Common errors in the use of verbs

Study the following sentences.

  • Incorrect: She told to me an interesting story.
  • Correct: She told me an interesting story.

The verb tell is followed by an indirect object without to.

  • Incorrect: She told that she wouldn’t come.
  • Correct: She told me that she wouldn’t come. OR She said that she wouldn’t come.

When used with a that-clause tell takes an indirect object, while say does not.

  • Incorrect: I want that you should be your partner.
  • Correct: I want you to be my partner.

The verb want cannot be used with a that-clause. It is used with a to-infinitive.

  • Incorrect: She suggested me to consult a doctor.
  • Correct: She suggested that I should consult a doctor. OR She suggested consulting a doctor.

The verb suggest should be used with a gerund or a that-clause. It cannot be used with a to-infinitive.

The verbs discuss, describe, order and request are transitive verbs. They should be followed by direct objects, and not prepositions.

  • Incorrect: We discussed about his plans.
  • Correct: We discussed his plans.
  • Incorrect: He described about the situation.
  • Correct: He described the situation.
  • Incorrect: I have ordered for two cups of coffee.
  • Correct: I have ordered two cups of coffee.
  • Incorrect: She requested for my help.
  • Correct: She requested my help.