How to speak English like a native

As I’m sharing with you in my series of posts “The 9 basic pillars to speak English well”, if you want to really improve your English speaking level, you have to work on your pronunciation, your intonation…among many others things.

But even when you master all that, if you want to reach the next speaking level, you still need something more…

It’s time for you to start using words and expressions that are going to make your English to sound better!

Let’s see how you can speak English like a native…

 
How to speak English like a native

To Speak Or Not To Speak English Like A Native

I bet that when you listen to native English speakers you’re able to catch words and expressions that make their English to sound more genuine, more real, more natural, more authentic…
These words and expressions are maybe not common in your native language or even don’t exist at all.

To show you what I’m talking about, let’s first build a basic sentence and then see how you can “dress” it in order to go from very basic English to a little more sophisticated English.

1. Basic English
“You canceled the weeding and I also think it was the best option. Don’t feel bad because it wasn’t your fault!”

2. A little more sophisticated English
“I totally agree with you about calling off the weeding. Actually you have to keep your chin up because you are not the one to blame!”

As you can see, While both sentences are grammatically correct and can be easily understood, there is a big difference between them:

  1. The first sentence sounds too basic or even a little clumsy.
  2. The second one sounds a lot more like a native English speaker’s sentence.

If you make the effort to add common words and expressions to your English, you are going to make a giant step toward speaking English like a native.

 

How You Can Speak English Like A Native

From now on, whenever you listen to an English speaker, you have to…

  1. Try to catch common words and expressions that you are not currently using.
  2. Write them down and keep them in a list.
  3. On a regular basis build your own sentences using them.
  4. Little by little try to use them whenever you are speaking to someone in English.

At first you’re going to feel your speaking unnatural, too fancy or even ridicule because you are not used to these words and expressions that are uncommon to you. But you have to keep using them until one day you won’t need to think about them anymore because they are going to be part of your speaking.

 

Someone Who Speak English Like A Native

I have been looking for a real example to show you how an English learner uses these words and expressions in a naturally.
I came across a very nice video on YouTube by a Girl called Theresa.

Before going any further, let me congratulate Theresa for her awesome video that radiates deep passion for learning new languages! She also shares very useful tips about how you can improve your English.

Coming back to our topic, through Theresa’s video on YouTube you can see how an English learner (like her) uses common English words and expressions in her speaking.
I guess that in the past she consciously made the effort to use these words and expressions. Because of that, nowadays she uses them without even thinking and as a result her English sounds so natural, so genuine..so awesome!!!

Let’s make a brief list of some of the words and expressions that make Theresa’s English sound so good!

  • A bit tricky, A little tricky
  • Totally
  • A bunch of
  • No way to
  • Kind of
  • Whatever
  • Actually
  • For, you know
  • Luckily
  • To be honest
  • Eventually
  • To double check
  • Once a day
  • First of all
  • Definitely
  • The older…the hardest
  • You DO need, you DO have
  • After all
  • Chances are
  • Obviously
  • Here is the good news
  • Personally
  • Suits you the best

She also uses phrasal verbs that are very common in English…

  • To go ahead
  • To look up
  • To write down
  • To get into
  • To figure out
  • To look up
  • To put out
  • To pick up
  • To came across

Now, try to picture Theresa making the same speech without using the words and expressions I listed above… It wouldn’t be so nice to listen to her, would it?
Those words and expressions make Theresa’s English to stand out.

I hope that now you totally agree with me that you do need to add this kind of words and expressions to your English too!!!

Let’s finish this post by congratulating both…

  1. Theresa…For her awesome video and English speaking level!
  2. You…Because from now on, you are going to use new words and expressions in order to speak English like a native!

 

And Remember…

How to speak English like a native_

– Are you going to use this strategy?
– Do you know any other tips to improve your speaking?
…All your comments are very welcome!!!

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com, (2012-2016).
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How to master English contractions

7/9 post of the series “The 9 basic pillars to speak English well

 

When speaking in English contractions (also known as reduced speech) are very commonly used.

When you speak in English, what do you say?

They are or They’re
I want to or I wanna
I would or I’d

There is not a right or wrong option. You just have to use one or the other depending of the situation.

Let’s master English contractions and improve your speaking skill!

 
How to master English contractions

 

What Are English Contractions?

There are some combinations of words that can be contracted. It’s a very important characteristic of the English language. You do have to know at least the most common ones.

As an example, it not sounds the same when a native English speaker says:

I want to see if they will do what they have told me.
Or…
I wanna see if they’ll do what they’ve told me.

The 2 sentences are going to sound very different.
You are saying the same but in a formal way in the first sentence and in an informal way in the second one.

 

Why To Use Contractions?

You have to use contractions if:

  • You want to reduce your accent when speaking in English.
  • You want to improve your English rhythm and sound more natural.

If you don’t use contractions when speaking:

  1. Your English sounds too formal.
  2. Your English sounds unnatural and not fluid.

 

When To Use Contractions?

You have to use English contractions at your opinion depending of every speaking situation (formal or informal).

In informal situation you use contractions when speaking.
For example…When chatting with your friends.

But in formal situations you don’t use contractions when speaking.
For example…In a job interview.

Be careful because there is always an exception to the rule.
For example if you are speaking to your son, you usually use contractions because it’s a very informal situation.
But imagine that your son is having a very bad behavior and you want to show him that you are very angry.

Instead of using contractions and saying:
“I’m very upset. You aren’t going to the party this afternoon!”

You are going to avoid contractions to show that you are really angry:
“I am very upset. You are not going to the party this afternoon!”

As you can see it’s important to understand the basics rules because sometimes you have to break them in other to convey the right meaning for every situation.

 

Some Contractions

This is only a VERY brief summary of contractions…

  • You are   –>  You’re
  • You will   –>  You’ll
  • You should   –>  You’d
  • You have   –>  You’ve
  • You do not   –>  You don’t
  • You were not   –>  You weren’t
  • You can not  –>  You can’t
  • You would not  –> You wouldn’t
  • You want   –>  You wanna
  • You going to  –>  You gonna
  • You don’t know  –>   You dunno
  • …And the list goes on and on and on…

Don’t feel overwhelmed because there are hundreds of contractions.
You don’t need to know all English contractions. You just have to know the most common ones and then you can guess the others ones.

Use contractions whenever you talk in informal situations.
Like everything you learn, the first times is not easy to use them and you have to concentrate. But if you keep using contractions, you are going to internalize them and use them in a natural way like native English speakers do!

 

And Remember…

How to master English contractions_
… All you comments are very welcome!!!

 

What to do next…

The 9 basic pillars to speak English well
– How to master English Pronunciation … Coming soon!
– How to master word Stress 
– How to master sentence stress … Coming soon!
– How to master the Schwa sound … Coming soon!
How to master English intonation
How to master connected speech
– How to master thought groups … Coming soon!
– How to master Word Ending pronunciation

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com, (2012-2016).
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How to master connected speech

6/9 post of the series “The 9 basic pillars to speak English well

 
When speaking in English there is a LOT of linking between words.
It’s something that it’s maybe not common in your native language but if you want to reduce your accent and improve your English rhythm you have to link words whenever needed.

Listen carefully to a native English speaker.
They don’t speak like this…
“I   like   it    a    lot”. (word, pause, word, pause, word, pause)

It’s something more like this…
I likita lot. (there are some words that are linked or blended)

Let’s see how you can master connected speech and move your English speaking to the next level!

 

How to master connected speech

 
I’m going to show you the four basic link groups…

Linking Consonant To Vowel

Whenever a word ends with a consonant sound and the next word starts with a vowel you have to link them and pronounce them as a word.

  • You have to stop it right now. –> You have to stopit right now.
  • I love it very much. –> I lovit very much.
  • Wake up right now! –> Wakup right now!
  • Some of them live abroad. –> Somof them livabroad.
  • I’m going to explain it in the meeting. –> I’m going to explainitin the meeting.
  • We worked on it all day long. –> We workonitall day long
  • Can I have a cup of tea? –> Cani hava cupof tea?

 

Linking Consonant To Consonant

Whenever a word ends with a consonant and the next word starts with the same consonant you have to link them and only pronounce the consonant once.

  • She’s wearing a red dress. –> She’s wearing a redress.
  • It was the last time I saw him. –> It was the lastime I saw him.
  • You look cool today! –> You lookool today!
  • My university has a book club. –> My university has a booklub.
  • I Went to Paris many times in the past. –> I Wento Paris many times in the past.
  • What time is it? –> Whatime is it?

 

Linking Vowel To Vowel

Whenever a word ends with a vowel and the next word start with a vowel you have to link them by adding a /y/ or a /w/.
We add a sound to make the connection with two words easier and more natural…

  • It’s the end. –> It’s the_y_end.
  • Do it right now! –> Do_w_it right now!
  • Stop talking or go out. –> Stop talking or go_w_out.
  • Who is it? –> Who_w_is it
  • Don’t go away because I need you. –> Don’t go_w_away because I need you.
  • It’s too early to go out.–> It’s too_w_early to go_w_out.
  • I am very happy. –> I_y_am very happy.

It’s easy to know if you have to use a /y/ or a /w/ because when you try to add it, one of them fells natural while the other sounds awful, unnatural.

 

Linking Between Words

There’s even linking between words when there are two vowels side by side.

  • reunion  –>  re_y_union
  • client  –>  cli_y_ent
  • diet  –>  di_y_et
  • cooperate  –>  co_w_operate
  • graduate  –>  gradu_w_ate
  • coersion  –>  co_w_ersion
  • fluent  –>  flu_w_ent
  • evaluate  –>  evalu_w_ate
  • quiet  –>  qui_y_et

 

Master Connected Speech By Using It

At first it’s not easy to use connected speech. You have to think about it and force yourself to link words whenever needed.

Start by using easy sentences and repeat them as much as possible. If you keep doing it it’s going to be easier and easier for you. At the end you are going to connect speech naturally even without thinking about it.

Whenever you listen to English materials, try to feel how speakers link words together.

 

And Remember…

How to master connected speech_
…All your comments are very welcome!!!

 

What to do next…

The 9 basic pillars to speak English well
– How to master English pronunciation … Coming soon!
– How to master word stress … Coming soon!
– How to master sentence stress … Coming soon!
– How to master the Schwa sound … Coming soon!
How to master English intonation
How to master English contractions
– How to master thought groups … Coming soon!
– How to master Word ending pronunciation

Copyright © Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com, (2012-2016).
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Learn English Like Me and learnenglishlikeme.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.