In your past English classes, you probably learned essential phrases such as “thank you,” “you are welcome,” and so on. These phrases are important basic English expressions we use on a daily basis! However, the way that native speakers say them in real world conversation may be slightly different than what you read or heard in your English class.
These basic English phrases may seem like they are for beginners. Nevertheless, many intermediate and advanced English learners know these essential phrases but do not understand natives when they say even simple words, and are unable to pronounce these phrases in a way that sounds native-like.
You see, in the confines of a classroom, your English teacher probably was patient, slow, and clear in the way they pronounced each word. In everyday English speaking situations, native English speakers may not be as patient or clear! Native speakers often speak quickly, and it can be difficult to understand them… and even more difficult to speak like them!
So, if you would like to improve your comprehension and speak more like a native English speaker, this lesson is for you!
7 Essential Phrases to Sound like a Native English Speaker
Native English speakers say “yes.” However, more often you’ll hear a variation like “yeah,” or “yep.” Have you heard these before and wondered if they are the same? These variations are a bit more casual, but they can be used in everyday communication, even in professional situations (perhaps not super formal situations, for example if you were meeting the President of the United States, or the Queen of England).
Similarly, natives say “no.” But, you’ll also hear “nope,” “no way,” or “nuh-uh.” Again, these are more informal. The last one is more used by children and teens, but it’s not off-limits for adults.
Instead, you’ll often hear natives saying “thanks!” There are other ways to say “thanks” such as “I appreciate it.”
You are welcome
Rarely, natives do say “you are welcome.” Actually, it’s more common to hear “you’re welcome,” “no problem,” “of course,” or “my pleasure.” There are several variations you can use to sound more natural speaking English.
Pleased to meet you
When you meet someone new, it is very formal (in the United States) to say “pleased to meet you.” It is much more common to say “Nice to meet you.” Notice that we don’t usually include “it is” before “nice to meet you.” We simply say “nice to meet you!” Pay attention to the pronunciation of this phrase, which has linking sounds, by watching the video lesson!
How do you do?
Similarly, it is rare to hear an American say “how do you do?” We most often ask “How are you?” or “How are ya?” Pay attention to the pronunciation and stress in this one, too!
One moment please
This phrase, used to ask someone to wait, is mostly used in a formal situation. In everyday conversation and casual situations, it is normal to hear “just a sec” or “just a minute.” “Sec” is short for “second.”
You see, if you can already say these basic, essential phrases, you’ll be able to make these small changes to sound more like a native in no time! Also, you’ll be able to understand natives much better and improve your listening skills.
Next, learn what to do if you Can’t Understand Movies or Netflix Series in this lesson (click here).