Do you want to improve your English conversation skills? Here are 4 aspects of English conversations you need to be aware of.
1. Phrasal verbs change the meaning of a verb
Have you noticed how adding one tiny word (a preposition or particle e.g. to/out/up) to a verb can entirely change its meaning? It’s worth learning phrasal verbs and looking out for them when you are having an English conversation to familiarise yourself. Phrasal verbs might look confusing at first, but when you learn the basics, they’re logical. They’re very common in spoken English, so get a list and start learning them.
For example, ‘up’, and the verb ‘stand’. Stand means to already be in a position on your feet, but when we add the word ‘up’, it suddenly means to move out of your chair and stand. Up can be directional (climb up e.g. ladder), completion (use up all the milk – no milk left), fulfillment (full up- had enough to eat/drink), increase (turn up e.g. the volume). Speaking is by far the best way to learn phrasal verbs naturally in English Conversation.
2. English conversations have some truly bizarre phrases
You might be confused as to why your friend arrives on your doorstep with an umbrella and announces “it’s raining cats and dogs outside!”. Before you check for any animals falling from the sky, first check that it’s not simply an idiom. Idioms are very common in English conversation and a quick Google search will inform you of the most common ones used.
A surprising number of learners neglect this in their English conversation and it sometimes does stop them sounding like native speakers. Simply modifiers (e.g. extremely, very, so, really) for adjectives and adverbs with a little bit of emphasis can change a sentence and create more engaging English Conversation. You’ve heard native English conversation, with intonation that creates interest and better interaction. We tend to exaggerate facts (e.g somebody who is pretty will often be described as really pretty) for better English conversation.
This often applies mainly to English conversation in Britain, the country stereotyped for unwavering politeness. Saying sorry for any appearance of misunderstanding, and please and thank you for everything whilst queuing will have you looking and speaking like a British person in no time.
Whatever your level of English conversation, trust BELS teachers, all of whom are experienced native English speakers and will help you on your way to perfecting your English conversation and pronunciation.