• Michael Marsden

Spot the Mistakes 2

Another advanced-level World Cup-themed exercise. Ten sentences in English, eight of them containing mistakes. Can you spot the errors and correct them? Answers provided at the end.

Note that two of the ten sentences are completely correct and that no sentence contains more than one error.


1. Germany were eliminated from the World Cup when they surprisingly lost 2-0 to South Korea.

2. None of the five African teams succeeded on reaching the second phase of the competition.

3. For the first time in World Cup history, some important decisions during games have been referred to the 'video assistant referee' (VAR).

4. Uruguay were one of the most strong teams in the first phase, winning all three of their games.

5. Croatia also won all three of their games in the first phase, including an impressionant 3-0 victory against Argentina.

6. Russia, the hoster nation, qualified for the second phase.

7. Japan were the only Asia team to progress beyond the first phase.

8. In the first phase there was only one goalless drawing - between France and Denmark on 26 June.

9. Brasil qualified for the second phase by winning two and drawing one of their games.

10. On 26 June, Argentina have beaten Nigeria 2-1 to qualify for the second phase.


Answers below...




So, how did you do?


1. Germany were eliminated from the World Cup when they surprisingly lost 2-0 to South Korea. [NO MISTAKES]

2. None of the five African teams succeeded in reaching the second phase of the competition.

3. For the first time in World Cup history, some important decisions during games have been referred to the 'video assistant referee' (VAR). [NO MISTAKES]

4. Uruguay were one of the strongest teams in the first phase, winning all three of their games.

5. Croatia also won all three of their games in the first phase, including an impressive 3-0 victory against Argentina.

6. Russia, the host nation, qualified for the second phase.

7. Japan were the only Asian team to progress beyond the first phase.

8. In the first phase there was only one goalless draw - between France and Denmark on 26 June.

9. Brazil qualified for the second phase by winning two and drawing one of their games.

10. On 26 June, Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1 to qualify for the second phase.


Note the grammar rule in sentence number 10: the information about when the event took place (26 June), a specific point in time, made the use of the present perfect tense ('have beaten') incorrect.

Also note that it is quite common in British English to treat collective nouns, such as football teams, as plurals, hence 'Germany were...', 'Uruguay were...', etc. But in American English you would be more likely to see 'Germany was', 'Uruguay was', etc.

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