You may have learned some British words that are almost never used by Americans. To talk like an American, and reduce confusion, here are the translations:
films are movies
cinema is movie theater (the sign on the building might say cinema)
serials are TV shows
flat is apartment
football is soccer
lift is elevator
tram is trolley (these are rare in America)
pharmacy or chemist is drug store (but the sign on the building might say pharmacy)
supermarket is grocery store
torch is flashlight
rubbish is trash or garbage
on holiday is on vacation
accommodation is hotel, or apartment, or home, or where you’re staying, or where you live
surname is last name
colleagues are coworkers
zed is zee (the letter z, in Canada it is zed)
C.V. is resume
sphere is field (in business or academics)
when discussing numbers above or below zero: plus and minus are positive and negative
indicator is turn signal
underground is subway
petrol is gasoline or gas
tap is faucet (but we drink tap water)
zebra crossing is crosswalk
lorrie is truck
gastronomy is cuisine
Am I talking fast enough to sound fluent?
Actually, you might sound more fluent if you slow down. If you try to talk fast you’ll make more mistakes, and it’ll be difficult to understand you.
How fast native speakers talk varies. Americans use “uh” “um” and “like” or even “let me think” while we are thinking; use things like that a lot if you want. (On a test like ielts or toefl using things like “um” or “uh” is a bad idea, but otherwise it’s normal.)
Talk at a comfortable speed for you, and (reasonable) Americans will be able to easily understand you, will enjoy talking to you, and will quickly be impressed with how advanced your English is.
Hi I’m Jonathan, thanks for visiting my website. I’m an American. I speak standard American English with a neutral accent. I teach English to intermediate and advanced students across the world with the convenience of Skype. I can help you practice speaking English to improve your fluency. I correct grammatical mistakes and suggest more natural sounding phrases and vocabulary.
My students often ask for help with pronunciation, so pronunciation and accent reduction have become my specialty.
My lessons are informal, I don’t use a textbook.
I’ve been able to observe my students becoming more fluent and making big improvements in pronunciation. Download my ebook of pronunciation exercises for free, read some blog entries on tips to improve your English, and book a lesson with me.
Free Ebook, Pronunciation Exercises
To book a lesson with me:
You can take lessons with me over Skype to improve your pronunciation or fluency.
I teach intermediate and advanced speakers of English. Lessons are 55 minutes.
Click here to schedule your lessons.
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Lessons must be canceled or rescheduled at least 24 hours before the original time. If you cancel or reschedule a lesson less than 24 hours in advance, you will still be charged for the lesson.
If you need to stop taking lessons, I will refund unused lessons, minus a fee of $1 for each unused lesson.