Let’s start right off by saying that there isn’t a magic pill for better speaking. That would be too easy, right? Basically, the best way to speak better is to, well – speak! Commit to practicing often and with as many different people as possible. Although technical support agents based overseas are often just as competent as their English counterparts, there are times when it can be quite difficult to carry a fluid conversation due to language barriers. Many smaller companies keep their technical support in-house; if the company is North American then that means the support will be North American.
If you do happen to get through to an agent that you have trouble understanding, you may be able to ask for a transfer. Most computer companies have retained their senior technical support departments in-house or have special groups set up to deal with requests for someone who speaks English as a first language. There may be times when you call technical support and have no choice but to speak to someone with an accent; the company’s entire support offering may be overseas, the company itself may be overseas, or, you may speak to someone in your own country that has an accent.
There are many things you can do to make your English easier to understand. Avoid running words together ( Do-ya wanna eat-a-pizza?). One of the biggest challenges for listeners knows where one word ends and the next one begins. Give them a small pause between words if they seem to be struggling. Avoid using filler and colloquialisms (‘um…’, ‘like…’,’Yeah, totally.’). Do not get frustrated or feel guilty for having an agent repeat and rephrase the instructions until you understand. This applies to working with any agent even when communication is clear. Always be sure before proceeding with any step.
Make note of the following for your studies:
- Nouns can be: singular or plural; proper or common; collective; count or non-count; abstract or concrete; gerunds
- Pronouns can be: personal, possessive, reflexive, intensive, reciprocal, indefinite, demonstrative, interrogative, or relative
- Adjectives can be used on their own, for the sake of making comparisons, or as superlatives.
- Adverbs are either relative adverbs or adverbs of frequency.
- Conjunctions are either coordinating or correlative.
- Verbs can be: action verbs or linking verbs; main verbs or auxiliary/helping verbs
- The articles “a” and “an” are indefinite, while the article “the” is definite.
Learn how to structure a basic sentence
At minimum, every sentence consists of a subject and an action. A sentence that lacks either one is a sentence fragment and is considered to be improper.
- The subject is usually a noun or pronoun, and the action is conveyed using a verb.
- Correct example: The dogran.
- Incorrect example: Yesterday afternoon.
- Expand your sentences into more complex forms after mastering this basic format.
Understand that this is just the beginning. The rules and information provided in this article will not teach you everything you need to know about English grammar. This article is intended to serve as a starting point in your studies. The actual subject of English grammar is much more complex, and you will need to devote a lot of time and effort if you really want to learn it.
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