English Exposed Common Mistakes

English Exposed: Common Mistakes designed specifically for those writers looking to fine-tune their language skills and create error-free academic English.

English Exposed: Common Mistakes Made by Chinese Speakers

Having analyzed the most common English errors made in over 600 academic papers written by Chinese undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers, Steve Hart has written an essential, practical guide specifically for the native Chinese speaker on how to write good academic English. English Exposed Common Mistakes Made by Chinese Speakers is divided into three main sections.

The first section examines errors made with verbs, nouns, prepositions, and other grammatical classes of words. The second section focuses on problems of word choice. In addition to helping the reader find the right word, it provides instruction for selecting the right style too.

The third section covers a variety of other areas essential for the academic writer, such as using punctuation, adding appropriate references, referring to tables and figures, and selecting among various English date and time phrases.

Using English Exposed will allow a writer to produce material where content and ideas—not language mistakes—speak the loudest.


The mistakes made by writers’ are examined by grammar area, term selection, and by elements found in an essay such as figures, punctuation, and referencing.

Naturally, there is some overlap, but readers can see what topics and what errors feature at the start of each chapter, and they can find specific topics and terms via the indexes and the cross-referencing found throughout.

To ensure that the example errors are as instructive as possible, solutions are provided directly beneath them, and explanations are given. Background information on each grammar area is provided and exercises can be found at the end of each chapter to support the learning process and embed this knowledge.

There are three main parts to the resource.


This category looks at errors made in each general grammar class. The parts of speech are explored and the most common errors revealed and addressed.


This section focuses on confusion about word choice. It features related and unrelated terms and how to rid writing of unnecessary and inappro-priate phrases.


This part addresses different elements that comprise an essay or a paper, such as using numbers, tables, punctuation, and references. Useful areas such as dates, time phrases, and referring to countries are also explored.

All content has been designed specifically for those writers looking to fine-tune their language skills and create error-free academic English.

It must be frustrating for good research skills and strong subject knowledge to be undermined by weaker English writing ability. But if Dewey’s advice is followed and mistakes are viewed as instructive, then English Exposed can empower Chinese writers of English to acquire an awareness of the mistakes they and their peers are making and, crucially, provide them with the knowledge to fix these errors and improve their written English level.

Book Review

Great book for ESL students, but there is no explanation as to why one is correct and one is incorrect, which would have been far more beneficial to the students. Because, as teachers, we cannot always explain why something is the way it is because we do not face the same challenges as ESL students. That doesn’t mean we’re bad teachers; it just means some examples are difficult to explain. Some will have obvious reasons, but others will be more subtle or related to culture and grammar in general, as well as how we communicate.

Otherwise, the book is good, and I’d like to see a second edition with more explanations for some of the more difficult lessons.

English Exposed: Common Mistakes Made by Chinese Speakers

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