Something wrong, something missing.

Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Mail Mastery. Something wrong, something missing.

Is it a typo (Tippfehler), an oversight (Versehen), or a real mistake? I often read mails with the following typical mistakes, even though the phrases are typical ‘e-mail phrases‘, which people learn along the way. Can you spot the mistakes without looking at the tips underneath?

1.“Concerning to our telephone conversation yesterday . “

No ‘to‘ after concerning – “concerning our telephone …“. Possibly confused with other ‘regard‘ phrases … “ With reference to / with regard to our conversation“ BUT “Regarding our telephone ..

2.“Would you mind to call me a.s.a.p?“

“Would you mind calling me ….“ The verb after ‘mind‘ always takes the ‘ing‘ form aka gerund form.

3.“I would appreciate, if you could“

“I would appreciate it, if you … “. However small, the ‘it‘ has to be written out because we say “to appreciate something“

4.“When you need more informations, please contact me“

“If you need more information, please contact me“ Let’s deal with ‘information‘ first. Like ‘advice‘, ‘news‘ etc are uncountable nouns so you can‘t make into plural. For the lowdown (Infos) on this, check out:

Secondly, the common confusion with ‘if‘ and ‘when‘. Simply put, ‘when‘ is used for a certainty (100%) and ‚‘if‘ for anything less than 100%

“If you see Sebby later, say hi from me“ (you don’t whether I’ll see Sebby later)

“When you see Sebby later, say hi from me“ (you know I’ll see Sebby later)

“Should you need more …. “. You can use ‘should‘ in a (very) formal mail to replace ‚if‘

5.“I look forward to talk to you later“

“I look forward to talking to you ..“. The ‘to‘ here is a preposition so the verb after must end in the ing form (see example 2.). BTW “I’m looking“ i.e. the present continuous /progressive form is ok too.


It has to be said that all the above mistakes don’t get in the way of understanding the message, so is it really necessary to nitpick (herummäkeln) such things? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

2 Gedanken zu „Something wrong, something missing.

  1. Jenny Antworten

    That makes my toes curl… so, yes, it’s necessary to nitpick such things. Besides, what’s better than a good rant on a Monday morning?! 😉

    English is not my mother tongue, that’s why I have to hold myself back with being too critical. However, when it comes to German texts I’m known as „Frau Rotstift“. 😉

    To cut a long story short: Thanks for the brush-up! It’s always good to make us aware of this issue and draw attention to common mistakes that can easily be avoided.

    • Dave Preston Autor des BeitragsAntworten

      Yes, I know what you mean. In this day and age with all the online Tools we have, such mistakes shouldn’t be possible. Maybe I’ll rename myself – Mr. Redpen!! Like it.

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