Using Non-Native-Speaker Grammar Patterns

When we learn English, sometimes we use the rules from our own language by mistake. This can make our English sound a bit strange. Let’s learn more about this and how to avoid it.

What’s the Issue?

Using Our Language’s Rules in English: This happens when we use the rules of our language in English. It’s like trying to use the instructions for one game to play a different game.

Why Do We Do This?

  1. Word-by-Word Translation:
    • We often take sentences from our language and change each word into English.
    • For example, if you speak Spanish, you might say, “I have 20 years,” but in English, we say, “I am 20 years old.”
  2. Our Culture’s Way of Talking:
    • Our language might have special ways of talking based on respect or tradition. English might not have the same rules.
  3. Learning from Movies or Music:
    • Movies or songs can have slang or special ways of speaking that aren’t always correct.

Examples of These Mistakes:

  1. Using ‘a,’ ‘an,’ and ‘the’ Wrongly:
    • Some languages don’t use these words. So, we might say, “She is best player,” but it should be, “She is the best player.”
  2. Getting Verb Times Mixed Up:
    • Saying “I go to the store tomorrow” instead of “I will go to the store tomorrow.”
  3. Describing Things in a Mixed-Up Order:
    • In English, we say “a big red ball” and not “a red big ball.”

Why It’s Important to Get It Right:

  1. Clear Talking:
    • Making these mistakes can make it harder for people to understand you quickly.
  2. Looking Professional:
    • If we talk this way in work meetings or interviews, people might not think we know English well.

How Can We Fix This?

  1. Knowing There’s a Problem:
    • Understand that English has its own rules, separate from our language.
  2. Use Good English Sources:
    • Reading simple books or listening to news can show us the right way to make sentences in English.
  3. Ask for Help:
    • Ask friends who speak English well to tell you when you make a mistake.

Ways to Practice Better:

  1. Translate Sentences:
    • Write sentences in your language, then change them to English. Look up the right way to say it in English and compare.
  2. Talk with English Speakers:
    • Find an English-speaking friend. They can help you see when you use your language’s rules by mistake.
  3. Use Online Tools:
    • Tools like Grammarly can help find and fix these mistakes.

To sound more natural in English, we need to use English rules, not the rules from our own language. With practice and help from friends or tools, we can improve and sound more like a native speaker.

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