Practice English Speaking&Listening with: DON'T USE These Words in Casual English Conversations!

Difficulty: 0

Hey there I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!

I've got an interesting lesson for you today

especially if you're an intermediate English learner

and you're transitioning

to being an advanced English learner or English user.

That leap is one that requires more than just

detailed knowledge about the words and the

grammar structures that we use in English.

It also requires an awareness of tone and register

so that you can choose the most appropriate words

for the context. So here's the thing,

if you've been trained in academic

or in business English,

well, the chances are that you've become

quite used to expressing yourself with formal language.

Well this lesson is one that you really need to watch

because I'm going to share four words

that are not appropriate for relaxed

and informal conversations.

But they're words that my English students use

all the time in everyday conversation.

So stay tuned!

Every time that you speak with someone,

you're using language to create and to build

relationships, social relationships

with your neighbours, professor, with your clients

or customers, anyone.

Communicating information

is an important part of speaking, obviously,

but you can do so much more than that

and you really should

because it's this extra stuff that helps you to become

a friendly and memorable person

in English conversations.

If the language that you use

is not appropriate to the context,

then your meaning and even your character

can be a little misunderstood.

If you're too formal, well you can accidentally make

people feel uncomfortable. Perhaps they might even

think you're being a little rude. And equally,

if you use informal language in a situation

where you really need to use formal language,

well, you might not be taken seriously

and perhaps you might even be overlooked.

So recognising the context in which you're speaking

and choosing the appropriate language

for that context

is an important skill for advanced English users.

So what is context?

You probably hear your English teachers using this word

all the time.

Context refers to whatever is going on around you

at that moment:

where are you, what's happening,

who are you talking to.

All of these things help to create the context

and the context helps us to know what type of words

and what type of grammar structures are relevant

and appropriate for that situation.

Now you might assume that your workplace

is a professional context, right?

So formal language is always required

but it's not as simple as that.

If you work in an office,

then yes, using formal language with customers

and clients is essential.

If you're talking to your boss or someone

high up in the company, well,

again, you want to be using more formal language

to sound more impressive and more intelligent.


using formal language all the time doesn't make you

very approachable or relatable

and it can make you seem a little stiff or a little dull

and over time, you'll want to build relationships

with your colleagues, the people you work with, right?

So you'll want to relax your tone a little,

make a joke, don't take yourself so seriously.

Even if you get along well with your boss

or some clients,

then using informal language

can also help you to build relationships with them.

It helps them to feel more comfortable with you

and want to speak with you more.

This is definitely how many professional working

environments operate in English-speaking countries

like Australia and the US and the UK.

It's really important to have these informal

conversations with your colleagues

to help them feel relaxed and really comfortable

around you, to enjoy their time with you.

So I've made my case. Now let's focus on the four

common words that are not appropriate

for casual, relaxed conversations.

I'll talk about when they're appropriate

but I'll also give you some alternatives to use

to help you sound more relaxed and less formal

in other situations.

When you want to add more information,

well you've been taught to use words like 'furthermore'

and 'moreover' right?

Now these words are great to use

when you're writing an essay

or if you're giving a presentation

or you're trying to support your argument in a debate.

They're brilliant words

but you will rarely hear native English speakers

using them in everyday conversation

because they're just too formal

for conversational English.

I was at my favourite Indian restaurant a few days ago

and they have a few new things on the menu

and I wanted to find out a little more about the dishes.

So when I asked the waiter and she's absolutely

gorgeous, she was telling me

"We have some new vegetable dishes

moreover the lamb curry is really delicious."

This is a really formal way to add more information.

It sounds really odd.

Given the context, it's much better to use

informal language.

We have some new vegetable dishes

and the lamb curry is really delicious as well!

Although you might think that using more

intelligent words is always better, it's just not as

simple as that. There are times when simpler

and less formal words are much more appropriate.

So let's talk about some alternatives

that you can use instead of 'moreover' and 'furthermore'.

Now these words add extra information

or more important information, right?

So instead you could use words like:

besides, or in addition to,

as well, also or too.


what's more

and on top of that.

I think it will make a lot more sense

with some examples.

We had a great conversation.

Furthermore, we've decided to meet later in the week.

We had a great conversation.

We decided we'd meet later in the week too.

Much more relaxed, much better!

Texting while driving is really dangerous;

moreover, it's illegal in Australia.

Texting while driving is really dangerous;

what's more, it's illegal in Australia.

We have enough time to get something to eat

before the show.

Moreover, I'm hungry!

We have enough time to get something to eat

before the show. Besides, I'm hungry!

My friend was late for the movie.

Furthermore, he forgot his wallet and I had to pay!

My friend was late for the movie

and on top of that, he forgot his wallet and I had to pay!

Learning how to use these less formal alternatives

is a little tricky because not all of them work well

in every situation.

You do need to get a little bit of feedback

from the native English speaker to learn

when it's appropriate to use them correctly.

You could take classes with an online language school

like Lingoda, all their teachers are native teachers

so they can definitely help you with some of these

little nuances in language.

Any native teacher or native speaker will be able

to tell you when it's appropriate to use

'moreover' and 'furthermore'

and also when it's not.

But we can practise together here too.

Take a look at this sentence right here.

So what I want you to do is pause the lesson

for a moment

and try to rewrite that sentence in a more casual way

as if you were just chatting with a friend.

Write your sentence down in the comments below.

I'll try to check it

and make sure that you're using it correctly.

We use this word to introduce a consequence

or result and again, this is a brilliant word

when you're structuring an essay

or you're making an argument.

It's also brilliant in presentations or in formal speeches

but it usually sounds a little weird if you use it in

everyday conversation, it's just too formal.

Let's look at an example.

We're visiting a cathedral therefore,

you'll need to make sure your shoulders are covered.

We're visiting a cathedral

so you'll need to make sure your shoulders are covered.

Quite a few people haven't replied yet and their names

therefore will be removed from the guest list.

Quite formal.

Quite a few people haven't replied yet

so their names have been removed from the guest list.

It's that simple.

When you're trying to be a little less formal,

simply use 'so' instead of 'therefore'.

Now I want you to try.

Pause the video for a minute

and write your sentence below in the comments.

We use this word to contrast.

Now 'however' is used a little more often

in spoken English but again it's quite formal,

so it can make you sound a little stiff

in a relaxed and casual conversation.

Can you guess what the less formal alternative might be

I think you'll be able to guess this one

especially if you have an example.

There's an awesome Italian restaurant

around the corner.

However, there are many other restaurants nearby.

So if you're talking to a friend or a colleague,

especially one that you know well,

'however' can feel a little jarring in this sentence.

It's unnecessarily formal.

So can you guess what the informal word might be?

It's 'but'.

There's an awesome Italian restaurant

around the corner

but there are many other restaurants nearby.

The cost of fuel has been rising.

It's unlikely however, that it will go much higher.

The cost of fuel has been rising

but it's unlikely that it'll go much higher.

So there you have it.

I'm often talking about expanding and broadening

your English vocabulary and of course,

this is absolutely necessary to move from

an intermediate to advanced English user.

But I hope that this lesson made it clear that

more formal and more complex advanced words

are not always better.

If you've got any questions about this lesson

or you want to practise some sentences with me

down below, go ahead,

add them to the comments down there.

And I think we're done. You can connect with me

on my socials down here, Facebook and Instagram

and if you want to keep practising with me,

well check out this one right here.

I'll see you in there!

The Description of DON'T USE These Words in Casual English Conversations!