You don’t always need to speak in complete sentences to continue the conversation in English.
This is great news for you! It means that you don’t always have to think about getting the grammar right. You can use short phrases to help you reply to people more fluently and without hesitating.
Here are some examples for being fluent in a few words.
One-Word And Two-Word Phrases
If someone asked you “Where’s Jack?” you could reply
“Dunno!” (= Don’t know).
If someone said “I’m going to the States on holiday” you could reply
“Wow” or “Really?”
If someone said “John and Debbie have split up” you could reply
“No way!” or “You’re joking!”
You can even make a “noise” like “uh-huh” or “mmm”!
A great way to keep a conversation going is to ask the other person a question. But the problem is that questions are hard in English!
For example, if you want to ask a friend if they had a good weekend, the question is quite complicated.
First, to make the question, you need an auxiliary. For past tense questions, that’s “did”. Then you need the subject “you”. Then you need the verb in the infinitive form “have” so that you can make
“Did you have a good weekend?”
Because you need to think about how to make the question, you slow down. When you hesitate, you are less fluent.
So, copy what native speakers do and reduce the question.
We ignore the first part of the question and just say:
“Have a good weekend?” or even “Good weekend?”
Here are some more examples:
“Have you got a minute?” = “Got a minute?”
“Are you going anywhere nice on holiday?” = “Going anywhere nice on holiday?”
Here are some more social English questions:
“Have you visited London before?” = “Visited London before?”
“Would you like more potatoes?” = “More potatoes?”
“Can I get you another drink?” = “Another drink?”
If you’d like more, check out the video below!
My English fluency course “Speak Real English” is launching soon!
Stay tuned for the details…
Did you miss the three other posts in the series “Speak Real English”?