8 Ways to Make Your English Sound More Natural

Nossa dica de hoje é uma colaboração da Prof. Kristen Hammer. Nela você aprenderá oito maneiras de fazer com que seu inglês soe mais naturalmente. O texto está em inglês. Isso ajuda você a ir se acostumando com a língua inglesa. Então, vamos lá! Hora de aprender o que a Kristen tem de dica para nós.

In my six years as an English teacher in Brazil, one of the things I hear most often is “I want to talk like a native speaker.” Well, the good news is that I have great tips to give you today. That’s the good news. Now the bad news: I don’t think you’re going to like it. Most of my tips are going to be the use of phrasal verbs!

For some reason, English schools in Brazil don’t teach phrasal verbs as much as they should. I think maybe phrasal verbs are thought of as “optional” or not really part of the real language. I can assure you – they ARE part of our language, and ARE used all the time. Really. Typing a word into an online dictionary to find just one single word can be tempting, and very easy. If you make the effort, and adopt phrasal verbs into your vocabulary, you can definitely make your English sound much more natural.

I picked some of the most common words that my students used in their vocabulary that sounded very formal. (At least to my American ear.) They aren’t necessarily wrong. They just are not natural and not commonly used in everyday conversation. Let me be clear here: in formal English, the words that I am going to substitute are perfectly fine.

I’m first going to write the word that is commonly used, and then I will give you the natural way to say the same thing. I will give the Portuguese definition of the word I am using, because some words can mean many things, and I don’t want to confuse you!

Here we go!

» Return – “devolver”

Instead of “Can I borrow your pen? When I’m finished, I’ll return it to you”, use “give back”: “Can I borrow your pen? When I’m finished, I’ll give it back to you.”

» Review – “rever” or “revisar”

Instead of “I need to review the details with you before deciding to buy your car”, use “go over”: “I need to go over the details with you before deciding to buy your car. “

» Disappear – “desaparecer”

Instead of “Wow! It’s a beautiful, sunny day. I’m so glad the clouds disappeared!”, use, “go away”: “Wow! It’s a beautiful, sunny day. I’m so glad the clouds went away!”

» Appear – “aparecer”

Instead of “I don’t know where that dog came from. He just appeared at our door!”, use “show up”: “I don’t know where that dog came from. He just showed up at our door!”. Another example, used differently would be: “What time should I show up for dinner at your house?”

» Improve – “melhorar”

Instead of “I really want to improve my English”, use, “get better”: “I really want to get better at English.”

» Return – “retornar, or voltar”

Instead of “What time will you return home?”, use “come back”: “What time are you going to come back home?”. Or another use of “voltar” is, “Kristen, when are you “going back” to the U.S.?” (I use the phrasal verb “GO back” , because I am HERE now and my home is really in the U.S.)

» Increase – “aumentar” or “crescer”

Instead of “Our costs increased dramatically over the last decade”, use “go up”: “Our costs went up dramatically over the last decade”. Or another example; “House prices went up a further 12 per cent last year.”

The rest of these aren’t phrasal verbs, but are phrases using the word “GET” [Aprenda mais sobre o o verbo get lendo a dica Get: o famoso verbo coisar da língua inglesa]

» Receive – “receber”
Instead of “I’ll let you know when I receive your email”, use “get”: “I’ll let you know when I get your email.”

And here’s an extra for you…

This is SO common, that I’ll give it to you as a bonus..

» Arrive – “chegar”

Instead of, “What time will you arrive home?”, use, “get”: “What time are you going to get home?”. Or you can say, “What time are you going to get to the office?”.

So now you have three uses of the word GET. Got it?

Well, I guess that’s all for now. See you all later.

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