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Looking forward

If you are making plans with others, you might want to let them know that you are excited about what you have planned. To announce your anticipation, you might say something like this:

“Looking forward!”

Most sentences consist of three elements: a subject, a verb, and an object. In “Looking forward!”, the subject is “I” and the verb is “to look forward”. The full expression is “to look forward to something”, so the sentence is missing its object. You are leaving out what your sentence is about by not mentioning what you are looking forward to.

What you are expressing instead is a physical description of your eyes, explaining what direction they are looking at. It’s pretty close to announcing “I am looking straight ahead!” or “I am not cross-eyed!”

Imagine meeting a friend you have not seen in months. If you tell them “It is so good to see!” without adding an object to the sentence, they wouldn’t know you are happy to see them. While it generally is good to see, that’s probably not what you want to express.

To complete the sentence of “looking forward”, you could use sentences like these:

  • “I am looking forward to seeing you at the party this weekend!”
  • “I am looking forward to hearing from you!”
  • “I am looking forward to it!”

That last one only works if the meaning of “it” is obvious from the context you were talking about. In any case, the expression needs an object for it to form a complete sentence.

All lessons in this course

1

An actual video

Two words can look like translations of each other even if they aren’t. The word “actual” is our first venture into this category of false friends.

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2

Making a photo

Even if you translate each individual word in a sentence correctly, the resulting translation can still be off.

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3

What for a picture

Not every word in a sentence needs to appear in its translation. Languages don’t map to each other one-to-one.

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4

Or?

You can spot Germans by the fact that they use “or” to ask questions. Unfortunately, the word doesn’t work that way in English.

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5

Hello together

This mistranslation gave this course its name. “Together” refers to doing something with others. Here’s how to greet a group of people instead.

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6

Handy

What do you call a phone you can hold in your hand? Well, it’s not this. If you call it a handy, you’re in for some awkward looks.

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7

Becoming a car

“Bekommen” and “to become” are another pair of false friends. If you want something, make sure you’re not accidentally turning yourself into that thing.

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8

Less vs fewer

Is it “less mistakes” or “fewer mistakes”? They both seem to say that something is not as much as it was before, but only one is grammatically correct.

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9

Eventually

False friends are everywhere. Eventually is very similar to the German “eventuell”, but it means something completely different.

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10

Whom

Why isn’t it “Whom let the dogs out”? The extra letter does not turn a regular “who” into a fancy version of itself.

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11

Apostrophes

When coming from a language that doesn’t normally use them, where to put apostrophes can seem confusing.

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12

I vs me

Was an event organized by “Nina and I” or “Nina and me”? To find which one applies, take the other person out of the sentence for a second.

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13

Good vs well

You’re doing well, Superman is doing good. This lesson looks at the rules behind which of these two is correct in a given situation.

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Looking forward

When you’re excited about something, tell others what that thing is. On its own, you’re only saying half an expression otherwise.

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15

Gender-neutral pronouns

When you don’t know someone’s preferred pronouns, you can use they/them even when speaking about an individual person and not a group.

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16

Please

We have been taught to always say please and thank you. Whether they are right for a situation depends on the context.

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17

Each other

Some actions happen to multiple people at once, like running into someone. In these situations, we need to use reciprocal pronouns.

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18

Do

Other languages don’t always use the auxillary “do” as much as the English language does, so it’s often lost in translation.

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