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Book Introduction

Several years ago, on a college trip to an orphanage in Mexico, I enthusiastically greeted each of the children with “Buenos Dios! Buenos Dios!” After many puzzled looks and much laughter, a friend explained, “You’re not saying “Good day.” You’re running around shouting “Good God! Good God!”

Anyone trying to learn a new language is going to make plenty of mistakes. And some of them just might be entertaining enough to be worth jotting down and sharing with a few friends.

This book is a collection of innocent mistakes from international college and professional students I’ve tutored in conversational and written English over the years. Laugh all you like — at least until you find yourself in their situation.

Some Words of Appreciation

As almost any Conversational English tutor will tell you, when you spend up to six hours a week talking one-on-one with someone, you’re not just meeting a student. You are developing a friendship.

From the time the idea first arose to compile this collection into a book, I have talked about it with all of my students, who without exception have been supportive, encouraging, and genuinely pleased to be of unintentional service.

So, to all of my students, a sincere thanks — for your friendship, for your enthusiasm and encouragement, and of course, for your wonderful mistakes.

And if I ever come to your country, have a pen and paper ready. I’m sure I’ll return the favor. Until then, buenos Dios! Buenos Dios!

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