To impressively speak your sentences together, first of all, learn to use some ‘linking words’ such that you form a connected speech and therefore your listener enjoys it as a story. As experience with real-life conversations tells us, that the stories are comprehended easily and are listened with much interest and therefore are appreciated more than some ‘d-i-s-j-o-i-n-t’ sentences which are spoken merely to fill the allotted time. Eventually, it’s the usage of ‘Linking words’ as underlined that make an otherwise boring speech to flow like a story. In short, it makes better sense to tell a story since people enjoy it. After-all Stories sell!
In my opinion, they are as salt in a recipe so when composing a simple description –where you need to add more information, as well as while narrating an event; you need to use them just right. In brief, don’t use too little salt neither too much!
Could anyone understand the paragraph ABOVE without ‘linking words’ that I have underlined?
While reading, you would not have reached to the end of the story (where I talk about ‘salt in recipe’) AND if you somehow have due to some compulsion to read, you would not understood whatever I meant.
Read on if the above makes sense to Learn some commonly used linking words (an English professor my like to call them by various names – phrasal-verbs, conjunctions) I also give my views on how and where to use them (or not to) to be an impressive speaker or a story-teller.
Here are six fundamental types of speaking that you may normally do in an official environment or even when appearing for a critical interview:
- Describing your company or product – providing additional information.
- Narrating events or answering ‘How to’ questions – something that goes in a sequence.
- Doing Comparison or Contrasting – your company’s services as compared to the competition.
- Explaining Cause and Effect – giving explanation or reason for the delay, for instance. Caution: Don’t do it until asked for with a ‘why’ question
- Entering into an Arguments or Debate – everyone doesn’t need to be lawyer but argument do happen and you have ‘make your point’
- Summing-up or giving overall conclusion – giving information in brief for example what happened in the meeting.
Don’y even try to open your mouth to speak to someone ‘any of the above’ without the connectors or ‘Linking words’.
Personally speaking, I hate giving explanation as also noting down the minutes of meetings but it may just be part of the job and some the job-saver or the job itself…… In contrast, I love to give examples, adding more information so that students have it all (giving reason 😉 ). As a result, the understand more and listen to the story on ‘How to learn…’. In short, I want each lesson to go like an interesting story.
For your to weave your stories together, it is important to learn how and where to use the right linking words. As I said, they add the required flow to your speech when you speak even 4-5 or more sentences together. To keep the interest of the listener alive, Learn to use these words appropriately:
‘How to best learn them such that you immediately gain advantage:
Here are some tips from my experience and some that I picked in a T.r.i.c.k.s class for intermediate/advanced students:
Its better If you practice them with other learners in a supervised environment, at first, there are less chances of your being wrong afterwards, as you start speaking in public.
You get many examples right and wrong (and both help) from other learners… as also there is someone to point out the over-usage – a communication expert and not just an English professor. ( like me 😉 for instance. Am I taking too many liberties with the smilies?)
How boring it is to listen to someone’s daily routine with 5-6 usages of ‘then’ : “I start my day at…then… then…then…then”. I rather stop this speaker short on communication skills, though grammatically nothing out rightly wrong in it.
Some more DON’Ts I have noticed: Don’t over-use any of them, particularly ‘because’ before all the statements even when you are telling ‘what do you like’ where justification or explanation is not required. Never get into the habit of using some of them as ‘a filler’ word such as: Really or Actually.
Enjoy speaking naturally and I am sure your audience will equally well enjoy listening to your story!
What are Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives? …this is the first thing you Learn in my Grammar class and your Activity #1 To be able to identify ‘different types of words’ . This is before I ask you to start making even simple sentences.
Some of you may say, “I know them” as you start to speak out the crammed definitions from a grammar book. Learning by heart the definitions of these ‘Parts of Speech’ has not helped you to make sentences. Am I right? So, what you need is ‘to LEARN how to use them in a sentence and a quick identification when you add a new word -in your Active vocabulary’.
Each type of word has different placement in a sentence like a noun/pronoun can take the Subject form while adjective will generally come before the noun etc. Your mind has learned to identify them for Hindi or your first language. You may or may not remember the definitions it does not matter but You need to train your Mind to use different types of words differently. You will LEARN to identify them and USE them rightly in my class!
In Activity #2: You need to recall from your memory in a given time-limit of (say) 5 minutes: 50-60 Nouns, 20-30 Adjectives and 20-30 Verbs. Sounds easy? Try it on your own.
Learn to identify Types of words or Parts of Speech (or PoS):
To demonstrate the importance of PoS, let me use an example to explain ‘What are parts of speech’ and ‘How many do need to identify for quick formation of sentences’. Assume that in place of teaching you ‘How to make a sentence’, I am explaining to you ‘How to make a cup of tea’. You need to know the ingredients before you even start, right? Similarly our mind needs to understand various ‘Types of words’ before it can start making sentences in any language. These types of words are Parts of Speech (or PoS) as they are called in a grammar books. You sure got it and also how vital is the understanding of PoS or in other words ‘Why do we need to start from the basics?’
‘Parts of Speech’ or different types of words viz. Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Adjectives etc. are the ingredients for making a sentence, they are like milk, water, tea-bag, sugar etc. for making ‘a cub of tea’ You have to know the ingredients pretty well and identify them clearly before you can make a sentence in the right sequence and quickly enough to speak it. The demand for quick formation of a sentence is more when you want to be spontaneous with your response. You also need to know them for attending an Active Vocabulary session, as well. There we need to Learn the meaning of a ‘new word’, is it ‘a Noun’ or ‘a Verb’. You want to speak ‘the new word’ in a sentence of your own. You cannot use ‘a verb’ in place of ‘a noun’ … could you?
Okay! How many Types of words do I need to Identify?
At first, to Speak English at the very BASIC level you only need to know 3 types of words: Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives and you need to know them along with the usage – particularly Nouns -Count/Uncountable. Simple definitions of these three types of words are:
- Nouns: naming words; the objects they name can be visible or not visible.
- Verbs: doing words – they indicate some action or work; action again can be in brain
- Adjectives: are describing words, they describe the Nouns.
If it is a Noun, you have to identify it as Uncountable or Countable and within Countable there can be Singular or Plural; uncountable by definition can’t have singular/plural forms. Some Nouns can be used both as Countable and Uncountable. e.g. How many times have I told you to do it in time.
Parts of Speech builds or reinforces a solid foundation for understanding different structures of sentences and later the Tenses will become much easier to understand for a BASIC language learner of Spoken English. Point to Note: only Verbs and Helping-Verbs are changed with the tenses.
Grammar milestone #1 for Spoken English BASIC class: To Know and identify the ‘Parts of Speech’ or Types of words particularly: Nouns (countable and uncountable), Verbs/Helping Verbs and Adjectives. Please give yourself 3-4 days and build some Active Vocabulary along with it. Do some Activities in the class and practice the usage in the Language L@b.
Grammar Challenge for Students of Intermediate/Advanced classes: If you understand and can identify and use all the ‘Parts of Speech’ 8 or 9 – depending on the grammar book you refer to; We offer attractive scholarships!