5 Tips to Write Like a Native English Speaker

Published 2021-05-24 12:19:15
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"Can I write like a native English speaker?" That's the question you're looking to answer, and there's great news for you: Yes, you can. Even if your writing experience isn't great now, you have a good chance to write like a native speaker. "But how can I be aware of what's grammatically correct and what's not? I don't have that ability yet..." "Yet" is correct. If you commit to this project, you'll be surprised by how far you can go. In this article, you'll find five excellent tips to get you started.

1. Read Blogs that Interest You

Many new projects start with a lot of motivation and enthusiasm. But, with time, the motivation wanes, and it's very easy to give up. We need to avoid that.
One way to stay motivated is to connect your project with something you love. For example, let's suppose you'd like to learn writing because you want to start a cooking blog. There will be articles, videos, and, of course, recipes.

To keep yourself motivated, how about finding two great cooking blogs and subscribe to them? Promise yourself to read one or two articles per week. It's going to be a great practice plus you can get some inspiration for delicious meals.

Tip: write down new words, phrases, and even entire sentences. It's new knowledge plus something to use in your own writing.

2. Don't Focus on Fancy Words

Many new English learners make a mistake by focusing too much on words they think make them sound like a native. Like:

  1. Preposterous
  2. Perfunctory
  3. Bravado
  4. Epitome.

Words like these do sound smart, but there's a problem: native speakers don't use them that often. Seriously, who uses "perfunctory" in their daily life? The best way to start writing like a native is to write in simple, conversational language (unless what you're training for is summarizing scholar studies).

So what to do if you find a fancy word you haven't seen a lot? Well, that doesn't mean you need to use that word in every text you write. Just take a note and carry on. It's a much better idea than using it in a sentence and making it sound strange.

3. Get a Mentor

One of the best ways to know how native speakers write is to ask one. Learning from a native speaker:

  1. exposes you to their perspective on writing issues
  2. helps you understand their culture and its impact on language
  3. grasp specific language nuances that aren't easily understood by non-native speakers
  4. gets you immediate feedback so you can recognize your mistakes.

Last but not least, you gain a lot of confidence and motivation to keep going forward. That's why many English learners communicate with native speakers on a regular basis.

Should you practice your writing with a native speaker, too? Absolutely. The best news is that it's much easier than you think.

A great way to practice is one-on-one video lessons. You connect with a native speaker via video at a pre-agreed time and get to work. It connects you with a community of native speakers of English who are ready to help you. Here are some tips for video lessons:

  1. It's totally fine to feel unconfident. Many people feel nervous when talking with native speakers, mostly because they're not confident in their skills. Well, don't let emotions get in the way. The person you're talking to wants to help you, so there's no reason to worry
  2. List your challenges. Let your teacher know about the weaknesses you have with learning. Be really honest to make them understand how to help you
  3. Ask questions. Some learners make a mistake by just sitting there and listening to the teacher talk. This results in them having a bunch of important questions unanswered.

4. Lose Adverbs

Adverbs, especially intensive ones like "extremely," "actually," and "truly" make your text sound unnecessarily complicated. On top of that, they don't really add any value to the text.

Read this sentence and try to find them:

"The office door opened quickly, and Mark came in suddenly, looking angry. At the watercooler, he noticed Darcy talking flirtatiously with her friend, and went over to them angrily. ‘Why are you talking to him at work?' he asked aggressively."

In this sentence, the adverbs - the words ending in -ly - aren't that close from each other. Still, they make it a bit harder to read and stop the natural flow of the text. Let's now revisit this sentence. This time, let's lose the adverbs.

"The office door opened, and Mark came in, looking angry. At the watercooler, he noticed Darcy talking with her friend, and went over to them. "Why are you talking to him at work?" he asked."

This one's a bit easier to read, right? That's why losing adverbs in your writing isn't just a way to sound like a native. It's also a method to write clearly.
If you're looking for one, here's a list of 3732 adverbs for you.

5. Keep Your Sentences Short

Long sentences are harder to follow. Plus it's easier for you as a non-native speaker to make them even more complex. Try to keep them short by using these tips:

  1. Count the commas. If a sentence doesn't list anything but still has more than two commas, consider splitting it
  2. Remove redundant words. For example, use "experience" instead of "past experience" and "I think" instead of "In my honest opinion"
  3. One idea per sentence. Two or more ideas will make a sentence long and hard to read
  4. Use an editing software to improve your writing stronger, for example Hemingway Editor (free online tool). It's a tool designed for writers to help them find redundant words, overused adverbs automatically. It's a simple writing program, but not a grammar checker like Grammarly and ProWritingAid.

Over to You

So now you know how to improve language skills as a non-native speaker. Try these tips to start transforming your writing by choosing the right words and making proper structures. It's definitely worth your time, and the payoff will be amazing.

About the author

Nicole Garrison is a content marketing strategist, writer, and editor for the best rated research paper writing service. She is a dedicated and experienced content creator who pays particular attention to quality research. Nicole consistently attends different courses, seminars, and conferences that keep her knowledge up to date. In her free time, Nicole is a passionate runner and traveler.

Share your experience, participate in the discussion and leave comments in our forum HERE.

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Author: Nicole Garrison
I am a content strategist and writer. I am also a passionate runner and a curious beekeeper.

For other discussions, advice, question, point of view, get together, etc...: please use the forum.

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