How to find your words in English
How to find words in English? It’s not always the speaking itself that’s problematic, but rather the lack of vocabulary . If you stutter when speaking English or have a memory lapse and keep searching for your words, then this article is for you! Today, we offer you concrete activities and exercises that will allow you to express yourself better orally and no longer search for your words in English!
Where to start to find your words in English?
You’ve been studying English for a long time but you still have problems with English speakers? To be able to express yourself well in English and not fumble when you speak, you must first expose yourself to the language. This is a step that many learners miss out of impatience, but it is essential and could even be the reason why you are having difficulty speaking. Imagine that you are a singer or a singer who must interpret a song that you have never heard! It’s the same thing in learning modern languages: you must first expose yourself to the target language, and build a passive knowledge of it that you will gradually activate thereafter.
To accumulate knowledge of the English language in your mind, choose authentic and interesting content. You can find some in our Resources section for practising English !
Learning in context
Now let’s get to the heart of today’s topic: how to find your words in English?
Our first tip is not to study isolated words. If you learn out of context, you won’t be able to use the words in context. When you come across a new word, try to spend time with it. We especially recommend that you use the Wiktionary and YouGlish resources to read and watch example sentences and see how the vocabulary is actually used. It’s a simple and interesting technique that makes you addicted! Personally, I can spend hours watching video fragments containing sample sentences with the word I’m learning. Since the video snippets are short, it keeps the attention, much like the videos on TikTok .
Try to make it a habit: each time you come across a new word, look at 5 example sentences on YouGlish. Go ahead, search for the word colonel. With this little research, you will also avoid the pitfalls of English spelling .
To write in English
The problem is not necessarily speaking per se, but rather finding your words in English. I therefore offer you an exercise to better express yourself in English: write! Yes, said like that, it may sound weird! However, this activity will allow you to focus on choosing your words well, stringing them together in grammatically correct sentences to create an understandable message. All without having to worry about pronunciation (at least for now).
where to write in English
Read exciting discussions and participate! On English forums such as Reddit or Quora, you can find questions and conversations on every possible and conceivable topic. The advantage of practicing your English in this way is that you will first become familiar with the vocabulary and common expressions and then reuse them in the discussion. What’s more, the sites will offer you other similar topics. Find out how to learn English with movies , for example.
Keep a diary in English . I know we’re not in college anymore, but to learn English , you have to be open-minded, curious and try new things! Not only is it great practice, but you can use it as an outlet. Describe your emotions, your projects, your day, imagine conversations, situations, etc. What’s fantastic is that these are precisely the topics we tend to talk about in real life and you can prepare for them!
Find an English-speaking correspondent . Nothing is as stimulating as an exciting conversation with someone else. The fact of exchanging with real people will undoubtedly push you to continue. You will be even more motivated after realizing how much Shakespeare’s language will serve you in your own life. Check out our article How to Find an English Penpal where you will not only find the best resources to meet your future friends, but also sample messages to start a successful match.
- Apps to learn English . I particularly recommend that you take a look at HiNative where you can ask questions about English, meet new people and organize language exchanges .
Translate in English
If you want, you can of course translate novels and poems from English to Hindi, but in this case we are talking more about an exercise in finding your words in English!
It is a productive activity, because it allows you to see and analyze the differences between your native language and your target language and thus find your words. The proof is the Italian polyglot Luca Lampariello who has mastered 11 languages thanks to this technique.
Translate to learn a language
You can start by translating small sentences, your thoughts, the shopping list, the to-do list, the lyrics of your favorite songs , etc.
Read our full article on how to learn English by translating !
If the written translation seems too simple, try doing it live! Turn on the television in Hindi and try to translate everything into English. If that seems too difficult, you can also watch TV in English and translate into Hindi, a great exercise to improve your understanding of spoken English .
- Start slowly by translating a sentence from time to time, for example one per minute.
- Once it gets too easy, try translating every other sentence.
- …until you can interpret in real time. Voila: you’ve acquired a new, well-paid skill!
think in English
Thinking is one of the best exercises for learning to express yourself better in English.
Here are some of its benefits:
- You can do it as much as you want, anytime and anywhere. It’s also free! In other words, it is one of the most accessible exercises.
- You review vocabulary and grammar. Our passive knowledge of the language is always more important, so it’s a way to activate what you already know.
- Thanks to this exercise, you can also identify your shortcomings in English. If you think about something, you will definitely talk about it. By thinking about it beforehand, you can identify and fill in your vocabulary gaps and thus prepare yourself to hold a conversation in English.
- These are potentially hundreds of hours of additional practice and you will need between 1000 and 1200 to reach the bilingual level .
You shouldn’t change your internal monologue from Hindi to English overnight, it’s not realistic. Instead, start by translating a few simple thoughts, describe what you see around you, think about your plans, think about what you did today before going to sleep, what you are going to do while brushing your teeth, etc. . This will help you make use of your spare time .
Accumulate the necessary practice hours faster, by thinking in English! Discover the method here: How to think in English .
Describe things in English
Describing even simple words creates associations in your mind . This is an important step towards success! Here are some ideas:
Create a list of stores explaining what each is for, as if you were explaining it to a child:
- There are cafes; a café is a place where you can sit down and order a drink, you could order a glass of water, a coffee, a tea…
- There are restaurants; a restaurant is…
- Supermarkets / grocery stores, where you can buy food and bring it home…
- What’s the difference between a grocery store and a convenience store?
Be open and curious. Although it may seem like a simple exercise, it will help you find your words in English! It makes your brain work, it pushes you to look for your words in English, to find them, to find new terms and synonyms to better express yourself. It also helps you develop your ability to describe and explain things in English. You can also describe your day, from when you wake up to when you go to bed.
Shadowing : exercise to work on your accent in English
To speak English fluently, you need to work on two skills: choosing your words well and pronouncing them well. The second is often overlooked.
I now offer you a very interesting and productive exercise that will help you improve your pronunciation in English . It involves choosing audio content ( podcasts , audiobooks , movies , etc.) and repeating what native speakers say by mimicking their pronunciation and intonation. Kind of like a parrot!
It’s good because you can work on your accent without thinking about the words or the grammar, you can focus on the correct pronunciation.
This technique owes its popularity to the linguist Alexander Argüelles who learned to speak 10 languages with an impeccable accent.
This is an exercise that is compatible with Click & Speak training . If you are already one of our users, know that you can apply the Shadowing technique when working with Monologues and Dialogues.
If you are not yet familiar with our online English course, Click & Speak , I invite you to watch a small demonstration here
Talk to each other out loud
Are you afraid to speak in English ? Ashamed of your foreign accent ? If for some reason you don’t dare to speak in your target language, I invite you to try speaking out loud to yourself in English first. This gives you the opportunity to practice stress-free anytime and anywhere. Yes, even outside or in transport, you can talk to yourself out loud: pretend to talk on the phone, but don’t forget to put it on silent to avoid awkward situations!
This exercise is very similar to thinking in English, except that for this one you will also work on your pronunciation.
If you don’t know what to say, imagine having a conversation with someone about one of these topics . You’ll find all sorts of questions there, from your hobbies to the Pope! Answer the questions, look up the vocabulary that escapes you and check the pronunciation of the words as soon as you have the slightest doubt.
And in case that sounds too boring, you always have the option of chatting with English-speaking conversation partners .
Vocabulary to better express yourself in English
In this part of the article, we offer you vocabulary and expressions that will make your speech more fluent and that will allow you to feel more comfortable during a conversation in English:
The most used words in English
If you are looking for your words in English, if they escape you, then it is very likely that you have not focused on the important vocabulary. Not all words in English carry the same weight, some are used in almost any conversation, while others are reserved only for specific areas.
A common mistake learners make is studying out of order. To avoid this, I invite you to take a look at our frequency list. Thanks to this one, you will discover the 5000 most common words of the English language which represent 96% of the spoken language.
Your speech will flow more smoothly and you will be better understood if you link your ideas together with the help of logical connectors . These little words can express a lot of things like consequence , contrast , or comparison .
Here is an example with the logical connectors expressing the sequence: the sentence is more easily assimilated after adding them:
Why would I call her? Firstly , I have nothing to tell her and secondly , I don’t even have her number! = Why would I call her? First, I have nothing to tell him and second, I don’t even have his number!
Filler words are the little words (or sounds) that don’t mean anything, but are used to save time and often, for no particular reason. In Hindi, these are words like ben , uh , then , etc. We tend to use them automatically without even thinking about it and as a result, we often end up using Hindi filler words when speaking English! This is obviously a habit to avoid, because it not only disturbs your interlocutors, but it allows your brain to work in Hindi.
To kick-start, the English engine, use filler words or sounds like um , er , like, well, so , you know, etc.
Use them wisely. We all know people who talk for long minutes without saying anything.
It is convenient to learn ready-made phrases, because you can use them in a conversation without thinking about the choice of words, their order, grammar, etc. All you need is the correct pronunciation !
This is why I recommend that you learn some idiomatic expressions in English : they are common, very useful and you will undoubtedly impress your English-speaking friends!
If something is really very expensive, say It costs an arm and a leg . If you think something is impossible, say When pigs fly . If you want to wish someone good luck, say Break a leg! .
Discover our selection of idiomatic expressions in English with audio, explanations and examples!
Like idioms, English proverbs are phrases that you can memorize and speak English fluently.
Here is the wisdom of English speakers in a few lines:
- Better late than never. = Better late than never.
- You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. = You can’t have the butter and the money for the butter.
- Old clothes die hard. = Habits die hard.
Discover the 15 English proverbs you need to know !
Learning useful phrases by heart, with the correct pronunciation, will allow you to express yourself fluently in English, but also to better understand oral English. It is precisely on this principle that our English training, Click & Speak is based, which teaches you the important vocabulary by assimilating the grammar through lively and useful sentences.
How to improve your pronunciation in English?
Even though the objective of this article is to help you express yourself better, we cannot forget the pronunciation. To express yourself well in English, knowing all the words in the dictionary is not enough. You also need to know how to pronounce them well, this will improve both your written comprehension and your oral expression.
If you feel that you have a pronunciation gap, I invite you to discover the following resources:
- Our section is dedicated to English pronunciation.
- How to improve your pronunciation in English . The 3 tips to know + 6 techniques to acquire an impeccable accent.
- How to check your pronunciation in English . Discover the best tools and dictionaries to listen to the pronunciation of English words, but also to check it and self-correct.
This is the end of our article that answers the question how to find your words in English! If you stammer when you speak English, if the words escape you and you can’t express yourself, then put these 8 tips into practice! What new technique did you discover today? Tell us in the comments