error : 指思想或行动背离正题轨道或没有得到正确指引而出现的偏差或错误。
- He admitted that he'd made an error.
- The letter contains a number of typing errors.
Human error has been blamed for the air crash.
- With something as delicate as brain surgery, there is little margin for error (= you must not make mistakes).
fault : 一般指小并且可宽容的缺点、错误。
- It's not my fault she didn't come!
- She believes it was the doctor's fault that Peter died.
- The fault was/lay with the organizers, who failed to make the necessary arrangements for dealing with so many people.
- Through no fault of his own, he spent a week locked up in jail.
blunder : 通常指由于粗心或欠考虑而酿成的大错。
- He said that the tax was a major political blunder.
- I made a blunder by getting his name wrong.
flaw : 指结构或组织上的缺点，如破裂之处。用作比喻意义时，指品格上的缺陷。
- I returned the material because it had a flaw in it.
- There's a fatal flaw in your reasoning.
- This report is full of flaws.
- a character flaw
mistake : 最普通用词，泛指思想上、行为上或认识上的判断或理解方面的错误。
- I'm not blaming you - we all make mistakes.
- It was a mistake for us to come here tonight.
- This letter's full of spelling mistakes.
- I've discovered a few mistakes in your calculations.
- Why am I under arrest? There must be some mistake.
shortcoming : 指没有达到所要求的标准、没有充分发展或没尽到职责的不足、缺点或短处。多用复数形式。
- Whatever his shortcomings as a husband, he was a good father to his children.
- Like any political system, it has its shortcomings.
defect : 普通用词。指表面上的缺陷，或指人或物本质上的缺点。
- All the company's aircraft have been grounded, after a defect in the engine cooling system was discovered.
- There are so many defects in our education system.
- It's a character defect in her that she can't ever admit she's wrong.
slip : 指因疏忽或无意而造成的差错。
- She's made one or two slips - mainly spelling errors - but it's basically well written.