During a conversation with a native English speaker, you might encounter many English language conversation patterns. These are phrases or groups of words that repeatedly occur throughout a verbal or written exchange.
Some of these “expressions” may not make sense by themselves, but you can form hundreds of sentences using them while sounding more like a native English speaker in the process. They are uniquely made for English communication and naturally occur in conversations between native English speakers.
The importance of conversation patterns in communication
Effective communication in English heavily relies on speaking patterns to relay thoughts and feelings more accurately. It also ensures a more graceful flow of conversation and a more exceptional guarantee of getting your point across. Also, using conversation patterns while speaking or even while writing makes you sound less robotic and more natural -more like a native English speaker.
When listening to a conversation between two native speakers, you may notice that the fluidity of their exchange is mostly brought about by these English conversation patterns. You can, therefore, say that these patterns are essential to communicate in the language mentioned above effectively and that learning a few of them would greatly help your speaking skills.
Many situations make these skills highly valuable. You might be eyeing a job in an English speaking country. You might also want to get into an English speaking university. Or, you might be dealing with a lot of English speaking clients at work or in business. It would help to start with some of the most common patterns and incorporate them into your dialogue.
Common English conversation patterns for daily use
To start with, below are a few of the most useful English conversation patterns that you can start using to improve your communication skills and a few examples of their use in everyday conversation:
By the way
This phrase is used mostly to segue into a topic other than the one that is currently being discussed. It could also pertain to a subject that is somewhat related to the issue that you and your fellow speakers are talking about.
“I love movies!”
“Me too. By the way, have you watched the tape I sent you last week?”
I cannot wait to
This phrase is used to express excitement over an event or an activity which usually involves the speaker’s direct participation.
“Summer is finally here. I cannot wait to take a trip to the beach.”
“I cannot wait to tell you about the good news.”
I have no idea
This phrase is merely stating that you don’t know. It can stand alone as a complete sentence, or it can be used to form other sentences with more complex thoughts.
“I have no idea about childcare.”
“I had no idea that she would be here.”
I have got to
This phrase may sound like you have or own something, but it could not be farther from that. It merely implies that you need to act on something or to do a task.
“I have got to get rid of those rats at home.”
“I have got to donate all of these old clothes to the shelter.”
Help yourself to
This phrase implies that you are offering something. At the same time, it is also letting the other person freely take for himself whatever it is that you are offering.
“Help yourself to some of the cookies at the table.”
“Go ahead and help yourself to the fridge.”
This phrase is not a gambling phrase, but rather something you would say if you are sure about something—like an occurrence, a fact, or even a feeling.
“His dog just died yesterday. I bet he’s feeling pretty down right now.”
“Want to go to the party? I bet they have lots of food and drinks.”
This expression is used when you uncover or confirm a preconceived notion.
“So he just got promoted last week. No wonder he’s been in high spirits over the past few days.”
“No wonder you’re late. You missed the bus this morning.”
It’s too bad that
Most of the time, this phrase expresses regret over an occurrence or a situation.
“It’s too bad that he didn’t make it to the finals. He wanted the grand prize.”
“The house looks wonderful. It’s too bad that we couldn’t afford it.”
This phrase is one of the other ways to say that you should start doing something. It could also connote a much-needed change in someone’s demeanor.
“The sky is getting darker by the minute. We’d better get inside.”
“Your teacher told me you’ve been naughty. You’d better start behaving properly, or else you might get punished.”
This phrase is heavily used in English conversations. It usually presents a question that prompts a hypothetical or theoretical answer.
“What if we never met? How different do you think our lives would be?”
“You should start treating him better. What if he runs away?”
How to improve communication with conversation patterns
- Don’t stop learning.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of different English conversation patterns out there that you can learn to improve your speaking skills. Read as much as you can about them. Learning them bit by bit allows you to converse smoothly with a native English speaker. It will also help you sound a lot more natural during conversations.
- Practice constantly and consistently.
As with any other skill, constant and consistent practice is the key to mastery. Try to find ways in which you can put your newly-acquired conversation patterns to use. Ideally, you can learn between three to five phrases a day to make it more effective. Try it out with a friend who has excellent English speaking skills. Try saying it in front of the mirror so you can be more confident in including these phrases in conversation. Check out these English proficiency tests you can take!
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
When learning a new language, mistakes are inevitable. Don’t let that stop you from engaging in a conversation. Luckily, many native English speakers are accommodating enough towards those who are still starting with learning the language. Don’t be hesitant to incorporate conversation patterns when speaking in English. Make known to your listener the efforts you are doing to improve your English speaking skills. Lastly, be open and receptive to correction. Being receptive helps you avoid the same mistakes and improve your vocabulary in the long run.
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