, reading and writing are two totally different things.

A mistake you notice right after it’s made – but it’s too late to fix it because you’ve already said those words!

Are you getting the full picture now?

The bottom line is – I’m not referring to bad grammar mistakes born out of not LACK OF KNOWLEDGE within the context of my English Harmony project because I’m assuming my listeners and readers know the basics!

Therefore I can’t possibly encourage my audience to learn wrong speech patterns if they already know what’s right and what’s wrong.

Ignore the FACT You Made a Mistake – Not the Mistake Itself!

The last issue I want to address is my call for ignorance.

Yes, I admit I’ve advised my audience countless times to ignore mistakes made while speaking.

But you see – I’m advising to IGNORE THE FACT YOU’RE MAKING MISTAKES.

I’ve NEVER condoned ignoring the mistakes themselves, and it makes a world of difference.

Bottom Line?

“Fair enough Robby, I got your point, but I don’t really get what’s the difference between those two types of mistakes? I mean – knowing doesn’t necessarily mean doing! When a foreigner speaks and makes mistakes he otherwise wouldn’t have done if writing, he’ll never learn from them unless he forces himself to eradicate them from his or her speech!”

OK, this statement probably holds water to some extent.

However, my experience tells me that you’ve just got to be prepared to sacrifice some degree of grammatical correctness for fluency.

And, if you do CARE about your overall English improvement, you WILL take notice of any repeat mistakes and you WILL try to say this or that particular thing correctly next time around!


P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!


English Harmony System

P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System
  • That’s the way to go!

    Unfortunately, sometimes such fast speech may lead to certain fluency issues down the line, so I’ve found, and that’s when fluency monitoring comes in handy

    It doesn’t happen to everyone though, and I hope you’re among the lucky ones not needing constant fluency management!

  • Sergei

    It is what happens to me constantly when speaking in English. If I speak fast I often get carried away and I may slip here and there, but most of the times when I do so I realize I have made a mistake and I simply try not to make it next time.