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"The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shawl and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
Calls once again."

Mathilde Blind, April Rain
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How to get rid of verb conjugation problem when I'm speaking?


Verb conjugation
Because my mother tongue, Thai, has no singular-plural rule, it's difficult to speak without thinking whether to use singular verb or plural verb. mostly, I've used filler, "you know" and "um" to fill dead airs when I'm thinking while I'm speaking. Sometimes, it looks clumsy when it has too many fillers. If I speak without thinking, is it influent? yes, but it's only approximately 65% grammatically correct. And also, sometimes, I use cheesy method to get rid of this problem which is adding double subject. For example, "Those 3 Persian cats, they're mine", because it comes from my intuition with what I'm familiar, and I use "it" to refer to about what I'm taking, it's like I set them to be abstract noun. Thus, I don't need to think what I'm talking is singular or plural.

What's my plan to solve this problem is:

1. some of my foreign friends say I've to listen English stuffs more and more. > I don't think this'll work, because I notice myself that even though my parent's mother tongue is Chaozhou, ancient chinese language, and they have been speaking this language since I was born. I understand anything what they say, but I could just speak to or answer them not more than 4-5 words. So, my assumption is that only listening might not improve my speaking skill (the others may improve, but myself, it doesn't)

2. Focus on weak point:
My weak point is verb conjugation. Thus, I'll practise myself with only conjugating verb, um... what I'm planning is that I'll print out a group of pronouns and a group of verbs, modal verb, helping verb, auxiliary verb, all of verbs that must be changed following singular-plural rule. And play myself a game like pairing between pronouns and verbs, keep making it random and try to change verb form slowly by using intuition until my verb conjugating becomes automatically process.

Does anyone have the same problem like me? Could you please share how you practise yourself. If someone is native, what is your perspective while you're talking. I don't think natives have to think about "is that mass noun or countable noun or abstract noun?" while they speaking.



  • TeachTeach Your Teacher HomePosts: 9,878 mod
    Native speakers don't pay attention to grammar when speaking, and some people get it wrong, but simply don't care.

    When speaking English you do not have time to think about rules, so it is important to develop a "feel" for what is correct, and to worry more about getting your message across.
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