5 Ways to Write Like a Native English Speaker | Between the Lines by English Forward (2023)

Among the 4 basic language learning skills, writing is one of those that ESL students are always afraid to practice. While they might be learning a hundred words a week, for some reason, it is still hard to put them into the sentences that will make you sound like a native speaker.

Yet, the majority of ESL students realize the importance of writing for their academic success. The study that involved ESL students from Iranian schools and universities has shown that all of them equally supported the role of writing in learning English, even though the majority were concerned that their writing didn’t sound “English” enough.

The information for this study was collected in the school and university setting. However, learning how to write like a native English speaker takes more practice than you get in the classroom.

So, let’s take a look at a few practical ways to help you improve your writing and craft your texts like a native English speaker.

1. Work on Eliminating Wordiness

The first thing you need to practice to start writing like a native speaker is making your texts less wordy.

What is wordiness?

In ESL practice, wordiness is defined as the use of words that clutter writing and make it too complicated to comprehend.

Compare the following examples:

In my own personal opinion, there is no way a death sentence can be justified.(15 words) In my opinion, a death sentence cannot be justified. / I think nothing can justify a death sentence.(9/8 words)

If you compare these two columns, you can see that it is possible to re-phrase one wordy sentence into two simpler sentences without losing the initial intent.

Why do ESL students often write wordy texts?

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Wordiness is one of the most common mistakes that ESL students make.

One of the possible reasons why it happens is that students force the words they’ve learned into writing to practice as much of them as they can at once.

Besides, students often apply colloquial constructions they hear in videos or movies (like ‘my own personal opinion’, ‘most simple’, etc.) which are often incorrect both from the grammatical and the stylistic standpoint.

How to avoid wordiness in writing?

Wordiness can quickly become a bad habit. Let’s see what you can do to get rid of it.

  • Plan your writing. Creating a detailed outline can help you a lot to prepare for writing. Knowing the intent behind your text helps avoid wordiness and structure your writing. You can use Harvard’s guide to outlining to help you plan your writing. We also recommend including several sub-points in every bigger point to make your writing more detailed.
  • Avoid passive voice. There is a false idea that using Passive voice helps you sound more like a native English speaker. In reality, overusing Passive voice makes you sound distant and your sentences difficult to follow. Use active voice instead to make your sentences more clear and straightforward.
  • Scan for unnecessary words and constructions. There are several groups of words that make your writing sound wordy. So go through your writing to eliminate them and restructure the sentences, if necessary.
Fillers and Linking Phrases Qualifiers(words that describe other words)Wordy constructions
– Absolutely (certainly, completely, definitely);- Commonly- Due to the fact that- Have the ability to- In terms of- In spite of the fact that- It is important to note– quite- very- much- really– a small number- frequently- probably- possibly– unlikely– he is the person who doesn’t spare a dime (he is a generous person)- Claire is the woman that works in the hospital near me (Claire is a doctor from the hospital near me)- What he wants to say is that he wants to come to your birthday. (He wants to come to your birthday)

Keep in mind!

Avoiding these words doesn’t mean that they have no place in your writing. Depending on the purpose of the text, these words can be used to express strong emotions or underline an important point.

However, overusing them makes your writing cluttered and not native-like.

2. Start Watching Videos Exclusively in English

After a few years of learning English, you’ve probably noticed that every lesson consists of four activities: reading, speaking, listening, and writing.

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In different lessons, these activities may come in a different order, but every lesson has them. That’s because all four complement each other.

While you may say there is an obvious connection between reading, speaking, and writing, listening doesn’t seem to have a significant effect on the quality of your writing. In reality, however, listening skills are very important in writing.

How does listening improve your writing?

First of all, you’re learning new vocabulary. The benefits of this don’t need further explanation.

Apart from that, you learn how different words can be used in different settings. English is rich with synonyms, and it can be hard to identify, which word is appropriate to use in different situations if you’re not a native English speaker.

Lastly, it helps you differentiate conversational English from textbook English. To achieve native-like fluency in English, you should immerse yourself in colloquial language, used every day by native English speakers. Sticking to textbook English won’t give you the same effect.

How do you perfect your listening skills?

Listening to a radio or a song is a good way to improve your listening skills, but it’s not dynamic enough.

Here are a few useful activities that you can practice every day:

  • YouTube channels. While you can still follow your favorite English-speaking influencers and watch their videos, you can also follow the channels created specifically for ESL students, like BBC Learning English, Ef podEnglish, and Daily English Conversation. We recommend switching on the subtitles to catch the unknown words.
5 Ways to Write Like a Native English Speaker | Between the Lines by English Forward (1)
  • Movies, TV shows. While YouTube videos are a good way to practice your listening skills, they aren’t always engaging enough. If you want a more exciting way to practice your listening skills, pick a movie or a TV show that you like, and watch it in English. Streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO allow watching movies and TV shows with subtitles.
  • Podcasts. If you don’t have time to watch a video, you can still improve this skill by listening to podcasts. There are also podcasts created specifically for ESL students, like English as a Second Language Podcast, All Ears English, and Espresso English podcast. All of them you can find on YouTube or Google Podcasts.

While listening, we recommend keeping notes of what you hear, write down unfamiliar words, and questions that you can later ask your teacher to clarify for you.

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4. Write Diary Entrees in English

Another quick but useful activity to help you write like a native English speaker is keeping a diary in a foreign language.

Keeping a diary offers you an opportunity to be creative and gives you complete freedom over what you write. It may be hard at first, as you might not know enough words to express your ideas and emotions, but who says that you can’t use a dictionary to help you out?

Here are a few diary entry ideas you can practice with this daily exercise:

  • write your daily schedule
  • record your daily reflections
  • write poems or short stories
  • describe an event that happened to you during the day
  • write a review of a movie or a TV show you’ve watched
  • write a dialog

Some of these ideas for writing can be combined with listening activities that we mentioned in the previous section. This way, you’ll be able to reflect on what you’ve learned while listening and solidify your knowledge.

4. Do Daily Reading Sessions

Just like listening, reading activities also greatly contribute to your writing skill. So, if you want to start writing like a native speaker, short reading sessions should become regular in your daily schedule.

Reading benefits your writing skill in the same ways as listening – you learn new vocabulary and how different words can be used in different situations, and figure out how to identify speech patterns and better understand different speech components.

While students with more advanced knowledge of English can pick up newspapers and magazines for daily reading sessions, beginners can benefit from online resources for ESL students.

Here are a few of our recommendations:

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  • ESL Lounge – in this resource all texts are broken down into four categories based on four levels of English fluency.
  • International Children’s Digital Library – this website has great reading resources for the smallest of English learners. Adults with the elementary level of English proficiency can use this resource too.
  • American English Resources – a great online platform for those interested in learning American English, with lots of resources to read.

Like with listening, we highly recommend keeping a notepad and a pencil while reading to record unfamiliar words and underline unknown grammatical constructions that you can research and clarify later.

5. Get Feedback

Lastly, when it comes to learning how to write like a native English speaker, you cannot underestimate the importance of feedback. Otherwise, how can you know that your writing is correct?

While you can always get feedback from your teacher, we also recommend visiting forums, where you can ask questions and share your texts with native speakers. You’ll get useful comments about grammar, application of different constructions, words, and phrases, and notes about the general tone of your writing.

Also, on forums, you can find great English learning software recommendations and tips on writing essays, dialogs, and research papers.

What Else Can You Do to Improve Your Writing?

All the tips that we shared with you today work great in combination to help you write like a native English speaker. However, all of these tips will be ineffective if you don’t reflect on what you’ve learned from them.

In the study that we mentioned at the beginning of this article, students shared that reflection was an important part of the learning process, as it helped them evaluate their experience and taught them how to shape their thoughts in writing.

So, while you do your everyday practice, don’t forget to reflect on what you’ve learned to solidify your knowledge.

Please be advised that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the author or his/her sources and do not necessarily reflectthose of English Forward. This includes, but is not limited to, third-party content contained on or accessible through the English Forward websites and web pages or sites displayed as search results or contained within a directory of links on the English Forward network.

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FAQs

How do I write like an English native speaker? ›

Keep your prose short, keep it straightforward, and say what you want to say as simply as possible. Whenever possible, get a native speaker or editor to check your writing before clicking send. Tip: No one wants to hunt for meaning in a text. Stick closely to the principles of plain English.

How are you in native English answer? ›

Some people say that “I'm well” is the proper way to respond to “How are you?” while others insist that “I'm good” is grammatically correct. The truth is both “I'm good” and “I'm well” are fine and commonly used in conversation.

What is native speaker example? ›

someone who has spoken a particular language since they were a baby, rather than having learned it as a child or adult: All our teachers are native speakers of English. He is a native speaker of Russian.

How can I write more native? ›

To that end, we are here to take a look at several secrets which can help you write (and speak) like a native.
  1. Set style goals. Chances are that you have set your eyes on a certain style of writing. ...
  2. Be in touch with English. ...
  3. Copy from your idols. ...
  4. Everyday practice. ...
  5. Ask for feedback. ...
  6. Change things up. ...
  7. Don't rush it.

What makes you a native English speaker? ›

So, what makes a native speaker? A native speaker is someone who has gained knowledge of a language from birth, as his or her first language. It is the language they first learnt to speak, read, and write – the language they primarily used at home, school, play, and work.

What are the top 10 ways to speak English fluently? ›

7 tips on speaking English fluently and confidently
  1. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Your goal is to deliver a message, not speak perfect English, with the right grammar and vocabulary. ...
  2. Practise, practise, practise. Practice makes perfect. ...
  3. Listen. ...
  4. Celebrate success.

How can I improve my English 10 tips? ›

10 tips to improve your English
  1. Read books. Read A LOT OF BOOKS! ...
  2. Listen to English music. I am sure that you all know English songs and listen to the radio. ...
  3. Read the lyrics to a song. ...
  4. Watch movies in English. ...
  5. Participate in Langports' activities. ...
  6. Make friends from around the world. ...
  7. Speak English only. ...
  8. Use a dictionary.
14 May 2014

What is your native answer? ›

This is an Expert-Verified Answer

If you were born there and have memories of it from a young age it would be your "home village" or "hometown". If you were born there but left very early it would be your "birthplace". If you were not born there but your ancestors came from there it would be your "ancestral home".

What is native language in English? ›

(ˈneɪtɪv ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒ ) the language of the country that someone is born in or native to.

Who is called a native speaker? ›

: a person who learned to speak the language of the place where he or she was born as a child rather than learning it as a foreign language a native speaker of Swahili That kind of mistake is rarely made by native speakers.

What is native language and examples? ›

Native language means the language or mode of communication normally used by a person with a limited ability to speak or understand the English language. In the case of a student, the native language is the language normally used by the parents.

What is speaker example? ›

An example of speaker is how music is listened to in a car. The definition of a speaker is a spokesperson or a person giving a speech. An example of speaker is the person who people have gathered around to hear talk about something. One who delivers a public speech.

Can you have 4 native languages? ›

Multilingualism. One can have two or more native languages, thus being a native bilingual or indeed multilingual. The order in which these languages are learned is not necessarily the order of proficiency.

How can I improve my English from advanced to native? ›

Ready for Fluency? These 12 Methods Boost Advanced English Learners to Fluent Speakers
  1. Change your usual resources.
  2. Test yourself on the text.
  3. Try speed reading. ...
  4. Get familiar with different accents.
  5. Try out a podcast on a new topic.
  6. Transcribe exactly what you hear. ...
  7. Test your ability to write to different people.
8 Jun 2022

What does Native writing mean? ›

Native American literature, also called Indian literature or American Indian literature, the traditional oral and written literatures of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

What are the qualities of a good speaker of English? ›

Here are 9 scientifically-proven Essential Qualities of good speakers that you should emulate to become an influential and inspiring leader.
  • Confidence. ...
  • Passion. ...
  • Be Yourself. ...
  • Voice Modulations. ...
  • Keep it Short and Sweet. ...
  • Connect with your Audience. ...
  • Paint a Picture Through Storytelling. ...
  • Repetition.
5 Jan 2020

How do I know if I am a native English speaker? ›

So in general, a "native speaker" is someone who grew up speaking a certain language. If you were born in the United States to English-speaking parents and your teachers spoke English in school and your friends all or mostly speak English, you are a native English speaker.

What is another word for native speaker? ›

Alternate Synonyms for "native speaker":

speaker; talker; utterer; verbalizer; verbaliser.

What are the 8 ways to speak fluent English? ›

How to speak English fluently
  1. Listen actively. ...
  2. Avoid learning word by word. ...
  3. Practice what you've learned. ...
  4. Turn your weaknesses into strengths. ...
  5. Start thinking in English. ...
  6. Make the most of your resources. ...
  7. Get feedback. ...
  8. Perfect your pronunciation with tongue twisters.

How can I improve my English speaking skill in English? ›

But like any other skill, you can improve your spoken English if you practise regularly and follow these simple techniques.
  1. Listen. The first step in improving your speaking skills is actually working on your listening. ...
  2. Imitate. ...
  3. Read. ...
  4. Reflect. ...
  5. Prepare. ...
  6. Speak. ...
  7. Practise.
18 Oct 2021

How can I improve my English speaking skills in short time? ›

7 Ways to Quickly Improve Your English Language Skills
  1. Watch movies in English. ...
  2. Immerse yourself in English language news. ...
  3. Start a vocabulary book of useful words. ...
  4. Have conversations in English. ...
  5. Practice, practice, practice. ...
  6. Curiosity doesn't always kill the cat. ...
  7. Don't forget to have fun while you learn.

What are the 5 language skills? ›

We have put together five of the most important language skills to anyone interested in international hotel management.
  • Reading and Comprehension. ...
  • Good Listening Skills. ...
  • Public Speaking. ...
  • Writing. ...
  • The Ability to Communicate in More than One Language.

How can I write good English? ›

Tips on How to Improve English Writing Skills
  1. Read as much as you can. ...
  2. Keep an English dictionary. ...
  3. Brush up your grammar. ...
  4. Check your spelling before and after writing. ...
  5. Keep a diary in English. ...
  6. Learn how to expand your basic sentences into more elaborate ones. ...
  7. Learn how to organize a paragraph. ...
  8. Write an outline.
14 Jun 2017

How can students make English easier? ›

12 effective tips to learn English fast and easy
  1. Start speaking as soon as possible. ...
  2. Start reading. ...
  3. Make yourself accountable. ...
  4. Set more useful targets than “I will become fluent” ...
  5. Keep your personal goal in mind. ...
  6. Try flashcards to boost your vocabulary. ...
  7. Learn whole sentences.
12 Sept 2022

How can I talk faster? ›

Speed Talking Tips
  1. Start with tongue twisters.
  2. Enunciate well.
  3. Breathe deeply.
  4. Control the breath.
  5. Breathe less during the course of your read to leave more room for words.
  6. Find a rhythm to it.
  7. Phrase carefully.
  8. Being cautious with multisyllabic words.
7 Jan 2022

How can I improve my English fast 6? ›

6 Tips to improve your English!
  1. Find out your learning style. Different people learn in different ways. ...
  2. Speak a little English every day. ...
  3. Attend an English class or discussion group. ...
  4. Expand your vocabulary. ...
  5. Work on your pronunciation. ...
  6. Don't be afraid of making mistakes.

Can I be native in English? ›

Yes, you can attain a nativelike proficiency in English regardless of where you are (or when you start) providing your willing to put in the time and effort. But that won't make you a “native” of the language.

What is the sentence of native? ›

Native people were allowed to retain some sense of their traditional culture and religion. She spoke not only her native language, Swedish, but also English and French. French is not my native tongue. Many of the plants are native to Brazil.

What country is native English? ›

England and the Scottish Lowlands, countries of the United Kingdom, are the birthplace of the English language, and the modern form of the language has been being spread around the world since the 17th century, first by the worldwide influence of the United Kingdom, and more recently by that of the United States.

Can you have 2 native languages? ›

Bilingual language acquisition is not that complicated, of course, if you are devoted enough. So yeah, there are bilingual speakers because anyone can speak and learn two, three, or as many languages as they'd like. Bilingual language acquisition is definitely a thing and people can speak two native languages for sure.

Why is native language important? ›

Native language plays an essential role in establishing your identity. History and culture is inherent in language. Learning the native language signifies learning the same history and culture of your parents, relatives, and even the generations before and after.

What are 5 ways to say hello? ›

Formal Ways To Say “Hello”
  • Good morning/afternoon/evening. These are classic, formal phrases to use when greeting someone, whether it's the first time meeting them or if you've already met them before. ...
  • Pleased to meet you. ...
  • It's nice to meet you. ...
  • It's good to see you. ...
  • How are you? ...
  • Hey. ...
  • What's up? ...
  • What's new?

What are 15 ways to say hello? ›

#WorldHelloDay – How to say hello in 15 languages
  1. Spanish – ¡Hola!
  2. French – Bonjour.
  3. German – Hallo.
  4. Italian – Ciao.
  5. Mandarin Chinese – 你好 (nǐ hǎo)
  6. Irish – Dia dhuit.
  7. Portuguese – Olá
  8. Hindi – नमस्ते (namaste)
16 Nov 2017

What are 10 different ways to say hello? ›

synonyms for hello
  • greetings.
  • hi.
  • howdy.
  • welcome.
  • bonjour.
  • buenas noches.
  • buenos dias.
  • good day.

What is my first language? ›

First Language - This is the first language a person learns when they are born, it's sometimes known as a person's 'mother tongue'. You can imagine this by thinking about the language your parents or guardian taught you.

Why are native speakers important? ›

With a native speaker, the most important thing is that this person has constant contact with the natural English language, is immersed in a particular language environment and can share their knowledge and experience from everyday life in an English-speaking country with students.

Who all are native English speakers? ›

List of majority native English speaking countries
  • Antigua and Barbuda.
  • Australia.
  • The Bahamas.
  • Barbados.
  • Belize.
  • Canada*
  • Dominica.
  • Grenada.

Is native language better than English? ›

A culture is very tied to the way during which its medium, its language, sings its life-experiences. English, like any other language, will best express the culture(s) in which it was developed; on the other hand, it can never replace those cultures the position of other, native languages.

What is native language character? ›

Native alphabet meaning essentially is filling out your first name, middle name and last name in non-English characters. Non-English characters mean that you are to fill out this field in your native language, from the country in which you were born or the local language you speak.

What are the 5 uses of speaker? ›

Benefits and Advantages of Speakers in Points

The speakers helps us in listening sound and music. The speakers can easily be connected to computer system. A message can be comveyed to group of people at once. Plays sound when watching movies or listening songs or even playing video games.

What are the 4 types of speakers? ›

The four main types of speaker found in the home these days are traditional loudspeakers, in-wall/ceiling speakers, soundbars and subwoofers. Each type of speaker serves a different purpose and is useful for different applications.

What are 3 ways speakers? ›

A 3-way speaker generates sound from three individual devices known as the mid-range, woofer and tweeter drivers. Each of these owns its specific efficiency in a wide range of sound frequencies.

How do you write like British? ›

Tips From A Brit For Fictional British Characters
  1. We use French, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish phrases. ...
  2. We use cockney slang sometimes, even if we are middle or upper class. ...
  3. We use words most Americans don't – and it's a lot of swearing, so get used to it! ...
  4. There are some words we never use. ...
  5. A word about class in Britain.
20 Jul 2016

Can I call myself a native English speaker? ›

So in general, a "native speaker" is someone who grew up speaking a certain language. If you were born in the United States to English-speaking parents and your teachers spoke English in school and your friends all or mostly speak English, you are a native English speaker.

How do you sound like a professional English speaker? ›

So today we'll practise communicating your message in a clear, professional and polite way.
  1. Tip #1: Slow down.
  2. Tip #2: Make direct statements.
  3. Tip #3: Practise your intonation.
  4. Tip #4: Avoid filler words and sounds.
  5. Tip #5: Avoid unhelpful phrases.
8 Jun 2021

How can I write better in British? ›

Tips on How to Improve English Writing Skills
  1. Read as much as you can. ...
  2. Keep an English dictionary. ...
  3. Brush up your grammar. ...
  4. Check your spelling before and after writing. ...
  5. Keep a diary in English. ...
  6. Learn how to expand your basic sentences into more elaborate ones. ...
  7. Learn how to organize a paragraph. ...
  8. Write an outline.
14 Jun 2017

How can I improve my English speaking skill at home fast? ›

But like any other skill, you can improve your spoken English if you practise regularly and follow these simple techniques.
  1. Listen. The first step in improving your speaking skills is actually working on your listening. ...
  2. Imitate. ...
  3. Read. ...
  4. Reflect. ...
  5. Prepare. ...
  6. Speak. ...
  7. Practise.
18 Oct 2021

How can I speak more clearly in English? ›

How to Speak Clearly
  1. Be relaxed and confident using relaxation exercises. You'll find them in the voice spa course.
  2. Use abdominal breathing for speech.
  3. Speak with pauses instead of filler words.
  4. Be concise.
  5. Use warmth & kindness. ...
  6. Use a varied intonation pattern.
  7. Use a full resonant voice.
21 Jul 2022

How can I speak clearly English? ›

How to speak English better in 10 easy steps
  1. Imitate away. ...
  2. Avoid learning word by word. ...
  3. Use what you've learned immediately. ...
  4. Be an actor. ...
  5. Listen to others as much as you speak. ...
  6. Listen to yourself and get feedback from native speakers. ...
  7. Become visual. ...
  8. Narrate your life.
10 Sept 2019

How many people are native English? ›

The English language has approximately 400 million native speakers worldwide, trailing only Mandarin and Spanish.

How can I speak English like a native speaker app? ›

They'll be the talkative digital friends that you need to improve your accent and speak more naturally. So grab your favorite device and let's get talking!
...
13 Most Effective English Speaking Apps in 2022
  1. ELSA.
  2. FluentU.
  3. iTranslate Converse.
  4. TalkEnglish.
  5. Accent Training.
  6. HelloTalk.
  7. SpeakingPal.
  8. Speak English Fluently.
1 Aug 2022

How can I be good in English? ›

7 Ways to Quickly Improve Your English Language Skills
  1. Watch movies in English. ...
  2. Immerse yourself in English language news. ...
  3. Start a vocabulary book of useful words. ...
  4. Have conversations in English. ...
  5. Practice, practice, practice. ...
  6. Curiosity doesn't always kill the cat. ...
  7. Don't forget to have fun while you learn.

How can I talk like a pro? ›

14 Tips On How To Improve Speaking Skills (Speak Like A Pro!)
  1. #1 Stay in your zone of genius (only talk about what you know)
  2. #2 Read books or articles out loud.
  3. #3 Use tongue twisters to practice enunciation.
  4. #4 Talk to yourself.
  5. #5 Learn from the best (& mimic them)
  6. #6 Always remember your MVP.

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