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I Forget Words When Speaking in English – Here is How to Handle it

I forget words when speaking in English is one of the most common problems of ESL learners. Moreover, some English native speakers also have this habit, having the words in their minds, but they forget to utter the words when they talk. In this article, I will talk about the ways that you can navigate through the situation and hopefully, you will remember some tips to avoid this situation and speak fluently in English.

I Forget Words When Speaking in English – 7 Tips to Avoid it

1. Try and Say the Word in Your Own Language

There are many words that are similar across many languages like the word computer that people around the world will understand even if you pronounce it differently. So whenever you forget something while speaking to a native English speaker try to say it in your own language because maybe something will come out of this. This way you would find a way to communicate with English speakers and make them comprehend what you mean.

2. Ask the 2nd Person to Remind You About the Word

If you forget any word, just ask a person you are talking with to remind you of the word. Like what was that word or what do you call it. If you forget doesn’t matter, you can always ask the 2nd person about the word you want to say. This way you will learn that word as well as remember to use it accurately after on in your speaking.

3. Gesticulate And Use Acting Skills

Dr. Mehrabian who has analyzed the speech, according to him the interpretation of a message is 7% verbal, 38% is vocal-like intonations and 55% is visual which means that you need to use your visual science. If you have observed when you are talking to a real person in front of you, you would feel comfortable but when talking on a phone you might somehow find it difficult because when you are communicating with a person in front of you, you can gesticulate, use your acting skills or body language make a sound to show what you mean.

4. Stop And Paraphrase the Whole Phrase

Sometimes you might have words on the top of your tongue and it just evaporated when you started saying a phrase. It might be complicated or some advanced words. The way to deal with it is to just stop and say it in a completely different way. You probably translating in your head from your own language to English and you forget the word and stuck while speaking. The best thing to do in this situation is to go back to the beginning of the phrase and just try to say it in different words.

Sometimes you can’t paraphrase a and object word in order to remember that word but something that can bring complexity to your speech like evaporate it and use an easier word and this will help you a lot. It happens when you want to sound like a native speaker and use some advanced words but you forget while speaking, doesn’t matter just go back and paraphrase it and sound like an intermediate person.

5. Come up With Words Yourself

Try and come up with words yourself like some words in English are a mix of different words like a waterfall, sunglasses, and many more. So if you forget a word try to make it up, even you can take it from other languages like French and Italian if you know, because 30% of English vocabulary was adopted from French, hence if you know French try to use it.

6. Learn Synonyms

Learning synonyms will help you a lot to sound like a native speaker and handle the situation when you forget a word while speaking instead you can use a synonym of that word. Like: Intelligent, smart, clever, witty, etc. Moreover, learning English synonyms will help you not only in speaking but in other modules too like listening, reading, and writing.

7. Use English to English Dictionary

Use a dictionary that explains the word in English because when you forget a word, at least you can explain it in English because you have read the explanation and have something in your mind. Don’t underestimate the power of using such a dictionary and reading the explanation of the word in English because later on something will click and you would remember that explanation.

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1 comment

Angela February 2, 2022 at 5:38 am

Hi! May I know the date of this article? When did you write it? Just for reference purposes. Thank you.


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