sign in   |  sign up

Common errors > environment  noun [C]

 printer-friendly version

Incorrect or non-standard usage, overuse etc.

(Spoken English)
When I was a child, our living environment was very poor.
My working environment is quite good.

The problem

Overuse / register (too formal)

The word is often translated from a Chinese word that is more common in Chinese than environment is in English.

Note:It is possible to talk about both 'living environment' and 'working environment' in English. However, these phrases are more common in formal situations and not in everyday speech.

Some examples of 'working environment' in Standard English
These measures ensure a modern, high quality working environment
She chaired the Working Environment Committee
...medical problems caused by stress, bad posture and a poor working environment.

The environment
In everyday spoken English, we commonly talk about 'the environment' meaning the natural world - the land, water, air, plants, and animals, especially when talking about damage to it by human activity:

I reuse my shopping bags - I want to do my bit for the environment
I worry about the environment with all this pollution nowadays

Standard English

We lived in a very poor area / place when I was a child.
We lived in a very poor, run down building when I was a child

It's quite a good place to work - it's modern / it's a nice, bright office - it's quite spacious and comfortable etc.

Back to common errors index