Business Phrases Czechs get wrong in English! Part 1: Count on/with

One mistake that I always encounter from my Czech students is that they use the phrases ‘count with’ or ‘count on’ in one very common situation, which REALLY changes the meaning of what they are trying to say!  So here’s my ultimate guide to why you shouldn’t use them and what you should use instead!

My students are all very busy people, so it is quite often that I have to rearrange lessons with them.

Usually, to suggest a date and a time I ask something like: ‘Is Monday at 4pm good for you?’

And the reply I get is usually something like: ‘Ok, I count with it.’ or ‘Yes I count on it.’

Unfortunately, when it comes to confirming arrangements, it is not possible to use count on or count with.  In fact, it can give the sentence a completely different meaning.

In English, to confirm arrangements there is no equivalent in English of the Czech phrase ‘Počítám s tim’.

Of course, when there is no direct translation, it is quite difficult to know what to use.  Also students don’t like it because the English equivalents do not sound as good as ‘Počítám s tim’ does in Czech. But here are the equivalent phrases in English:

‘Ok, Monday is fine’

‘Ok great, see you Monday’

‘Ok, I will be there’

As you can see, they just don’t look as good but there is no other option in English.  The sentences above are all informal, if you want to be more formal you can say:

‘I confirm Monday 4pm is ok’

‘Ok, Monday 4pm works for me’

For more information about confirming arrangements, click here!

So what do ‘count with’ and ‘count on’ actually mean, and why is it bad to use them?

‘Count with’ doesn’t exist in English, and it would be quite confusing to a native speaker to know what you are trying to say if you use this, even with the context.

The phrase ‘count on’  does exist and can still translate as ‘počítat se’.  But not when confirming arrangements!  To count on something means to rely on something or to depend on something.

When my students use the phrase ‘I count on it’ or ‘I am counting on it’ to confirm the lesson, they are actually saying that they are really relying on me being there because they desperately need the lesson.

Here are some example sentences with ‘count on’ with its only meaning ‘rely on’.  You will usually see it in the present continuous, because in most situations you are relying on something right now:

‘I am counting on the support team to fix the problem by the morning, because we can’t launch the product if there are technical issues with it.’

‘We are counting on her to secure the deal because we really need the money.’

So there you have it, my best advice is when confirming arrangements keep it simple and say something like ‘Monday is fine’.  Also be careful when translating ‘počítat se’, because it has 2 very different meanings!

If you would like any more examples of these phrases in use, feel free to comment below or email me at david@englishtenses.eu!  Thank you very much for reading my post! If you are serious about taking your English to advanced level and beyond, I suggest that you download my free e-book.  It covers many tips on how to improve your English learning, and how to avoid many more classic mistakes that so many learners make.  I don’t want you to make the same mistakes as many learners that I have met in the past have made.  

Find out how you can completely transform your English with just 6 minutes per day with my carefully planned ’6-minute Solution’, which I will guide you through step-by step.



David Cox

Advanced English for Professionals

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