Writing is classed as a key skill in Britain.  Being able to write error free is a great skill, as google translate or spell check often don’t reflect the real meaning. 

Use the same tense where possible throughout your writing. 

  • If you begin with the present tenses, stick with them.  
  • Double check your subject verb agreements e.g. I like, you like etc.  I likes chocolate is not acceptable. 
  • Use of articles is something that always identified a non-English speaker no matter how good their english is.  Make sure you know the difference between a, an and the, and remember that almost every single object in english has an article.
  • Capitals.  Use them appropriately, at the beginning of every sentence and for proper nouns (names).
  • This can never be stated enough.  Check, check and re-check your spelling.  Don’t rely on spell checker as it is usually set up for American english, and the British can get quite annoyed when an english word is continuously spelt in an American way.  IE program, should be programme.
  • Check your adverb of frequency placement.  Adverb on it own goes in front of the verb - I often look for books.  Adverbs with time markers go at the end of a sentence.  I look for books every day.
  • Check your prepositions.  There are no rules for preposition use and many native speakers make similar mistakes especially when moving from one region to another.  If you are unsure which preposition to use, look it up.  There are loads of phrasal verb/preposition apps and websites that will help you with this.
  • Using I and me.  If you are completing the action use I.  If you are receiving the action use me.  I saw him.  He saw me.
  • Comparative and superlative adjectives need their correct ending.  One syllable needs the ending -er or -est. tall, taller, tallest. Three or more syllables need more or most placed in front. Dangerous, more dangerous, most dangerous.  Two syllables words that end with -y, -er, -le and -ow use the -er and -est additive.  All others use the more and most addition.
  • Check the possessive s.  In your own language you may have used 'of' to describe possession - e.g. the car of john.  English uses an 's' with apostrophe to describe this - e.g. john's car.  Plurals use no apostrophe - e.g. cars, horses.  Ellipsis where a letter is missing also uses an apostrophe - e.g. John has got a car can become john's got a car, or he is brown can become he's brown.

 

Practice

  • Write something to begin practicing your proofreading skills.
  • You could write about:
    • Your own culture and the unique things you have noticed about it.
    • Your new culture and the unique things you have noticed about it.
    • Comparing your new culture to your old culture.
    • What would you combine from your old and new cultures.
    • Write about what you enjoy most about your job?
    • What would section of your job would you like to remove from your job?
  • Try to complete between 400 and 700 words.  This will give a good indicator of the skills that you have acquired.