We are constantly surrounded by people of all different backgrounds, cultures, and countries, who have different interests and thoughts. And just like all these individuals have varying levels of language proficiency that vary day in and day out, we should not expect the same level of fluency from everyone that we speak to. In order to be able to communicate properly with others through the English language, it is necessary to understand some key points concerning this language which can be difficult at times but are relatively easy if utilized correctly.
For example, knowing how to form questions or certain prepositions is a fundamental skill for every fluent English speaker. But knowing when to say “goodbye”, “thank you”, or even “hi” are also essential for proper communication. As previously mentioned, some of these points, although easy to pick up and utilize, can be very difficult for people who are learning English as a second language. And although it may be next to impossible for us to get rid of all the mistakes that we make when speaking with others through this language, we can certainly do our best to minimize them.
In order to reduce mistakes while speaking with others through English understanding the differences between American and British versions of the language will contribute significantly to reducing mistakes made when speaking with people. Most of the time, we will find that English conversations are more likely to be more casual in America than in Britain. For example, when speaking to someone for the first time in Britain, it is customary to ask for the person’s last name and ask about their family after introductions. This is because in Britain it is not common to just give out your first name as a gesture of politeness but also because there are usually many other people with the same last name. It is also mandatory that we greet others formally while maintaining eye contact while saying “good afternoon”, “good evening”, or even “good morning” in society where formal etiquette is practiced rather than just saying hi or hello like most Americans do.
Understanding the importance of accent and intonation in the English language is an important aspect to know when being able to communicate with others. Although we may speak English very well in certain aspects of the language such as vocabulary and grammar, not everyone is a native English speaker so they will usually have a different accent than what we are used to hearing. This is common in students studying abroad who have trouble communicating with other natives. They would much rather make a fool of themselves by butchering the language than by having others correct their mistakes. In order to be able to properly convey our thoughts through this language, it is important to adjust our accents according to what we are comfortable with and what is suitable for our audience.