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10 English Words and Phrases You Need to Know

Whether it’s because you want to lay some groundwork before connecting with a language exchange partner or you’re going on a short trip to an English-speaking country and want to know some basics, you’ll need to know where to begin. Don’t stress yourself out, learning English is a step-by-step process, and the first step is right here, with these ten words and phrases that are essential to establishing an English-speaking foundation.

Copy and paste this list into Google Translate to find you native language equivalent.



Thank you.

What’s your name?

My name is…

I don’t speak much English.

Nice to meet you.

Excuse me.

I’m sorry.

Could you write that down?

Now that you’ve got those down, you may be asking, what’s the next step? That largely depends on why you’re interested in learning English in the first place.

If you’re planning on visiting an area that speaks English for a short time, don’t worry about learning much else. These basics will give you enough of an understanding to establish relationships with people who can help you navigate the area. Carry around a pocket dictionary and don’t be afraid to use it!

If you’re working with a language exchange partner, then leave the teaching up to them! Knowing these basics is great, especially if your partner’s only language is English, but don’t try to bite off more than you can chew alone. Use them as a tool to guide you through your English speaking studies. Interested in a language exchange partner but have yet to find one? Take a look at LRNGO, a learning exchange website specifically designed to connect people with learning exchange partners. You can find someone in your area to exchange with, or anywhere in the world via Skype and start learning English without spending a penny!

If you’re looking to start learning more on your own, then the Internet is your new best friend. There are endless opportunities to learn English online: podcasts, YouTube videos, learning games, and apps are all great ways to start getting active with your studies. Other ways to learn include films (start in your native language, then rewatch in English with subtitles), literature, and traditional textbooks. Whichever your preferred methods, keep in mind that language is multi-dimensional, so it is important to exercise your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

Learning English doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming, just focus on the basics to begin with and let the rest happen from there!

Photo Credit: Steve Johnson
LRNGO users in over 190 countries
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