You need to use American slang correctly
Many of the people I work with in my accent reduction coaching program ask me
Susan, can we work on American slang and idioms in our sessions?
And I always agree to do that. Because I think using slang and idioms is an excellent idea….IF…you know how to say these correctly.
Use slang correctly, or don’t use it at all
This may sound harsh, but this is what I tell my clients.
If you’re not sure how to use slang or a particular idiomatic phrase correctly, it’s best not to say it at all.
That’s because when you use slang and idioms, substituting a word, or stressing the wrong word will make the phrase sound unfamiliar to native speakers.
If you’re already feeling self conscious about the way you speak, using slang or idioms incorrectly will draw even more attention to your speech.
Most of the people I work with are trying to avoid that. They want their speech to sound familiar, not different.
Once you learn them, use them!
Once you’re certain that you’re saying a slang term or an idiomatic expression correctly, go ahead and use it.
People will connect with you because you’ve shown you really understand the culture.
Learn idioms here at English in a Minute
You can learn some common American idioms using these short videos from the VOA.
Learn them well and then start to use them!