I understand English well, but have trouble writing/speaking it. Are there techniques I can use to improve my ability to construct sentences?



Considering the following:

I'm okay at listening and very well at reading, but not good at writing and speaking (input is open,output is closed) mainly because I've forgotten some Grammar and other things like prepositions, phrasal verbs etc. I know the words I need to make the sentence I want, but can't glue them together to make the sentence in right format or find which word is best for specific sentence. However, I understand and remember the format and its meaning when I see it. Also, English is considered "foreign language" here so it isn't spoken much except at English classes.

What are some effective techniques for someone in my situation to improve their ability to construct sentences? Are there any things I should avoid doing?

  1. Should I keep saying and writing the wrong (maybe not) sentences?

  2. Is there a good method to recover the things I know, but have forgotten?

  3. Do I need teacher/tutor or are there some things I can do on my own with books/other things?

  4. Should I start studying from the beginning as forgotten parts are spread across the learning courses?


Posted 2017-06-09T14:51:51.887

Reputation: 111

Question was closed 2017-06-11T04:29:23.253

This is a very difficult question, since people learn and retain things differently. Maybe you should try all of your suggestions and see what works for you. There is no "silver bullet" to solve this problem. – Peter – 2017-06-09T14:57:26.663

so should i remove my question? is it acceptable question at all? – Nemexia – 2017-06-09T15:05:02.163

@Peter there is one "silver bullet" - go and immerse yourself in the culture, spend six months only speaking the language you want to learn - if you can afford it and you really want it, it'll work – Stephen S – 2017-06-09T15:37:57.767

@Nemexia I would say that this question is a) too broad (you are asking 4 questions, not 1) and b) is primarily opinion-based (both of which would lead to closing the question, if people think the same as me). – SteveES – 2017-06-09T15:40:43.023

@Nemexia See how to ask a good question

– SteveES – 2017-06-09T15:42:16.917

Welcome to ELL Nemexia. I appreciate the effort that you put into your question. It's not a bad question, but I think we might need a way to write it so the answers can be less about someone's opinion. You might ask about "effective techniques" instead of "best" ways. You might also want to look at [languagelearning.se] which is about techniques for learning a foreign language. – ColleenV – 2017-06-09T16:46:22.270

I have done some editing to try to clarify your question a little - please feel free to [edit] it if it isn't how you would like it. @Max I don't think this is a straight forward "how can I improve my English?" question that is obviously off-topic, but it's not obviously on-topic either. We have teachers among our experts here that might be able to answer this in an objective way. – ColleenV – 2017-06-09T17:02:03.553



Improving your listening skills and reading skills are things that you can do on your own. Generally, to improve your speaking skills and writing skills you will want to work with a teacher who can correct your mistakes. However, I believe there are some things you can do to improve your writing skills even without a teacher.

  1. First, read. Read as much as possible and every day. There is a saying in English - "reading is fundamental" and I believe that is true. The more you improve your reading skills the more you will improve fundamental things that will help you be a better writer like:

    • improving your vocabulary
    • improving your spelling
    • improving your recognition of correct sentence structures
    • remembering things you had learned before by reinforcing them when you see them in writing
    • and a long list of other things that you will not even realize you are learning when you are reading, but you are learning them, and you will remember them better when you write
  2. Second, based on where your skillset is now, I think you should focus most of your efforts on writing correct sentences, with some additional effort on effectively stringing sentences together into a paragraph (but mostly focused on writing single sentences). To that end, you could do things like:

    • online (free) programs that help you with sentence construction, such as http://www.eslflow.com/Simple---complete-sentences--eslflow-web-guide.html which appears to have free pdf worksheets with sentence exercises and answers so you can check them yourself.
    • take a book you are reading and take 3-5 sentences from that book and spend 2 minutes memorizing them (only 2 minutes). Then close the book and try to write the 3-5 sentences yourself. Then open the book again and compare - when you wrote the sentences did you make any grammatical errors? If you did, go back and do some research online on the rules behind that type of grammar and review them until you understand why you should have written the sentence like it was written in the book, and hopefully you will begin to correct your grammatical errors and be able to write the sentences exactly as they were written in the book, without grammatical errors.
  3. Third, regarding your specific questions:

    • I do not think it's helpful for you to just write without some way of checking whether what you are writing is proper.
    • The best way to continuously reinforce your learning on your own is to read and to do sentence/grammar exercises. Obviously, if you have a teacher, that allows you to do other exercises (like writing a paragraph and having the teacher check it for errors and then re-writing it and so on).
    • You will improve a lot faster in some areas with a teacher, but things that you can do on your own are reading and doing grammar exercises over and over again until you reinforce that knowledge so strongly that you know it as well as your native language.
    • It is an excellent idea to go back and review and reinforce the things you have already learned. I still do that regularly. One of the reasons I enjoy being on this site is that sometimes I see a question about something and I realize I need to go back and refresh myself in that area.


Posted 2017-06-09T14:51:51.887

Reputation: 445