While learning proper English can be difficult for most non-native speakers, it can be equally confusing for native speakers too. You might be surprised to know that these days, especially in the United States, the majority of people rarely speak proper English. There are many common sayings and phrases that contain grammatical errors, but because they are so widespread and frequently used, people don’t even realize they are speaking incorrectly.
Examples include frequently misusing the word “literally” to emphasize something and “sick” to describe something as cool without realizing their real meaning and context in English language. Today, we’re going to discover the fundamentals of speaking Proper English, its significance and how can you easily incorporate it into your daily life.
How to Speak Properly in English
What is Proper English?
The formal and conventional use of the English language is referred to as “proper English,” which includes correct vocabulary and grammar, proper syntax, clear pronunciation, and logical sentence structures.
Contrary to informal English speaking, which employs slang, subject-verb disputes, and inappropriate sentence formations, proper English ensures clarity, eloquence and accuracy in both written and spoken communication.
Why Speaking Properly matters?
English can take various forms now a days, and slang is frequently used in daily conversations and writing. While some informal language is acceptable, if you want to effectively communicate on professional platforms, you have to learn “proper English.” Proper English communication can give you the gift of connection, allowing you to share ideas, express emotions, and bridge cultural differences.
Below are three easiest ways that can help you keep on the track of speaking proper English in daily life.
1. Grammar Grace: Focus on perfecting basic grammar rules:
The foundation of any language is its grammar. Your statements’ meanings can be changed by using poor grammar, which can potentially cause misunderstanding. Hence, make sure to spend some time learning the following fundamental grammatical concepts to excel in Proper English.
2. Master proper sentence structure: Incorporate past, present and future tenses
Although sentences can be as extensive and complex as you want, but they must contain three essential components in order to be categorized as a sentence. While speaking Proper English, your sentence should contain a subject, verb, and an object word.
In English, a verb is a word that describes an action, while a subject is typically a noun doing the action that a verb in a sentence is describing. What the verb modifies is a word known as an object
- “He likes to sing.” In this sentence “He” is the subject, “likes” is the verb and “sing” is the object.
Once you understand the sentence structure, try incorporating different tenses in your conversations. The “tenses” of the English language depend on when the action in the sentence is occurring. The past, present, or future are the most frequent tenses. Do not combine tenses; instead, keep the same tense throughout the entire statement.
- I play every day – play indicates present tense.
- I played yesterday – played represents past tense.
- I will play tomorrow- will play is future tense.
- Use pronouns in agreement with nouns
The most common mistake that people make while speaking is the disagreement between noun and pronoun. In English, pronouns are terms that are used in place of a person’s, place’s, thing’s, or idea’s name.
While Personal pronouns (he, she and it) are well-known to everyone because we use them frequently in speech, people often make the error of using a disagreement between noun and pronouns in words and phrases. Another common mistake is the use of singular pronoun for a plural noun or vice versa.
Also, make sure to use “I” and “me” appropriately. Since both of these pronouns refer to the same individual “you” they can be difficult to understand. When you are the one performing the activity in the statement, “I” is used. When anything is being done to you in a statement, the word “me” is utilized.
- “She completed her homework,” here she is the noun and her is the pronoun, both of which are in agreement with each other.
- “Jack practiced hard so he could perform well in the match.” In this case, Jack is a single person so he is used as a singular pronoun.
- “When visitors go to a new city, they often use maps to move around.” In this case “they” is a plural pronoun since visitors means a group of people.
- You can say “I studied for the test.” The phrase “Me studied for the test” is incorrect.
- Make sure verb and subject agree with each other
Similar to how nouns and pronouns need to agree, subjects and verbs also need to be in agreement. Verb can be categorized in a number of ways just like pronouns. It can be singular or plural and maybe written as first, second or third person.
We use a singular verb with words like each, neither, either or everyone. You cannot say, “Either of the men are available.” The correct phrase is “Either of the men is available,” as the singular either agrees with the singular is.
- Vocabulary voyage: Enhance your Lexicon!
Another way to speak English properly is to expand your vocabulary range. A strong vocabulary enables you to effectively convey subtle ideas and emotions, allowing you to avoid using cursing and pointless fillers when communicating. You can even download a vocabulary app such as “memrise” and “wordly” to learn new words. Here are a few other ways to help you in your vocabulary voyage;
3. Read English journals and books
Reading is an excellent way to increase your vocabulary and comprehend words in their proper context. It is much more useful to see how different terms are used in context rather than just searching them up. Check out a popular English book from the library or learn English vocabulary by reading novels, newspapers, or even comic books of your own choice.
- Use Phrases and Idioms: Set out on Expressive Expeditions
Idioms and phrases give your speech character and make it more interesting and relatable. These idioms offer insights into a language’s cultural subtlety. To improve your communication, carefully consider how to use them into normal conversations.
Start by adding basic idiomatic terms into your interactions. Suppose you want to wish best of luck to a friend for an exam or any sports match. Instead of simply saying best of luck, you could use the idiom “break a leg!”
- Pay attention to pronunciation!
Misunderstandings can result from mumbling, slurring, and pronouncing words incorrectly. Focus on pronouncing each word clearly in order to capture listeners’ attention and convey confidence. Consider practicing difficult sounds and mimicking the pronunciation of native speakers while listening to them.
- Use online tools: Watch Tv Shows and movies:
To improve your pronunciation, use online tools like apps, tv shows and movies for learning new words and guides to pronunciation.
- Speak with professionals
Speak to professional individuals as they have a firm grasp on the grammar and syntax standards. Try to imitate their speech patterns and how their lips move. At first, it could seem unusual or awkward, but with practice, it will feel natural.
- Focus on practicing tongue twisters with various pronunciations:
Practicing tongue twisters that strongly rely on various letters and pronunciations as they can enhance your speaking to a great extent. Say these tongue twisters to yourself once a day to improve your pronunciation and your ability to transition swiftly between words as you talk.
- Black bug bleeds black blood.
- Sixteen slippery snails slid slowly seawards.
Try integrating proper English into your daily activities, practice frequently, and take note of your mistakes. Participate in conversations, watch films, listen to podcasts, and engage in other forms of media to increase your understanding of varied tones, accents, and situations.