A tip to sound more natural when speaking English

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Abena BaileyEnglish
January 10, 2018
149
a minute
How does this sound?

"I have many friends who are learning English."

Sounds okay right?...Well no, not really.
Yes, it is grammatically correct but English speakers rarely talk like this.

I can tell you are a non-native speaker by your use of the word 'many'.
If I hear someone use it in a positive statement like this - I have many friends - it doesn't sound natural to me!

Let me explain.

First, let's look at the grammar rules for 'many'.
We use 'many' to talk about countable nouns. It means an indefinitely large amount of things. The opposite (not many) means a few.

We can use it in the following ways:

With questions:
"How many employees are working on the product launch?"

With negative statements:
"I don't have many bricks. Building this house is going to be a problem."

With positive statements - but this is where the problem occurs.
"The journalist asked many questions about the company."
Or.."We have many things to discuss today."
THIS SOUNDS UNNATURAL! Why? It isn't common to use "many" in this way.

So, my tip for this week is this:
Native English speakers mostly use 'a lot of' in a positive statement.

e.g.
"The journalist asked a lot of questions."
We have a lot of things to discuss today."

You try it!

Leave a 'many' or 'a lot of' statement in the comment box.

Do you want to sound more natural when speaking English?
I offer fluency classes to help intermediate to advanced English speakers sound more natural. This is very effective for career progression and doing business so don't waste time. Do a trial class with me now!
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Flag
English
globe
United Kingdom
time
New!
English
Native
,
German
A2
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French
A2
Hello, I'm Abena Bailey from England and I offer English classes tailored to help people progress in their careers and the world of business. I have a degree in journalism - I worked as a newspaper journalist for 11 years before becoming a qualified teacher of English as a Second Language. I now have almost 10 years teaching experience and I focus on Business English, giving executives the essential language skills they need for everyday work and specific events in their schedules. I teach a number of executives from the global 500 companies. I take students from lower intermediate levels to advanced and also those who just want to practice fluency and sound natural.
Flag
English
globe
United Kingdom
time
New!
English
Native
,
German
A2
,
French
A2
Hello, I'm Abena Bailey from England and I offer English classes tailored to help people progress in their careers and the world of business. I have a degree in journalism - I worked as a newspaper journalist for 11 years before becoming a qualified teacher of English as a Second Language. I now have almost 10 years teaching experience and I focus on Business English, giving executives the essential language skills they need for everyday work and specific events in their schedules. I teach a number of executives from the global 500 companies. I take students from lower intermediate levels to advanced and also those who just want to practice fluency and sound natural.

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