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I had a conversation with my friend.

Me: Thank you for sending this.
Friend: Nothing.
Me: I have to correct you that your response "nothing" is a kind of Chinglish and a proper one is "you are welcome" or "it is my pleasure".

Question: Regardless of the politeness, is the usage "correct somebody that ..." correct? although I am sure that "tell", "suggest" can be used in that way.

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  • “I have to correct you” is fine although it can come across as a little rude depending on the tone used. – jwpfox Nov 25 '20 at 9:07
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    @jwpfox But "Correct you that..." is not very idiomatic. It would be better to say just "I have to correct you." and then explain what was wrong in a new clause or sentence. – Kate Bunting Nov 25 '20 at 9:37
  • @KateBunting Totally agree. After that starting phrase the sentence in the question goes badly awry. I was just trying to find one question out of the handful in the question as asked :). – jwpfox Nov 25 '20 at 12:05
  • @KateBunting My work requires reading technological articles which have lots of long sentences. That makes me think long sentence is cool and is a sign of ' advanced English'. So i often try to join short sentences into a longer one. – wuhan Nov 28 '20 at 13:10
  • Well, you could make the explanation into a new clause by separating it with a semicolon or dash. – Kate Bunting Nov 28 '20 at 13:15
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It's grammatically proper English to say "I have to correct you."

"Correct you that..." is not very idiomatic. It would be better to say just "I have to correct you." and then explain what was wrong in a new clause or sentence.

One could imagine a butler in an old fashioned movie saying "I'm truly sorry, but I must correct you on this point sir." However, it doesn't sound like modern usage.

regardless of the politeness

In terms of politeness, it's preferable not to use the phrase at all.

Proposed update:

Me: Thank you for sending this.
Friend: Nothing.
Me: btw, just so you know... "nothing" is a kind of Chinglish. Better to say "You're welcome", "my pleasure", or "no problem."

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