Sometimes, basic English conversations are the most complicated ones.
In daily life, English speakers talk quickly. They use lots of slang. They make jokes and cultural references that you might not understand.
Suddenly, your English classroom seems like a comfortable, familiar place!
But you are not learning English to read textbooks all day long, right?
You are learning English so you can actually use it in real life.
This article will show you how to learn English for daily life in five very common situations. We will recommend the best video lessons, written lessons and interactive tools to help you master these everyday English conversations.
Fun Ways to Make English Part of Your Daily Life
In order to learn a language, it is important to practice every day. And the easiest way to practice English every day is finding fun ways to learn, so you do not get bored and quit.
Along with the daily English resources we will recommend below, here are some fun and simple ways to practice English every day, depending on your personal interests:
- Try reading a great story or a comic book in English. You might be surprised at how much English vocabulary you learn when you are entertained!
- The same goes for watching movies. You will be so entertained by the movies that you will not even realize how much English you are learning.
- English music is a fun tool to practice listening every day. This will help you practice pronunciation and get used to English phrases.
- Find a friend or a group of friends who speak or are learning English. Then, practice common, everyday phrases and expressions like the ones you will learn from the resources below. Try to act out common scenes like making weekend plans or eating at a restaurant.
English for Daily Life: Tons of Free Resources for the 5 Most Common Situations
Typical English Greetings for Daily Life
English greetings help you confidently introduce yourself to native English speakers and make new friends. Therefore, greetings are not just an important part of daily English, but also your ticket to many other everyday English conversations.
English Like a Native has a great video explaining some common English greetings and helping you practice your pronunciation. This video is helpful because it explains when to use each greeting and shows which phrases are more formal or more common.
If you want a little more practice before you head off to use these greetings in your daily life, iSLCollective has some useful worksheets that you can print out. You can fill them out on your own to make sure you understand how to use these English greetings in your daily life.
Basic English Conversation Skills
To master English for daily life, basic conversation skills are essential. And there is no better tool to learn them than FluentU.
FluentU provides real-world English videos—like movie clips, hilarious YouTube videos, TV commercials and more—that have been transformed into personalized language lessons. That means you will hear English the way native speakers really use it in their daily lives, but you never have to worry about missing a word. Just click any word in the interactive subtitles, and FluentU will automatically pause the video to show you a definition, grammar info and memorable pictures.
When you are done watching, FluentU provides flashcards and fun quizzes to make sure you remember the new words. There are also vocabulary lists and full transcripts that you can review. Since the videos are organized by genre and level, it is easy to find the ones that matter to your daily life. (There is even an “Everyday Life” category with more than 1,000 videos.) Best of all, FluentU will suggest new videos to you based on what you have already learned.
For example, this funny video discusses a very common scene in daily life: asking for someone’s Wi-Fi password. You will hear lots of informal, conversational English. To watch with all the learning features, subscribe to FluentU. You can explore the full video library for free for 15 days, then sign up for a membership if you really love what you are learning! There is also a limited free membership you can continue with after your trial.
ESL Fast provides a list of sample conversations you are likely to encounter in daily life. These are topics that you might talk about with a friend, coworker or classmate. They are simple and easy to follow and include an audio recording so that you can listen to the conversation while you read.
If you are living in an English-speaking country, one of your daily activities might be grocery shopping. English and Culture has a helpful article with everything you need to know about buying food. The article ends with a video quiz to make sure you have understood everything and are ready to go shopping in English.
When adding English to your daily life, it is also important to know how to talk about common activities. Woodward English is a great place to practice this skill, thanks to this list of daily routine vocabulary. The list comes with helpful pictures. This site also includes lots of example sentences and a quiz to test your learning.
English for Restaurants
Ordering food is one of the most basic but necessary skills you need for daily life in English. To begin learning how to go to a restaurant in English, ESOL Courses gives you a helpful list of common restaurant vocabulary. Spend some time going over these words and phrases before putting them into a sentence.
As a bonus, that list includes tips for eating out in the U.K., so that you can be prepared for your dinner out.
Once you are comfortable with some of the vocabulary, JamesESL has a great video to help you form some questions and sentences. His video uses a slow pace to help you follow along, and he tries to make the conversation easy but also detailed enough to get you through the restaurant experience without feeling stressed.
Finally, if you want to learn more detailed restaurant conversations, take a look at Mad English TV, where you will learn tons of different examples of daily conversations. This video covers fast food and traditional sit-down restaurants, and addresses some situations or problems you might face when eating at a restaurant.
This video is much more detailed and will prepare you for almost any restaurant scenario you might face.
Bringing Your English Skills into the Classroom
Two Minute English has a video with several examples of everyday English conversations you might have while at school. It also explains some vocabulary words that are used in a classroom but you might not have learned.
Another great resource for practicing classroom conversations is Scribd. This site has a document full of common classroom phrases that you can download. The conversations are listed in the order you might hear them in a classroom setting, and are separated into categories to help you understand.
It also teaches you some words that you might hear as part of your teacher’s instructions and questions that you can ask if you do not understand a lesson.
English for Daily Life at the Workplace
If your daily life includes speaking English at work, you might want to check out some of the videos by Learn English in Hamza’s Classroom. The video below gives sample conversations that people might have at the workplace.
Each sentence is repeated twice to give you time to listen and understand. It also provides subtitles so you can read along.
You may also need to practice English in order to get a job. Learn English with Emma gives great advice for all things related to the job search. She will help you understand common English questions you will hear in an interview, and she uses easy-to-understand but detailed language to help you through the process of finding a job.
These are some of the most common conversations you will find in daily life. Practice these phrases and vocabulary words so that you can carry English into your daily life, and be sure to incorporate English learning into your life through music, movies and other fun English activities.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.