How To Speak Using Basic Or Broken English

English is ubiquitous, you might even say that England has conquered the world by the widespread adoption of the English language. And while it is not the official language of most countries, tourism has increased the proliferation of its use, albeit in basic or broken form.

We would all love to learn the local language to engage in meaningful dialogue with the local people, but it isn’t often practical on short stays. Of course, you will learn the basic words and phrases to adhere to cultural etiquette and behaviour – Hello, Goodbye, Please, Thank you, Yes, No.

You may feel silly bastardising your own language, but it will really help you get your message across.

Here are a few tips on how to speak using basic or broken English.

Forget Verb Conjugation

Actually, in English only the singular third person (he/she) is conjugated.

For example:
I want
You want
He/She wants
We want
They want

Do away with the conjugation.

Forget About Past And Future Tenses

This is another form of conjugation, many people will use the present tense with an adverb such as yesterday, before, etc to mark the action as having happened in the past, or tomorrow, later, etc to mark the action as hapenning later in the future.

For example:
I do this yesterday
I eat this before
I buy this already

do this tomorrow
eat this later
buy this next time

Forget About Long Sentences

Short and simple, your message will be understood much better when there is no room for confusion.

For example:
I would like to eat this kind of food, but not too spicy.
I want this food, not too spicy.

Cutting out some words may feel strange, because you’re breaking all the grammatical rules. Don’t worry, you can progressively add more words if the message is not getting across.

For example:
I would like to eat this kind of food, but not too spicy.
I want eat this food, but not too spicy.
I want this food, not too spicy.

Use More Than One Verb To Get Your Intention Across

The person to whom you are speaking, may not have as grand a vocabulary as you would expect. So its likely that you might use a verb that they have never heard or used – use a different one that has a similar meaning.

For example:
I would like this.
like this.
I buy this.
I want this.
I take this.

Use Hand Gestures To Support Your Speech

Miming something with your hands can often be a more effective form of communication that speech itself.

Think about how you might use hand gestures to communicate the following questions:

Where is the toilet?
How much is it?
Where is the bus stop?


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