1.Use the correct article. There are two types of articles in the English language: definite and indefinite. “The” is a definite article and refers to one specific thing. “A” and “an” are indefinite articles and refer to a general noun.
- If you are referring to any dog at all, say “a dog.” If you are referring to one particular dog, say “the dog.”
- Use “an” instead of “a” if the noun that follows begins with a vowel sound, as with “I would like an apple” or “I will be there in an hour.”
2.Pay attention to prepositions. One mark of a non-native speaker is the incorrect use of prepositions (words such as on, to, in, among, and around). If you wish to speak as fluently as a native speaker, pay careful attention to how these short words are used by native speakers.
- Unfortunately, the rules about when to use a particular preposition are inconsistent. For example, it is common to say either “I’m waiting for the train” or “I’m waiting on the train,” but you cannot always exchange “on” and “for,” as with “I have a meeting on Monday.”
3.Choose the correct adjective order. Not all adjectives are treated equally in English, and native speakers tend to place adjectives in a certain order before the noun they modify.
- The typical arrangement is: article, judgement, size, shape, age, color, nationality, material.(However, it is best to limit the number of adjectives for a single noun to 2-3).
- For example, you would say “I have an old brown dog” or “I drive a rusty, box-shaped, 20-year-old American truck.”
4.Resist the thesaurus. A thesaurus can be tempting if you feel that your vocabulary is limited, but often synonyms listed in a thesaurus may relate to an alternative form of the word you are replacing.
- If you must use a thesaurus, be sure to look up the word you select in a quality dictionary to be sure that it is an acceptable substitute for your original word.
5.Memorize irregular verbs. In English, the regular verbs are relatively easy to master, but the irregular verb forms are much more difficult. It is best to simply memorize these verb conjugations. Searching for lists of common irregular verbs and making lists or flashcards for yourself may help you master their forms.
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