Actually, when studying English, everyone hopes to be able to speak like native speakers. However, there remain some phrases that are mistakenly used and if you use them in conversations with native speakers, they may think you’re at a lower level. Therefore, if you do want to sound like an indigenous one, or even sound like a very accomplished English student, you certainly should avoid saying these words and phrases. Hence, in order to help you improve your English speaking, in this lesson today, Learn English Fun Way will share with you 5 phrases that you are using wrongly and how to correct them!
Now, let’s start!
5 Things Native English Speakers Never Say!
1, Have you ever been in?
Many English learners often ask the question “have you ever been in” and then add the location behind.
- Have you ever been in Italy?
- Have you ever been in Istanbul?
It’s the wrong preposition. The mistake in this question the preposition “in”. It is wrongly used in this case. It’s not that it doesn’t make sense, it’s just not commonly said. The native speakers will understand what you’re trying to say, you want to know if they have ever visited or travelled to Italy, or Istanbul, or wherever it may be, but, they don’t use prepostion “in”. Instead, they use the preposition “to.”
Therefore, the above examples should be corrected into:
- Have you ever been to Italy?
- Have you ever been to Istanbul?
This is a really common mistake, hence, you should watch out for that one.
2) Are you married with?
Another wrongly asked question is “Are you married with someone ?”
Although it makes sense, and native speakers will understand what you’re saying, “married with” a person isn’t correct, it should be “married to”.
Hence, instead of saying “Are you married with Will?”, it should be “Are you married to Will?”.
- “Are you married to Will ?”
- “Yes, I am married to him”
The main reason why the native speakers don’t often use “married with”, because in English they can say “I am married with kids”. Now, it sounds weird as it is like the speaker is in a marriage with some children. However, “with” in this case, also means “and” or “have”.
Hence, “I am married with kids” = “I am married, and I also have kids”.
3) I’ve been doing something since (a period of time).
This sentence is grammatically incorrect, however, many people still say like this in daily English conversations. For example:
- How long how you been learning English?
- I’ve been learning English since two years.
Don’t worry if you say that to a native, they’re not going to say, what? They’ll understand what you’re trying to say, but it’s incorrect.
It should be: Since + a fixed point in time; For + a period of time. So you have to say:
- I’ve been learning English since 2016.
- I have been learning English for two years, since 2016.Another common mistake we also can add on to that is the word “during”. In English, the native speakers wouldn’t never say sentences like “I’ve been learning English during two years”. You still need to use the word “for” in this case.
4) Teacher + first name of the teacher.
English learners often address their teachers by saying “Teacher” and directly add their first name behind.
Hey Teacher Lucy, how are you?
However, if you’re trying to learn British English, you should learn that in the UK, people don’t address their teachers as Teacher and then name.
We are not saying you not to ever say this, because obviously in your own country, it might be very rude not to address your teacher as Teacher Mary, Teacher Mohammed. But if you’re in the UK, or the US as well, it’s not common to use this to address your teachers.
Instead, in a school environment, native speakers would say: Miss, Ms, Mister, or Mizz.
- Miss is used to call unmarried women, from little girls to adult women (engaged or not)..
- Mister is used to address adult men.
- Ms or Mizz is used if a woman doesn’t want to disclose if she’s married or not, and then the surname.
Or if they’ve got specific qualifications, you can say: Professor or doctor.
In informal schools, you could address your teacher by only his or her first name, like “Lucy”. But if you are studying in a formal school, you should call her “Miss Earl” instead.
5) Can you explain me?
It’s often said incorrectly “can you explain me this?”, “can you explain me that?”. Instead, it should be “can you explain this to me?”, “can you explain that to me?”
So, “explain me” is wrong, “explain to me” is right.
You should never say “explain me your answer”. You should say either “explain to me your answer”, or much better, “explain your answer to me”.
However, there is an exception to this, “explain me” can exist in one specific context.
Normally, if you have to explain an object, you can say “explain the object to me”, or “explain to me the object”. How about the case in which me is the object? Now, “explain me” can exist.
For example, if you was going to see a therapist, and you was reclining on his sofa, as you don’t understand what’s wrong with yourself. You can ask “Explain me to me, please.” So in the case like this, “explain me” would work, however, that’s quite advanced.
It is the end of our today’s lesson. Those are the five things that you need to stop saying, and make a conscious effort to avoid and correct. To get further explanation as practice your listening English, you should watch the video below. The English teacher- Lucy, with her warm voice and interesting ways of presentation, will certainly make you become engaged in the lesson. Thank you for reading and see you in the next writing!
Credit: Youtube Channel “English with Lucy”