Do you know how to say the basic things in English? Are you trying to speak English, but don't have the time or money to travel to the United States or England or to enroll in a program where you are formally learning? That is understandable. The best way to learn English is to use it, the more you practice it, the more you will learn! The problem is, you can't start speaking English until you know what to say. Common sense, right? Here you will find the basic guidelines that you need to apply in order to start practicing the language and learn much more along the way.
Method 1 of 1: Learn the Basics
Step 1. Listen to podcasts, watch videos or television, or listen to English through other media
Even if you don't know a word yet, this will help you get your ear used to another language. As you incorporate vocabulary, you will begin to recognize it every time you hear it.
Step 2. Focus on grammar
It is very important that you study the different verb tenses, the regular and irregular verbs and everything that helps you formulate sentences in different periods of time. Basically you need to learn:
- Present and past simple
- Present and past continuous
- Present and past perfect
- Future going to (goin you)
- The verbs TO BE (tu bi), TO HAVE (tu jav) and TO DO (tu du)
- Personal, demonstrative and possessive pronouns.
- The modal verbs.
- The most common irregular and regular verbs.
- Words to ask, such as where (uer) = where, how (jau) = how, when (uen) = when, etc.
Step 3. Get books, magazines, or exercises where you can practice grammar
The more you practice, the more you will get used to thinking in English and you will also quickly incorporate vocabulary.
Step 4. Write the words you learn
An efficient way to memorize is through writing.
Step 5. Learn the pronunciation
You must bear in mind that the English language is pronounced differently than the Spanish language. Words are usually pronounced differently from how they are spelled. Therefore you need not only to learn how to spell a word but also how to pronounce it. For this you can:
- Buy a translator that has a built-in sound emitter, so when you write the word it will tell you how to pronounce it.
- Use computer tools that translate words for you and tell you their pronunciation, such as GOOGLE.
To learn and retain vocabulary
- A good way to learn and improve our vocabulary is by reading short texts in English, and then writing down the vocabulary in a small notebook. And it is very important to go over this vocabulary, for example you can review the vocabulary learned throughout the day before going to sleep. So that little by little the vocabulary is integrated effectively and almost effortlessly.
In addition, it is highly recommended to put an example phrase under each word that we do not understand, either using the phrase itself where said term was found, or using another simpler phrase. To learn any language it is very important to contextualize in order to understand the specific term and its meaning.
Practice pronunciation out loud. So you can hear if you are saying the words correctly.
- To memorize the pronunciation, as you write the new words you learn, you can write the way to pronounce them next to them. This is done for practical purposes only, you should not be confused with the way they are actually written:
- Excuse me (esquiusmi) = Permission
- Go (gou) = Go
- Clean (clin) = Clean
Specify what the functions of the words are. If you have enough time, you can also write next to each word what use it can have. This will make it easier for you to put together sentences and you will not have to memorize everything at once.
- "Clean" can be used as a verb and as an adjective.
- "Close" (clous) can be used as a verb, adjective, and adverb.
Incorporate vocabulary in groups. You can start with the family, parts of the house, the neighborhood, school, fruits and vegetables, clothing, etc.
Practice, practice and practice. Enter forums on the Internet where you can chat with people who speak and write in English. It doesn't matter that you make mistakes at first. Practicing is the only way to learn, the more you speak it, the more you write it, the faster you will find yourself speaking English.
Some basic words and phrases
- That? - Que? (uat)
- What's the matter? - What's up? (uatsop)
- What's wrong? - What's up? or What's the matter? (uats-d-marer)
- How's it going? - How are you? (jau-ar-iu) (Sometimes used in a more common slang way)
- What do you want? - What do you want?
- I want - I want
- You want - You want
- I need - I need
- You need - You need
- Hi there! - Hello! / Hi!
- A bit - A bit
- Let's go - Let's go
- Me voy - I'm going / I'm gone
- Play - Touch / play (an instrument)
- Love - Love
- I love you I love you
- I love you
- I do not know
- I know - I know
- Where are you going? - Where are you going?
- Where are you? - Where are you?
- Very good - Very good
- But - But
- Girl - Girl
- Boy - Boy
- Baby or girl - Little girl
- Child - Little boy
- Where are you from? - Where are you from?
- My head hurts - I have a headache
- Don't tell me - Don't tell me, you're kidding
- Don't be like that - Don't be like that
- I don't like it - I don't like it.
- Goodbye - Goodbye
- What is your name? - What's your name?
- How old are you? - How old are you?
- When is your birthday? - When is your birthday?
- Where is the bathroom? - Where is the bathroom?
- Where is the restaurant? - Where is the restaurant?
- How much does that cost? - How much is that?
- What do you do every day? - What do you do everyday?
- I need you I need you
- Where do you live? - En donde Vives?
- What language do you speak? - What language do you speak?
- Whatever whatever.
- Please come back - Please come back
- You're my angel - You're my angel
- Here we go again - Here we go again
- Look at me - Look at me
- Tonight - Tonight
- Tomorrow - Tomorrow
- Today - Today
- Much better - Much better
- What are you doing? - What are you doing?
- You must be careful with the pronunciation since in itself, it is very different from the pronunciation of Spanish. Not to mention that the American pronunciation differs from the British one.
- You should also take into account American and British slang or slogans.