Common Sayings You May Be Saying Wrongly

Native English speakers don’t always speak very clearly and this could prove a problem if you are listening to them speak. This means that you may pick up common sayings with the wrong pronunciation without realizing they are wrong. The meanings of these misheard sayings will also puzzle the language learner. For example “deep-seated belief” (a belief held strongly) sometimes sounds in the untrained ear like “deep-seeded belief” (a belief deeply buried in the ground)!

The following are more common sayings said wrongly and their corrections:

Incorrect Correct Meaning
Doggy-dog world Dog-eat-dog world A cruel, competitive world
Giving leadway Giving headway Giving somebody (figurative) room to do something
For all intensive purposes For all intents and purposes Seeming as if; looking as if
Beckon call Beck and call Ready to obey someone at a moment’s notice
Take it for granite Take it for granted to believe that something is true without first thinking about it or making sure that it is true
Mute point Moot point A debatable question, an issue open to argument; also, an irrelevant question, a matter of no importance
Fall by the waste side Fall by the wayside Fail to continue; drop out
Make an escape goat Make a scapegoat someone made to take the blame for something

You may notice that these all idioms (common fixed sayings). Try to put them in sentences for really colloquial English!

As a fun exercise, give the wrong sayings to someone to see if they can guess what they should be!

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