Learn English In 30 Minutes | Beginner English Course For Speaking & Daily Conversation (10 Lessons)

Lesson summary

In this English lesson you will learn 10 phrases that you can use to have conversations with native English speakers.

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Video transcript

You want to have conversations in English but you just don’t know what to say. Well today we are going to fix that! In this beginner English speaking course, you are going to learn 10 phrases that you need to have basic conversations with native English speakers.

 

For each phrase, you will learn the correct pronunciation, what the phrase means, when to use the phrase, how to answer the phrase and common mistakes with that phrase. So if you’re ready to start improving your English speaking skills and start having conversations with native speakers, let’s get started!

 

Lesson #1

Today’s phrase is ‘What is your name?’ This is the most basic that you can use to ask someone’s name. You can use this phrase in any situation – formal or informal. Now if you want to sound more like a native speaker, you can join the ‘what’ and the ‘is’ together and say ‘what’s’. What’s your name? What’s your name?

 

So if someone asks you your name, how can you answer this question correctly? Well the most basic way to answer is by saying ‘My name is’ and then saying your name. For me, I would say ‘My name is Shane.’ Now again, if you want to sound more like a native speaker, you can join the ‘name’ and the ‘is’ together and say ‘name’s’. So for me, I would say ‘My name’s Shane.’ My name’s Shane.

 

Another way you can answer the question is by saying ‘I’m’ and then you say your name. So for me, I would say ‘I’m Shane.’ I’m Shane.

 

What about if someone asks you your name and you want to ask their name back? You can simply add the phrase ‘And you’ after you say your name. So for me, I would say ‘My name’s Shane, and you?’ Or I could say ‘I’m Shane, and you?’ And note here with the ‘you’, it’s a rising intonation. And you? Don’t say ‘And you.’ No. You need to say ‘And you?’ Yes.

 

If you forget someone’s name and this happens all the time, you can say ‘Sorry, what was your name again?’ Sorry, what was your name again? This is a very polite phrase that you can use to ask someone’s name again.

 

Some common mistakes I hear with this phrase are when students say things like ‘What your name?’ But this is incorrect because we haven’t used the word ‘is’. So to correct this, you need to say ‘What is your name’ or you can say ‘What’s your name?’ Also, sometimes students like to say things like ‘My name Fred’ or ‘My name John’ but this is incorrect again because we haven’t used the word ‘is’. So to correct this you need to add the word ‘is’. For me, I would say ‘My name is Shane’ or I could say ‘My name’s Shane.’ Both are correct. Just remember to add the word ‘is’. It’s very important.

 

Lesson #2

Today’s phrase is ‘What do I call this in English?’ This is the most basic phrase that you can use to ask the word for something when you don’t know what it’s called. Let’s pretend you see this and you’re not sure what it’s called in English. You can say ‘What do I call this in English?’

 

We use this phrase when we’re asking about just one thing. What if you see these things and you don’t know what they are called, what can you ask? You can say ‘What do I call these in English?’ We use this phrase when we’re asking about two or more things.

 

If someone shows you a book and says to you ‘Excuse me, what do I call this in English?’, how can you answer this question correctly? There are many ways to answer. You can say ‘It’s a book.’ This is a book. That is a book. It’s called a book.

 

If someone asks you ‘What do I call these in English’, how can you answer correctly? There are many ways to answer, again. You can say ‘They are books.’ These are books. They are called books. The phrase ‘What do I call this in English’ can sometimes be said in different ways. For example, you can say ‘What is this called in English’ or ‘What do you call this in English?’ All of these phrases are correct and just mean ‘What is the name for this thing in English?’

 

Now let’s look at some common mistakes with this phrase. The most common mistake is when students say ‘How do I call this in English?’ This is incorrect because ‘How do I call this’ means ‘By what method do you use to make the sound for this thing?’ We don’t want to know about the method or how to do it. We just want to know the name of thing. We want to know what it’s called. So to correct this, you need to say ‘What do I call this in English?’

 

Another mistake students make is saying ‘What I call this in English?’ To correct this, you need to say ‘What do I call this in English?’ The next mistake is about answering the question. Many students answer the question ‘What do I call this in English’ by saying things like ‘It a book.’ This is incorrect because we don’t have the word ‘is’. So to correct this, you need to say ‘It is a book’ or you can say ‘It’s a book.’

 

Lesson #3

Today’s phrase is ‘How are you?’ How are you? This is the most basic phrase that you can use to start a conversation with anyone at anytime.

 

When we use the phrase ‘How are you’, we’re not really interested in how that person is. We’re not really interested if they are sad, happy, excited or bored. We just use this phrase to start a conversation.

 

Some different ways to say ‘How are you’ are ‘How’s it going?’ How are you going? How are you doing?

 

If someone asks you ‘How are you’, what can you say back to them? Well you’ve probably heard the answer ‘I am fine thank you and you’, but this is textbook English. Most native English speakers never use this phrase. There are hundreds of different ways you can answer the question ‘How are you’ but some common answers are ‘I’m good, thanks.’ I’m not bad, thanks. Or if it’s a more formal situation, you can say ‘I’m well, thanks.’

 

If you want to ask someone how they are back, just add one of these three phrases at the end of your sentence. You? Yourself? How about you? You? Yourself? How about you? So if you asked me ‘How are you’, I could say ‘I’m good, thanks. You?’ I’m good, thanks. Yourself? I’m good, thanks. How about you?

 

Now let’s talk about some common mistakes that students make with this phrase. The most common mistake is when students answer the question ‘How are you’ by saying ‘I am fine thank you and you?’ This sentence is grammatically correct. It makes sense. But it is not natural. Most native speakers never ever use this phrase. So if you want to sound like a native English speaker, when you answer ‘How are you’, we recommend that you don’t say ‘I am fine thank you and you.’

 

Another common mistake is students using the wrong tone when they are asking someone how they are back. For example, many students say ‘I’m good thanks, you.’ Their tone goes down. You need to say ‘I’m good thanks, you?’ I’m good thanks, you?’ You need to use a rising intonation. The pitch or the sound should go up. I’m good thanks, you?

 

Lesson #4

Today’s phrase is ‘Where are you from?’ Where are you from? This is the most basic way to ask someone what their country is or what their city is. Please note that ‘Where are you from’ does not mean ‘Where did you come from today’. ‘Where are you from’ is asking about your country or your city.

 

Now when native speakers say ‘Where are you from’ very quickly in more informal situations, normally they don’t say ‘are’. They just ‘Where yuh from?’ Where yuh from? And also please note that a different way to ask ‘Where are you from’ is ‘Where do you come from?’ Where do you come from? Most native speakers don’t say ‘Where do you come from’. They say ‘Where are you from’ because it’s shorter and quicker.

 

If someone asks you ‘Where are you from’, how can you answer this question? Well there are two main ways to answer. The first way is by saying ‘I’m from’ plus your country. For example, ‘I’m from England.’ I’m from Germany. I’m from Thailand.

 

Now the second way to answer this is by saying ‘I’m’ plus your nationality. For example, ‘I’m English.’ I’m German. I’m Thai.

 

Now let’s talk about some common mistakes with this phrase. The most common mistake is when students answer the question ‘Where are you from’ by saying ‘I came from’ plus their country. For example, ‘I came from England.’ But this is not correct. ‘I came from’ is talking about just one time. But if you are talking about your country, you need to say ‘I come from’. Why? Because ‘I come from’ is talking about something that is always true. And it’s always true that you come from your country. It’s not just one time.

 

The second most common mistake is when students say ‘I am come from’ plus their country. For example, ‘I am come from England.’ This is incorrect because after ‘am’, we don’t use verb 1. To correct this, we need to say ‘I come from England.’ No ‘am’. And please note that most native speakers, when they answer the question ‘Where are you from’, they don’t say ‘I come from’ plus their country. They just say ‘I’m from’ plus their country. For example, ‘I’m from England.’

 

Lesson #5

Today’s phrase is ‘What do you do?’ What do you do? When native speakers say this phrase very quickly, they like to say ‘Wodduhyuhdo?’ Wodduhyuhdo?

 

Now this phrase is asking about your job. Do you work? Do you study? Or do you do something else? This question is not asking about just one time. ‘What do you do’ is asking about what you do as a habit, as a routine. It’s asking about the past, the present and the future.

 

Please don’t confuse ‘What do you do’ with ‘What are you doing’ with an ING. These two phrases are very different. You can see on the screen right now that ‘What are you doing’ means ‘What are you doing right now?’ We are talking about one time – right now. But the phrase ‘What do you do’ is asking about your habit, your routine.

 

Some different ways to ask ‘What do you do’ are ‘What do you do for a living?’ What is your job? What is your occupation? Please note that the word ‘occupation’ is a formal word.

 

So if someone asks you ‘What do you do’, how can you answer this basic question? The main way to answer is by saying ‘I’m a’ plus your job. For example, I would say ‘I’m a teacher.’ Some other examples could be ‘I’m a doctor.’ I’m a student. If you are a student, you could also say ‘I study at university.’ Or you could say ‘I’m a university student.’ Now let’s talk about some common mistakes with this phrase.

 

The most common mistake is when students confuse ‘What do you do’ with ‘What are you doing?’ Remember, ‘What do you do’ is asking about your job. ‘What are you doing’ is asking what you’re doing right now. It’s asking about one time. So if someone says to you, ‘What do you do’, please don’t answer by saying ‘I’m working’ or ‘I’m eating.’ This is incorrect. You can see the differences between these two questions on the screen right now.

 

The second most common mistake is when students answer the question ‘What do you do’ by saying things like ‘I am study at university.’ This is incorrect because after ‘am’, we don’t use verb 1. To correct this sentence, we could say ‘I study at university.’ Or we could say ‘I’m a student.’

 

Lesson #6

Today’s phrase is ‘What do you do in your free time?’ This question is asking about your hobbies. It’s not asking about your work. It’s asking what you normally like to do when you’re not working or when you’re not studying at school or university.

 

Some different ways to ask ‘What do you do in your free time’ are ‘What do you do when you have free time?’ What do you get up to in your free time? Or ‘Do you have any hobbies?’ So if someone asks you ‘What do you do in your free time’, how can you answer?

 

Well there are two main ways to answer. The first is by saying ‘I like’ plus a verb plus ING. For example, ‘I like swimming.’ I like cooking. I like going to the gym. The second way is by saying ‘I like to’ plus a verb. For example, ‘I like to swim.’ I like to cook. I like to go to the gym.

 

So which way is better? Both ways are correct. For me, I like to say ‘I like’ plus a verb plus ING. I think it’s more natural and it’s easier to say because you don’t have to add in the word ‘to’. But it’s entirely up to you.

 

If you want to say you really like your hobby, you can use the word ‘love’ instead of ‘like’. For example, ‘I love swimming.’ I love cooking. I love going to the gym.

 

And if you don’t really have any hobbies, you can say something like this. I’m really busy with work so I don’t really have much time for any hobbies.

 

Now let’s look at some common mistakes. The first common mistake is when students say ‘I like to’ plus a verb ING. For example, ‘I like to going shopping.’ This is incorrect. To correct this, you need to say ‘I like to go shopping’ or you can say ‘I like going shopping.’

 

The second common mistake is when students say ‘What do you do when you have a free time?’ This sentence is incorrect and we don’t need an article here because ‘a free time’ means just one time. But we are talking about many times, not just one time. To correct this sentence, you need to say ‘What do you do when you have free time?’ No ‘a’.

 

Lesson #7

Today’s phrase is ‘Do you speak English?’ Do you speak English? This is the most basic phrase that you can use to ask someone if they speak English or if they speak another language.

 

Different ways to ask ‘Do you speak English’ are ‘Can you speak English?’ Are you able to speak English?

 

So if someone asks you ‘Do you speak English’, how can you answer correctly? If you do speak English, you can say ‘Yes I do’ or you can just say ‘I do.’ ‘Yes I do’ or ‘I do.’ If you don’t speak English, you can say ‘No I don’t’ or you can say ‘I don’t.’ ‘No I don’t’ or ‘I don’t.’

 

So if you asked me ‘Shane, do you speak English?’ I would say ‘Yes I do.’ If you asked me ‘Shane, do you speak French’, I would say ‘No I don’t.’

 

If you want to say you speak a little bit of English, you can say ‘Yes I speak a little bit of English.’ Yes I speak a little bit of English.

 

Now let’s look at some common mistakes with this phrase. One of the most common mistakes is students saying ‘Do you speaking English?’ This is incorrect because after ‘do you’, we don’t use a verb ING. ‘Do you speaking’? No. ‘Do you eating’? No. ‘Do you playing?’ No. After ‘do you’ we need to use verb 1. To correct this, you need to say ‘Do you speak English?’

 

The second most common mistake is when students answer the question ‘Do you speak English’ by saying ‘Yes I am’ or ‘Yes I’m.’ This is incorrect because the question has ‘do’. That means the answer also needs to use ‘do’ as well. To correct this, you need to say ‘Yes I do’ or ‘No I don’t.’

 

Lesson #8

Today’s phrase is ‘What does this mean?’ This is the most basic phrase that you can use when you don’t know what something means in English. When you don’t understand a word or a phrase. Please note that this question only asks about the meaning. This question is not asking about the pronunciation or how to say a word.

 

When using this phrase, you can change the word ‘this’ to other words. For example, ‘What does that mean?’ What does it mean? Let’s pretend you hear a new word that you don’t know like ‘icing’. You can say ‘What does icing mean?’

 

Now some different ways to ask ‘What does this mean’ are ‘What is the meaning of this’ and ‘Can you explain the meaning of this?’

 

If someone asks you ‘What does this mean’, how can you answer this question correctly? Well the first way is by saying ‘It means’ and then you describe the meaning. Another way you can answer is by saying ‘It’s a’ and then you describe the meaning or you describe the thing. For example, if you asked me ‘Shane, what does icing mean?’ I would say ‘It’s a mixture of butter, sugar and water that you put on top of a cake to make the cake taste sweeter.’ Or I could say the same thing but start by saying ‘Icing means’ and then explain the meaning.

 

Now let’s have a look at some common mistakes with this phrase. The first common mistake is when students say ‘What is this mean?’ This is incorrect because we normally use the word ‘is’ with a verb ING, with a noun or with an adjective. But the word ‘mean’ is none of these things. The word ‘mean’ is a verb. That means we need to use the word ‘does’. So to correct this sentence, we can say ‘What does this mean?’

 

The second mistake is when students answer the question ‘What does this mean’ by saying things like ‘This is mean’ or ‘It is mean’. But this is incorrect. To answer the question, you just need to say ‘This means’ or ‘It means’ and then you give your explanation. You don’t need to say ‘is’.

 

Lesson #9

Today’s phrase is ‘How do you spell that?’ This phrase can be used to ask someone how to write a certain word. This question is asking about the letters that you need to write the word. It’s not asking about the meaning or the pronunciation.

 

Let’s pretend you hear the word ‘connected’ and you don’t know how to spell the word. You can say ‘How do you spell that?’ How do you spell that?

 

Some different ways to say ‘How do you spell that’ are ‘Could you spell that for me, please?’ Would you mind spelling that for me? Spell that for me, please.

 

So if someone asks you ‘How do you spell that’, how do you answer this question correctly? You can say ‘It’s spelled …’ and then you give the spelling or you can just say the letters that you need to spell that word. For example, if someone says to you ‘How do you spell “connected”‘, You can just say ‘C O double N E C T E D.’

 

When we have two of the same letters together, it’s better to say ‘double’. Double means two. For example, double O. Double T. Double C.

 

Now let’s talk about a common mistake with this phrase. Many students like to say ‘How do you spelling that’ but this is incorrect. After ‘how do you’, we normally need a verb 1. For example, ‘How do you eat that?’ How do you make that? How do you write that? So to correct this, you need to say ‘How do you spell that?’ Not ‘spelling’.

 

Lesson #10

Today’s phrase is ‘Could you repeat that, please?’ Could you repeat that, please? We use this phrase when we didn’t hear a word or a phrase and we want the person to say it again. This phrase is not asking about the meaning. We only use this phrase when we want the person to say what they said again.

 

So let’s pretend you are talking to someone and they say ‘What are you doing’ and you didn’t hear what they said, you can say ‘Could you repeat that, please?’ Then the other person will say what they said again.

 

Some different ways to say ‘Could you repeat that, please’ are ‘Say that again, please.’ Could you say that again, please? Would you mind repeating that?

 

So if someone says to you say ‘Could you repeat that, please’, how can you answer this question? It’s actually very easy. All you need to do is say what you said again. So let’s pretend I said ‘I’m going to that restaurant’ but you didn’t hear what I said, you could say to me ‘Could you repeat that, please?’ I would then say ‘I’m going to that restaurant’ but I would probably say it a bit slower so you can understand me easier.

 

Now let’s look at some common mistakes with this phrase. A lot of the time I hear students say things like ‘Could you saying that again, please’ or ‘Could you repeating that again’ but this is incorrect. If you want to use a verb after ‘could you’, you need to use verb 1. So to correct this you need to say ‘Could you say that again, please’ or ‘Could you repeat that, please’. Don’t say ‘Could you saying’ and don’t say ‘Could you repeating’. It’s wrong.

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