Start Speaking in grammatically correct English
- This module mainly focuses on application of what we have learnt rather than theoretical study. Here you start to speak with yourself first to break the ice in you and then start to converse in English with others. Speaking in Grammatically correct English not means speaking Shakespearean English, the Exact motto is to make our words easily understandable by others.
- There is no shortcut for learning grammatically correct English. It takes time to understand and put to use the rules of English grammar. But, there are ways to remember the grammar to help you speak correctly.
- Try to speak English the way you write it. Spoken English is pretty relaxed and you can get away with grammatical errors most of the time, but it pays to speak correctly. Hence, the golden rule would be to talk just the way you would write it.
Start with working on the tense. Tense dictates the verb. It defines the timeline of action. You have to memorise the verb forms. Truth is we do not use all the tenses in spoken English. Interact with good English speakers to get the hang of which of the tenses are actually used.
Common Pronoun usage He/Him, She/Her, They/Them, We/Us, I/Me
I, He, she, they and we are subject pronouns. When the subject is doing the action you use these pronouns.
Example: I spoke to her.
Me, him, her, them and us are object pronouns. These pronouns do not do an action. They simply receive an action.
Example: Give it to me.
Never start a sentence with me. If there are two or more people involved, always start with other people’s name and end with referring you as ‘I’.
Example: Raj, Sanvi and I went to a movie.
- Active voice is simple to frame and speak. Active voice has a subject as the doer of the action.
- Remember that whenever you change a sentence from active to passive voice, the subject and the object swap. And if that involves the pronouns, they will swap to their relative object or subject pronoun form.
Wrong: The movie was gone to by Raj, Sanvi and me.
Right: The movie was watched by Raj, Sanvi and me.
- Preposition brings out the relationship of an object to its surroundings. Preposition is always followed by the object of the sentence. So first the P and then the O.
- Strictly speaking, you should never end a sentence in preposition. But spoken English is very forgiving in that regard.
Few other miscellaneous tips
Questions tags are always opposite in sense to the question. If the question is positive, the tag will be negative.
Example: You didn’t do it, did you?
He came last night, didn’t he?
- ‘Does’ is answered by ‘s’ in the verb form. ‘Does’ is used for singular.
- ‘Do’ is answered by the present tense of the verb and is used for plural.
What does he do? He teaches.
What do they do? They dance.
The machine does the drying by spinning.
The machines do the drying by spinning.
These tips are just guidelines and not mathematical formulae where substituting one verb with another gives a new sentence. These rules are purely for understanding. Listening to native English is one of the proven ways to improve your grammar and spoken English.
10 tips to make your words and sentences in English flow like a charming river.
- Think in English
The mind is a powerful tool. Use it. Speak to yourself in English and let your thoughts about everything from the local train to the shopping list be in English. Even if you do nothing else, do this!
- Do not translate from your native language to English
If you do not know the correct sentence or phrase in English, do not ever translate from your native tongue. Doing this will not take you any further in your learning plus you end up becoming a joke. So, find out what the correct usage is by reading or asking someone.
- Speak English at every opportunity
Don’t worry if it doesn’t sound perfect at first. It’s like driving – initially, the traffic lights and other vehicles will give you a scare but after some practice, you can do it without thinking.
- Learn sentences or phrases – don’t concentrate on single words
Instead of concentrating on learning new words by themselves, try using them in a sentence. Learn as sentences, not single words. The aim is to get comfortable speaking; improving your vocabulary is a different lesson.
- Listen to others speaking English
Listen, listen, listen. Whether it is the radio or the television or a movie. Or a colleague or teacher who speaks good English. Keep listening. This will help you improve pronunciation and accent. Do not imagine that your speaking skills can be enhanced through reading alone.
6. Learn how to say the same thing differently
As with other languages, so in English, one sentence can be framed in multiple ways, all conveying the same meaning. Learning these will help you form clearer and simpler sentences.
- Make sure there is someone to correct you if you go wrong
Making mistakes is natural. So there must be someone to correct your English. Speaking it incorrectly for a long time will imprint it in the brain and it’ll be hard to correct later.
- Do not lose confidence
It is common to lose your drive along the way but if you keep seeing results, no matter how tiny, it will keep up your motivation. So keep note of the little achievements and soon, they’ll add up to a big one – fluent spoken English!
- Keep it simple
Do not complicate your goals by trying to accomplish too much. Reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary – they will all come in due course. Your goal is to speak better English. Stick to it.
- And most of all, have fun!
If you imagine learning English as a fun contest or race, the sooner you will reach the end. So take joy in it and enjoy each moment of learning. If you look upon it as torture, that is what it will be and you wouldn’t make much progress.