Common Errors in English Language: Since, Under, By


Wrong: Ebere came to live in Abuja since 1998.

The use of “since” in the above sentence is wrong. This is because “since” is not used after the simple past tense. We use it after perfective aspect where it means from a particular time onwards as in:

Ebere has been living in Ibadan since 1998

So, the correct sentence will be:

Correct: Ebere came to live in Abuja in 1998


Wrong: Although Amaka is under pregnancy, she lifts heavy things.

Under pregnancy is not correct in English. The correct expression is:

Correct: Although Amaka is pregnant, she lifts heavy things.

Note however that under is acceptable in expressions like:

under control, under contract, under supervision under consideration and under repair.


Wrong: I like to travel to Port Harcourt via Enugu

By is often wrongly used with names of places as shown in this sentence. In correct English via is the acceptable word used in the context of travelling to mean passing through. So the correct construction should be:

Correct: I like to travel to Port Harcourt via Enugu.

Author: Oyetunji

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