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  1. #1
    M, Khalid is offline Newbie
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    Default non-native speakers need help!

    We all know that there are spoken(or written) language and academic one. We understand what English native speakers say and we know a lot of idioms, phrasals....etc. The problem's that in normal situations we use academic language and sometimes mixed with broken one. Although we know idioms, we use them in unusual contexts.

    I'd like to ask you(English native speakers) about the grammar. Is there a specific grammar that you use in real English? What isthe unusual used grammar in normal situations? I've been to Oxford and they told me they don't use the past perfect progressive in normal situations. I hope we can ( as second language speakers) use the real spoken English as you do.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: non-native speakers need help!

    These questions are extremely broad in their scope- we use English in many different contexts and there will be small differences in the grammar- I will use things when chatting with friends that I wouldn't use when chatting with acquaintances. I disagree that we don't use the past perfect progressive in normal situations, but there is a tendency to use simpler verb forms in everyday speech, so we are less likely to use something like the past perfect progressive, but if it is necessary we will.
    Last edited by Tdol; 14-Feb-2011 at 07:59. Reason: Added 'small'

  3. #3
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: non-native speakers need help!

    Quote Originally Posted by M, Khalid View Post
    We all know that there are spoken(or written) language and academic one. We understand what English native speakers say and we know a lot of idioms, phrasals....etc. The problem's that in normal situations we use academic language and sometimes mixed with broken one. Although we know idioms, we use them in unusual contexts.

    I'd like to ask you(English native speakers) about the grammar. Is there a specific grammar that you use in real English? What isthe unusual used grammar in normal situations? I've been to Oxford and they told me they don't use the past perfect progressive in normal situations. I hope we can ( as second language speakers) use the real spoken English as you do.

    Thank you
    I think you're over-rating the differences in grammar. As Tdol says, there are different registers of speech in all languages but, at least in English, the grammar is practically the same.
    You might be using "grammar" in a broad sense. Certainly, academic language uses bigger and longer and more formal words and fewer idioms. So, vocabulary does differ.

  4. #4
    M, Khalid is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: non-native speakers need help!

    Thank you both for your replies. I do agree that we use different words even tones when we talk to our grandparents, close friends, colleagues...etc. I think that what makes any language alive. We need( as second English language speakers) to have real conversations to live and feel the language.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: non-native speakers need help!

    I have edited my post to change it to 'small differences' of grammar, and as Raymott points out, the biggest differences will be found in vocabulary.

  6. #6
    thatone is offline Member
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    Default Re: non-native speakers need help!

    As far as grammar goes, I think that in most languages there are convoluted forms that the average person doesn't use. People usually try to keep it simple.

  7. #7
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: non-native speakers need help!

    You say you know a lot of idioms, M, Khalid, but you use them incorrectly. How do you learn those idioms? Do you learn them from a dictionary or something similar, or do you learn them from native speakers by listening to them?

  8. #8
    M, Khalid is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: non-native speakers need help!

    Ufortunately most of them from dictionaries. I know I have problems with them and sometimes I use them in wrong contexts. I appreciate any help from you and our friends in the forum.

  9. #9
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: non-native speakers need help!

    Quote Originally Posted by M, Khalid View Post
    Ufortunately most of them from dictionaries. I know I have problems with them and sometimes I use them in wrong contexts. I appreciate any help from you and our friends in the forum.
    You can always ask questions about idioms (and other things) on these forums. There are plenty of people here ready to answer your questions.

    The best way of learning idioms is, as you certainly know, by absorbing them from what you hear and read. This way, you learn to use those idioms as native speakers do. It could be profitable for you to spend more time listening to native speakers (talking to them, watching films or listening to the radio) and reading good English than learning idioms from a dictionary.

  10. #10
    The Dude is offline Member
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    Default Re: non-native speakers need help!

    All the above responses are absolutely right. Read English texts and talk with English speakers, BUT

    1. don't be shy of asking somebody you are talking with to explain what he means if you have not understood

    2. I wouldn't worry about not speaking English exactly like an Englishman - grammar, vocabulary and accent. You will only ever achieve this by living in England for a very long time! You will of course work hard to communicate fluently and with accuracy, but your listener will automatically realise your problem as a non-native speaker and work with you for a proper understanding.

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