Beware of …

what – it often does not correspond to German was as a relative pronoun:

  • …whether it happened frequently, which (not: what) would make it an error, or whether it happened only once, which (not: what) would make it a mistake.
  • … to work with idioms or phrasal verbs, which (not: what) should not be too hard for a teacher to include in a lesson.
  • … which (not: what) does not necessarily imply that the learner also gets more fluent.

own – it is always accompanied by the possessive pronoun, not by the article:

  • creatures with their own will (not: an own will).
  • we have our own language (not: an own language)
  • fears that one’s own language (not: the own language) might be wiped out.

would – it frequently does not correspond to German würde, neither in conditional clauses nor in indirect speech:

  • and it was criticised that he only used (not: would only use) it if he was forced to by a question.
  • but if those words stood alone (not: would stand alone), …
  • It seems as if it were (not: would be) difficult for him to disagree …