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Learn 9 Ways that Native English Speakers Break the Rules!


Hi, Bob the Canadian here In this English lesson I'm going to teach you some of the rules that you're sort of allowed to break when you're speaking English

(upbeat music) Well hey, welcome to this English lesson where I'm going to help you break the rules Before we get started though if you're new here don't forget to click that red subscribe button below, give me a thumbs up if this video helps you learn just a little bit more English Well as you learn English, you learn a lot of rules and when you listen to native English speakers you realize that sometimes we break the rules So in this video I'll go over nine different rules that we regularly break when we're speaking English One more thing before we get started

Even though I'm going to teach you about rules that native English speakers break regularly, you yourself as an English learner should not break these rules yet If you are a beginner or intermediate, or even an advanced English learner, you should know about these rules and you should know how native English speakers break them, but you should not start breaking these rules yet One of the first English rules that you will hear native English speakers break quite often especially children, involves the words, me and I You will sometimes hear kids say things like, "Me and my friends went to the movies last week" Technically this is incorrect, but English speakers do say things like that

The correct way to say that would be, "My friends and I went to the movies the other week" I even do this sometimes I will say things like, "Me and my colleagues went out for lunch last week" And it's incorrect I should say, "My colleagues and I went out for lunch the other week" So, don't say this yourself, but you should be ready to hear native English speakers break the rules from time to time and say things like, "Me and my brother ate all the cookies

" You should say, "My brother and I ate all the cookies" The second example I want to share with you, involves the words, can and may Oftentimes in my classroom students will say, "Can I go to the bathroom?" And technically this is incorrect We use the word, can, to talk about our ability to do something, not to ask for permission The correct way to say this would be, "May I go to the bathroom?" But I will tell you this, my students rarely say, "May I go to the bathroom?" When they ask to leave the room to use the washroom or the bathroom they most often break the rule and they say, "Can I go to the bathroom?" Which if you think about it is kind of a funny way to ask to go to the bathroom, because all of us have the ability to go to the bathroom

We just don't always have permission to leave the classroom to go to the bathroom So the third example I wanted to talk to you about is a mistake that often native English speakers make while writing They take phrases like could've, would've, should've and they write, could of, would of, and should of, which is technically incorrect They should be writing the contraction of could have, which is could've, would have, which is would've, and should have, which is should've, but when you listen to me say it, you will hear that it actually sounds like, "of" I could say something like, "I chose one lottery number wrong if I had chosen them all correct I could've won the lottery

" So I'm not saying, "could of", I'm saying, "could've", which is the contraction of could have But many native English speakers, especially in informal writing, like an email, or if they are sending a text, will often do this incorrectly Sorry for all the honking, there's a lot of geese honking while I'm trying to make this video There's just a lot of geese that are for some reason, hanging out here during the winter So I know this camera angle is a little too bright for me, but I wanted you to be able to see how beautiful it is when we have snow on the ground and the sun is shining

It's just a really nice day, a nice January day here in Canada But let's move on to the next example If I was to ask you this question, "Do you know an English teacher that has a good YouTube channel?" You might think it sounds correct, and native English speakers would ask a question just like that, and they would think it's correct as well, but it's technically not We wouldn't use the word, "that", in that question, we would use the word, "who" The correct way to ask that question would be, "Do you know an English teacher who has a good YouTube channel?" But I will tell you, English speakers may not even be aware that they are making a mistake when they ask a question like, "Do you know an English teacher that has a good YouTube channel?" We use "that" all the time when we're talking about people but technically in a sentence like that, if you are talking about a person, you should be using the word, "who"

Do you know an English teacher who has a good YouTube channel? I do So the next example involves the words, further and farther I often get this question during my Saturday night live English lessons, people will say, "When do I use further and when do I use farther?" Well technically, you use "farther" when you are talking about distances, or something that is measurable So for instance, when I drive to my first neighbor, if I want to go to my second neighbor, he is one kilometer farther down the road In that situation I would use farther

And we use "further" when we say things like, "Are there any further questions?" So it's not really a distance, or a measurable thing But here's the thing, native English speakers break these rules all the time In fact, we use further and farther, interchangeably a lot For instance, I could say, "How much farther do we need to go before we get to the school?" I could also say, "How much further do we need to go before we get to the school?" So in some English-speaking countries this is okay In Canada, my understanding is, and maybe someone in the comments will tell me different, that you can use "further" in almost all situations

You could say something like, "It is three kilometers further" or "Are there any further questions?" This next example is actually a rule that I broke in a video I made a little while ago about phrasal verbs and it involves the words, lay and lie Technically, you lay something down and a person lies down on a bed So I should say things like, "I lay the book on the table" "I am going to go lie down and take a nap

" But you know what, I use lay a lot I say things like, "I'm gonna go lay on the couch and watch TV" I should be saying, "I'm going to go lie down and watch TV" Or "I'm going to go lie down and take a nap" But yeah, I break this rule a lot

In fact, I broke this rule in a video previously and I didn't even know that it was a rule So the next example I wanted to talk about involves the words, "than and then" And it's a bit of a pronunciation rule that we break You hear me say, than, and you hear me say, then, but if I say a sentence like this, "My older brother is older then me" You hear me say, "then", but I'm actually using the word, "than"

I think when we speak quickly, especially in my area of Canada, we often, when we are comparing people, we are supposed to be saying, "than", and we actually say, "then" Like I am stronger than my younger brother I'm saying, than, T-H-A-N, but when I listen to myself, it sounds like I'm saying, then I am definitely not stronger than my younger brother So my next example is about using the singular they

Sometimes in English we ask questions like, "Ask your friend what they want for lunch" Technically you should be asking, "Ask your friend what he or she wants for lunch" And people have asked me about this in the comments below It is actually technically correct now to use the singular they You can say things like, "Ask your friend what they want for lunch

" It is totally correct, but some people might still think it's incorrect, but it's not You can look this up online Most dictionaries, in fact, the newspaper, The Washington Post, now accepts the singular they, as proper English speech So you may have been taught that you should not end an English sentence with a preposition A preposition is a word like, in, or with, or at, but we do this all the time

We ask questions like, "Which newspaper is his picture in?" When technically we should be asking, "In which newspaper is his picture?" Although that second sentence, though correct, doesn't sound good to my native English ear The first sentence actually sounds better "Which newspaper is his picture in?" So I think you're free to break that rule in spoken English, but I wouldn't break that rule if you are doing a writing test, or even if you're doing a speaking test But if you're just talking to your friends, go ahead and end a sentence with a preposition Well hey, that was nine English rules that you're sort of allowed to break when you are speaking English

I'm Bob the Canadian, and you are learning English with me here on YouTube If you are not subscribed, you should click that subscribe button over there and give me a thumbs up if this video helped you learn just a little bit more English And while you're here why don't you stick around and watch a couple more videos (upbeat music)

Source: Youtube

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