Real Life English

Tips for Speaking Like a
Native English Speaker

Real Life EnglishWhen you take an English language class in school, you usually do not learn real life English.

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All Tenses

Schools tend to teach formal English.

When you read a book or a document, you will usually see good grammar.

But in real life, English speakers do not speak formally.

Native English speakers do not even always use good grammar!

So what does real life English sound like?

A few tips to help you speak like a native English speaker


First, learn how to use contractions.

Native English speakers are often lazy when they speak. They prefer to use one word instead of two or three.
  • So in real life, instead of saying, "I will," they say, "I'll."

  • They say, "don't" instead of "do not."

  • They say, "let's" instead of "let us" and "can't" instead of "cannot."
You should also learn the difference between British and American contractions.
  • British speakers say, "I haven't a pencil," for example, while American speakers say, "I don't have a pencil."
You can learn more about these differences.

You can find some contractions in the dictionary, but the best option might be to look for a list that is online.

Speed of speech

Another point to keep in mind is that native English speakers talk fast.
Moreover, many times native speakers do not pronounce the words clearly.
  • They say, "walkin" instead of "walking."

  • "Whajeet" instead of "what did you eat." 

  • "Gimme" instead of "give me."

Different pronunciation

Some speakers also say "t's" in the middle of words as "d's".
  • For example, they say "liddle" instead of "little" and "medal" instead of "metal."
It can be hard to understand native speakers. You may need to listen carefully at first, but with time and lots of practice you should become better and better at this.


When speaking to each other informally, English speakers use slang.
  • For example, they say, "yeah" instead of "yes."

  • If they say something is "cool" or "awesome," it means they like it.
To speak English like a native, you need to learn these slang words.

Do not use too much slang, though. You could sound very rude.

Idiomatic expressions

English speakers also use many idiomatic expressions and phrases.

Many English classes do not teach these expressions and phrases.

There are lists and dictionaries of idiomatic expressions, and you can find them online or in books.

Find a trainer

The best way to learn everyday English is to speak with native English speakers.

It can all seem very nice in theory, but you honestly don't really know your stuff, until you've been there, done that and survived :)

Do you have a friend who was born in the USA or the UK? Try to speak to him or her in English as often as you can.

You can also ask him to teach you new phrases.

Is there nobody near you who speaks English?

Is there nobody near you who speaks English?Maybe you can meet someone online to e-mail in English. Internet chat rooms and websites can be a great place to talk.

Just make sure you hang around in truly high quality sites. Otherwise, I can't promise you what kind of English you'll learn :)

Do you want to speak real life English? Do you want to sound like a native speaker? Then you need to learn how to use contractions, slang, and idiomatic expressions and phrases.

So find a friend in person or online and practice, practice, practice!

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