Thursday, December 6, 2018

How to speak in English? Part 4

Speak English

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Tip 1: Mastering Pronunciation II(Speak-English)

There can be many ways of getting the right pronunciation. But one common thing among them all is consistency. You have to keep practicing till you get it right.

  • Record Yourself: Record the words with short and long vowels in your own voice. Make your teacher or an English expert listen to the recording. Ask him/her to correct your pronunciation. Do it again after correcting and get it checked. You can also verify your recording by listening to the audio pronunciation keys on dictionary.com.
  • One at a time: Try to speak slowly whenever you speak in English. Give yourself enough time to pronounce each word correctly. Remember, accuracy is your goal right now not speed.
  • Loud reading: Do 20-30 minutes of reading aloud every day. Whenever you find some words difficult to pronounce, open the audio pronunciation key of the dictionary and then practice. Do this regularly every day for at least one month.
  • Learn songs: Another sure-shot way to correct your pronunciation is to learn a few English songs and sing along with the audio. This will give you clues of several words and their pronunciation.
  • Listen a lot: Whenever you hear other people who know English, lend a listening ear. The best way to correct pronunciation is to listen to other people and copy their pronunciation.
  • Don’t copy accent: Your goal is to pronounce English words correctly not to copy anybody’s accent. Try to be original but correct. Blindly copying the accent does not help in pronunciation.

Tip 2: How to study Tenses - I(Speak-English)

Tense refers to time. When we speak, we usually speak in a time frame. This time frame is called Tense. In school, we studied a Tenses Table where we had the various forms of verbs according to tenses. However, what is missing in that approach is the significance of each tense.

The best approach to study tenses is to understand which tense is used when i.e the necessity of each tense. You should study tenses by creating situations. Given below are three situations to help you understand the three basic tenses: Simple Present, Simple Past and Simple Future.

  • Your Daily Routine and General Truths: Write down your daily routine, your likes, and dislikes, your interests and hobbies. Now write down some general truths such as The Sun rises in the East. Notice that all these things fall under the one-time frame, which is Simple Present Tense.
  • Yesterday: What did you do yesterday? This is past tense. Make a list of things that you did last week. As you make sentences, you will realize you are making sentences in the Simple Past Tense.
  • Future plans: What are your plans for the next few years? Or this year? List down your plans to learn Simple Future Tense.

Once you have written down the above things, practice saying them aloud. Do a good rehearsal at home first. Now go out and find a friend and share with him/her about your daily routine, your likes, and dislikes. Then share what you did yesterday and what you will do tomorrow. At the end of this conversation, you would learn three basic…. three basic tenses of the English language.


Tip 3: How to study tenses- II  (Speak-English)

In the last installment of this series, you learned how to learn the three basic tenses in the most practical way. In this blog, you will learn the importance of continuous tenses.

The commonality between all continuous tenses

  • They were talking about things that are or were continuous
  • The verb will always be in the –ing form
  • All perfect continuous tenses have very specific time-frames mentioned.
  • All simple continuous tenses do not have any specific time-frame.

Present Continuous and Present Perfect Continuous


When an activity is happening at the time of speaking, it is called a present continuous tense. I am writing. This means while this person is saying, he/she is writing. Now take a look:
  • I am writing. (Time frame is at the time of speaking)
  • I have been writing since 7 pm. (Timeframe started at 7 pm and is still going on)

Past continuous and Past perfect continuous


In past continuous tense, you talk about an activity that was continuous but is no more happening and whose exact time is not known. Ex- She was crying. But in Past Perfect Continuous, you know the exact time of the beginning of an activity and the exact time of its end. Ex- She had been crying for two hours till he came and comforted her. Now take a look:
  • They were doing homework. (Exact time is not known except that the activity was continuous sometime in the past)
  • They had been doing homework for an hour till their teacher came. (You know exactly when the activity began and when it ended)

Future continuous and Future Perfect Continuous


When you know an activity is going to continue in future for an unknown period of time, you use a future continuous tense. Ex- I will be studying for my exam soon. But in Future Perfect Continuous, you know the period of time for which the activity will continue. Take a look:
  • I will be studying for my exam tomorrow. (You don’t know for how long you will study)
  • I will have been studying for my exam for 3 hours by the end of the day. (You know that by the end of the day, it will have been 3 hours of your study)
However, for beginners, it is advisable to not touch Future Perfect Continuous Tense since it can be very confusing and is rarely used.

Tip 4: How to study tenses- III(Speak-English) 

Welcome to the series on how to study tenses. This is the last installment of the series intended to teach about studying the various perfect tenses.

Past perfect tense and Past Tense


The Past Perfect Tense should always be studied with Simple Past Tense. Understand that you will not need a past perfect tense unless there is another past action involved. For instance, you don’t need to say- I had gone to the market. You can simply say: I went to the market.

But note this: I told my wife that I had gone to the market. Here, you need the past perfect form (had gone) because there are two actions here- 1) Gone. 2) Told. The going to the market part happened before the telling his wife part. So the former must be in the past perfect tense. Take a look:
  • I wrote in my diary. (An action that happened in the past takes a Simple Past Tense)
  • I wrote in my diary about what songs I had sung that night. (Two actions happened in the past one of which happened before the other, hence, that previous action needs a Past Perfect Tense)

Present Perfect Tense


There are two basic uses of Present Perfect Tense:
  • A recently finished action
  • An action that happened in the past but still affects your present.

Take a look:

  • I have just returned home. (recently finished action)
  • I have seen the Taj Mahal. (happened in the past but still affects your present)

Future Perfect Tense


This tense has only one usage: any action that you are very sure will finish at a specific time in future. Examples-
  • I will have completed my degree by 2015.
  • She will have written the novel at that time.
However, you will have to remember the forms and helping verbs used in each of these tenses. One common thing among all the perfect tenses is that the verb is always used in the third form.

Tip 5: Five coolest ways to get English practice! (Speak-English)

The key to learning and speaking in English is to get creative. The more interesting your ways are, the more likely you are to follow them. We give you five coolest ways to improve your English.
  • Call a Center: Call your mobile company service provider and opt for English language instructions. Follow instructions and get a personal executive on the line. But prepare on advance. Invent a problem about a pre or postpaid connection and rehearse well. Now speak to the executive and share with him your problem. You can do this almost every day to get the most practical English speaking exposure.
  • Chat online: Go to chat-rooms of Google or Facebook and start chatting in English with a complete stranger. If you build a good rapport with him/her, you can frankly ask the other person to correct your English. If you do this daily, you are likely to come across someone who is good at English and is willing to help.
  • Learn English Songs: Go to Youtube and look for English songs with lyrics. Most likely the ones with lyrics have the words displayed on the screen. Sing along.
  • Get the WhatWord app: Download this app on your phone or computer. It is called WhatWord that displays four pictures to guess each word. The words are related to food, travel, lifestyle etc and are a great way to build vocabulary.
  • Watch National Geographic: This channel is still in English, unlike the Discovery. So you can get plenty of English listening. Choose a program that interests you and follows it religiously.

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