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Learn to Explain Yourself in English

My students often have this problem in English. They try to communicate an idea. They know what they want to say, but they can't find the right word to describe their thought. Often the conversation stops at that moment. Has this ever happened to you? What can you do when you can't find the right word? At that moment, instead of searching for the perfect word, you have to try using many easy words to explain your meaning. This is called "paraphrasing" and is used by people all around the world, in every language, every day, to communicate well.

When you forget a word or when someone can't understand what you want to say, try paraphrasing. One way to paraphrase is just to use easier words. For example, instead of saying "improved", try saying "made better". "This product has been made better. Now it is more useful". This simple sentence can communicate much more effectively. An added benefit is that the person you are speaking to might say the word you were trying to say ("Yes, this product has really been improved, hasn't it?") so that you can learn the new word without any special effort.

Besides using easier words, you can try using the opposite word. When speaking about something, try to say what it is not. That can give the listener a valuable clue to your meaning. Sometimes, you might make a mistake in pronouncing a word. In that case, don't give up! Sometimes you have to give two or three examples from everyday life to show your meaning, then the listener can understand.

Try to paraphrase the next time you have trouble or when you want to be more clear. It takes time and practice to be able to speak English more clearly, but if you keep on trying, you'll get it. Good luck!

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