Why don't I use the English that I've learned?

A reader asked me this question:

When English speakers ask me something, my response always contains the same old vocabulary and phrases. Instead of using new English that I've learned, I always go back to the simple way of saying things. How can I stop doing that?

So how can you make yourself use a wider variety of English? Acutally, I'm not sure that you need to.

It's completely normal to stick with the expressions you already know. It's usually a good idea. You know what those expressions mean and how to use them. Most people do this for a long time.

When you find that you're not using a new phrase that you've learned, it may be because you're not really comfortable with it yet. You know the words, but maybe you can't pronounce it very quickly. Or you may know the meaning, but you don't know exactly what situations it's appropriate in. Instead of trying to use it, you need to try to learn more about it.

Here's a process that you can follow for learning and starting to use a new expression:

  1. Learn about a word or phrase.
  2. Notice it in conversations, videos, articles, advertisements, and other places.
  3. When you feel comfortable, start using it.

Also, remember that the purpose is to communicate, not to use as many different expressions as possible. If you can explain your ideas using only simple words, that's great!

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