Sounding More Natural in English

Ever wondered why some phrases just don’t sound right in English, even though they make perfect sense in another language?

In former times, people relied on handwritten letters to communicate over long distances.”

Does that sound natural to you? To native English speakers, it might sound unusual and old-fashioned, like something out of a poem.

Let’s explore this language mystery together. 

While “in früheren Zeiten” or “früher” is common in German, in English, we usually say “used to.” This phrase not only means something happened in the past but also describes a past habit.

Here’s a simple tip to sound more natural:

  • Instead of: “In former times, I used to live in Hamburg.”
  • Say: “I used to live in Hamburg.

It might feel strange at first, but practice will make you better. 

Imagine: At your next global meeting, you amaze everyone. Someone asks about your background, and you casually reply, “I used to work for Siemens.” No one looks puzzled; everyone nods in agreement. You’ve nailed it.

Using “used to” will make your English sound better and more authentic. This way, you’ll not only be understood, but you’ll also be seen as an articulate and fluent speaker.

What English expressions or phrases did you find strange at first? How did you get comfortable using them? And share this post with someone who would appreciate these subtle but important differences in English.

Happy networking and keep speaking English like a pro!


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Foto Christine Sparks

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