American Intonation Practice: Respond Naturally in Conversations in English with Rejoinders

Ever been in a conversation in English where you felt like someone was waiting for you to say something, but you weren’t sure exactly what? They were probably waiting for a quick response to show that you were listening and interested to encourage them to go on. We call these short responses or replies rejoinders, and they’re an essential part of an engaging conversation. Rejoinders are sounds, words, short expressions, or questions that we often … Read the article and watch the video lesson

Stop Saying Sorry About My Accent | Stop Apologizing for Your English

Do you find yourself apologizing for your accent or your English before you’ve even started a conversation? As non-native speakers, we may feel the need to acknowledge that we don’t speak with a perfect accent, or that we make mistakes because we’re still learning the language. To be perfectly honest with you, I used to do it too! For many years, I’d point out that I have an obvious accent in Spanish every single time … Read the article and watch the video lesson

Three Simple Ways to Sound More Polite and Tactful in American English

Have you ever been told that you’re too direct, too demanding, or too aggressive when you’re speaking English, especially at work? Just like kids, when we first learn a language, we focus on communicating clearly in the most straightforward way possible: I’m hungry. I want some pizza. Where is the train station? I’m looking for the ATM. This language is simple, precise, direct. As your language skills continue to evolve, you’re able to add more … Read the article and watch the video lesson

How to Use Go +Ing (the Gerund) to Describe Fun Activities

Let’s go back to basics and review a somewhat unusual grammar structure that trips up even fluent non-native speakers. I’m talking about the verb go + ing, also called go + gerund or go + verb + ing. If you’ve been listening to native speakers, you’ve probably heard them say something like: I’m going running after work. I went shopping last night. Let’s go dancing this weekend. Many people find this grammar structure tricky because … Read the article and watch the video lesson

Beyond You’re Welcome: More Ways to Respond to Thanks in American English

You’ve probably noticed that we Americans tend to say “thank you” a lot. Whether we’re saying thanks for something small, showing appreciation for someone’s support, or expressing gratitude for a huge favor, you want to find a way to acknowledge our feelings. Let’s talk about how. Learn how to respond to “thank you” in American English. Saying “You’re Welcome” with Natural Stress and Intonation Here in the United States, we often respond to “thanks” with … Read the article and watch the video lesson

Are You Working on Your Accent the Wrong Way? 😳 Here’s What to Do Instead

From time to time, I hear from non-native speakers who are concerned that they’re doing the wrong thing while working towards a more natural accent. As far as I’m concerned, if you, or even better, the people who are listening to you speak, can hear a difference in how you sound, then it’s not possible for you to do anything wrong. But if you feel like you’re not getting the results you want, or progress … Read the article and watch the video lesson