How To Answer Any Question Like A Native Speaker?
Not everyone’s first language is English, but many aim to be fluent in it. A simple way of answering any question like a native speaker is to have a clear mind and your thoughts organized in English.
Learning and speaking English is much more than understanding grammar and vocabulary. A key factor is capturing the patterns of a native speaker and incorporating various strategies to sound more like a native speaker.
The following is a guide that aims at providing you with valuable tips to enhance your ability to answer questions in a way that is natural and authentic.
1. Understand the question
Before diving into what should be the answer, take a minute to absorb what is being asked. Take your time in understanding the question, ensure you comprehend the topic, organize what you want to say and then go to the next step of answering.
2. Use contractions
Native English speakers tend to use many more contractions than people with English as their second language. Using “I’ll” instead of “I will” or “I’d” in place of “I would” increases fluency and makes pronunciation even better.
3. Be direct
It is common for native speakers to give short, direct answers. Just like that, it is expected of one to avoid rambling and cut to the chase. Focus on giving concise and clear answers until and unless detailed information is asked.
4. Know when to use what tone
Adapt your language to the situation and the level of formality. Native speakers have a good sense of adjusting to formal language, casual language, or slang. Pay attention to the tone of the question and then decide in what tone you must answer.
5. Practice active listening
Being an active listener benefits in a lot of ways. Active listening allows one to pick up cues and understand the nuances of a question, which in turn helps in answering accordingly. It also engages you and makes you look interested in the conversation.
6. Cutting sounds when using He
This one is tricky, but you will be good to go once you get the hang of it. It is common for native speakers to drop sounds using “he” after using an auxiliary verb like does, was, or has. An example is “was he happy?” to “wuzi happy?”
7. Be open to cultural references
Another dig at the said topic is to familiarise yourself with the culture, history, and current situation of English. This makes you feel confident and included since many native speakers tend to include cultural references and allusions in their questions.
8. Opt for appropriate filler words
Using filler words like “um,” “you know,” and “like,” is a common practice amongst native speakers. Try incorporating such words in your answer to make your speech sound natural. However, do not go overboard using filler words to lose the genuity of your answer.
9. Have more conversation
The only way to be fluent in answering in English is to practice more, and this is possible when you interact with more native speakers. Go out and seek opportunities to spark conversations.
The more you have direct contact with them, the more you will familiarise yourself with their patterns, nuances, and much more.
10. The Wanna and Gonna trick
This is a no-brainer. “Gonna” and “Wanna” are words you can never go wrong with since it is the norm for naturally spoken English. Examples include “I wanna go” in place of “I want to go” and “We’re gonna see” instead of “We are going to see.”
11. Slangs and Everyday Phrases
Once you have registered the tone, pay attention to the slang used by native speakers. Later, you can use slang and colloquial phrases like “break a leg,” “hang in there,” or “hit the road,” with them. These phrases would add authenticity to your answer and help with fluency.
Avoid offensive slang and be cautious when using them to ensure that you stay on track.
It all boils down to having your goal crystal clear. It is unnecessary to sound exactly like a native speaker at the end, but one should aim for similar pronunciation. Try using these tips since it is all about practice, not perfection.
Remember that gaining mastery of English takes time and practice. Staying patient with yourself and consistently practicing your speaking skills is important. With utmost dedication and perseverance, one can easily develop the ability to answer any question like a native speaker.