Did you know that about 1.3 billion people in the world speak English? If you can’t speak English yet, don’t worry; the majority of English speakers are not even native speakers! This means that millions of people learned English later in life and were still able to become fluent. If they can learn to speak English, so can you!

English is considered the world’s lingua franca, which means it is often used between speakers who have different native languages. Learning English will help you land better jobs, improve your personal life, and even boost your brain functions. By learning English, you’ll open up your social and professional network and be able to communicate with billions of people; sounds good right? To get started, TruFluency has compiled a list of 16 basic English phrases that will help you navigate English-speaking countries a little bit easier. Get started and try using these English phrases today!

16 English Phrases to Learn for Beginners

Hello/Hi/Hey– Greetings are some of the most important phrases in any language. When you meet someone new, it’s always important to acknowledge their presence. Hello is more formal, while hi or hey are most often used when talking to peers or family. Try saying hello to your new neighbor or coworker!

Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening/Good night– Whichever English-speaking country you go to, manners matter. By greeting people at various times in the day, you’ll let them know you’re willing to learn, polite, and easy to get along with.

How are you?– This is used with both friends, family, and acquaintances. This great way to find out how someone is doing. In American culture, how are you? can also be used as a greeting similar to hello. For example, if someone asks how you are at the office, they are most likely expecting a short, sweet answer, as opposed to a lengthy, truthful one.

I am okay/good/well– If someone asks how are you? in English you can respond with these phrases. If you’re not in a good mood or sick, you can say, I am not feeling well.

I am– Use I am to express what you’re feeling. If you’re hungry, try saying I am hungry. You can also use I am to disclose your occupation. For example, when asked about your profession, you can say I am a student/doctor/teacher.

Nice to meet you– You can’t go wrong saying this after meeting someone for the first time! This phrase lets others know you value their time and energy.

Please/Thank You– Add please at the end of a request to make it polite! You can even say thank you while making the request.

Can you [request]– Speaking of requests, you can start them off with those two words. To ask for help, try saying can you help me, please?

My name is [name], what’s yours?– This is a great way to introduce yourself and is pretty standard in all English-speaking countries. This phrase allows you to state your name, while also finding out the name of the person you’re speaking to. You can also ask them what is your name? if you want to be more direct.

I am sorry– Sorry goes a long way! This is the simplest way to apologize and is the first step in resolving issues at work and home.

What do you do for fun?– This question is a great ice breaker that can be used in both professional and social settings. After you find out what people like to do, consider organizing a group activity to make new friends!

What do you do [for work]?– Usually when you ask someone what do you do? it’s understood that you’re asking about their job. However, adding for work to the phrase ensures that you won’t be misunderstood.

Excuse me– You can use this phrase to get someone’s attention when you want to ask them a question or politely ask someone to move out of the way. You can also say pardon me if somebody is blocking your path.

How much does this cost?– If you’re shopping, it’s crucial to know how much things cost and what you are spending.

Where is the bathroom?– Bathrooms are important! Learning how to say this will serve you well wherever you go.

I am learning English– You can proudly declare this as you work on becoming fluent. This phrase lets others know you care about your progress and are trying hard! Locals and native speakers will gain respect for you once they see you are trying your best to learn something new.

A Tutor Can Help You Get Fluent in English

In our modern age, you can use a variety of online resources to help you learn English. Virtual platforms like YouTube, Duolingo, and even Netflix can all help you along your language acquisition journey, but it can become difficult to stay motivated by yourself. One of the best ways to become fluent in English is to talk as much as possible with a native English speaker. TruFluency offers fully immersive, real-time experiences with professional language tutors who know the English language inside and out. By working with a tutor, you’ll build confidence, work more efficiently, and gain applicable feedback. If you’re serious about learning English, take a $35 trial class with one of our tutors.