How to Speak English Fast with Advanced Grammar

How can you speak English faster and more natural? You’ve probably heard English native speakers using contractions and connected speech with modal verbs like “woulda”, “coulda”, and “shoulda”. Taking words and kind of smashing them together is really common, and it can be difficult to understand when you hear it. It’s also probably intimidating to try to do yourself. 

Trust me, understanding and using connected speech with modal verbs in advanced tenses doesn’t have to be that challenging. This lesson will teach you how to speak English fast with advanced grammar. I’m going to explain some common modal verbs in advanced tenses so that you can start using them now! By using this advanced grammar in your speech, it’s going to help you sound much more fluent and natural!

An important part of learning is practice, so after you watch this video, go down to the comment section and answer this question: What is something you would have done yesterday, but didn’t do because you couldn’t? For example, I would’ve gone for a walk last night, but it was raining.

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE DIFFICULT TO USE CONNECTED SPEECH WITH MODAL VERBS

Using advanced grammar feels awkward and complex. Maybe you’ve avoided it because it feels like it takes too long to express ideas with advanced grammar. Maybe you didn’t get much time to practice and truly understand how to use advanced grammar in your English class. Natives don’t use advanced tenses as often as simple tenses; but, they’re still very important and used on a daily basis! 

Keep reading to find out how to speak fast English AND impress everyone with these advanced modal verbs!

Also, at the end of this article, you can find out how you can get more great English tips!

SHOULD HAVE

Don’t say “Should… have… been”. This sounds unnatural. The contraction for should have is “should’ve”. Native speakers will often make it even shorter and say “shoulda”. 

How do we use it? We use should have to express regret. 

Here are some examples:

It’s raining! I “shoulda” brought my umbrella!

I have no cash in my wallet! I “shoulda” gone to the bank yesterday.

Native speakers will even omit the subject or pronounce it very quietly and say, “Shoulda gone to the bank!” 

Common mistake: Don’t say, “shoulda went”. Remember that in these perfect tenses we need the past participles!

COULD HAVE

Don’t say, “could…have…been”. The contraction for could have is “could’ve”. It becomes “coulda” when native speakers say it. 

How do we use it? One way we use could have is to talk about past possibilities that did not happen.

Here are some examples:

Why didn’t you tell me you were having problems? I “coulda” helped you. 

I didn’t know she hates sushi! We “coulda” gone somewhere else. 

You look so tired. We “coulda” stayed home.

WOULD HAVE

Don’t say, “would…have…been”. The contraction for would have is “would’ve”. It sounds like, “woulda” when native speakers say it. 

How do we use it? We often use it to talk about things that we wanted to do, but didn’t do.

Here are some examples:

I “woulda” studied more, but I was so tired.

She “woulda” come to the party, but she was sick.

ARE “COULDA”, “SHOULDA”, AND “WOULDA” THE SAME?

Does it seem like we can use coulda, shoulda, or woulda interchangeably? Is it a bit confusing? We’ll, you’re right! we can use them in the same situations, but each one has a slightly different meaning. 

Remember “coulda” is for possibilities that didn’t happen, “shoulda” is for regret, and “woulda” is for things we wanted to do, but didn’t. Can you think of some examples of your own? Tell me in the comments and see if you used them correctly!

WILL HAVE

Don’t say, “will…have…been”. The contraction for will have is “will’ve”, and it often sounds like, “willuv” when native speakers say it. 

This one is different because will is for the future, and will have plus a past participle is used for the future perfect tense. 

How do we use “willuv”? We use it to talk about something in the future that will be finished by a certain time. 

Here are some examples:

It’s 3:00 pm now. By 5:00, I “willuv” been here for  two hours. 

By the end of this video, you “willuv” learned a lot! 

By the time his flight lands, he “willuv” been traveling for 22 hours.

MIGHT HAVE

Don’t say, “might…have…been”. The contraction for might have is “might’ve”, and it usually sounds like, “mighta” when native speakers say it. 

How do we use “mighta”? We “mighta” to make a guess about a past situation. We try to guess why something happened, but it’s only a guess. We’re not sure. 

Here are some examples:

Why wasn’t she here? I don’t know. She “mighta” been sick, or she “mighta” forgotten!

I tried calling my brother, but he didn’t answer. He “mighta” been sleeping.

Where is the teacher? Who knows! She “mighta” had car problems.

SIDE NOTE

Modal verbs can have more than one meaning, and in this case there is more than one modal verb that can be used in this exact way. We also use could have (“coulda”) and may have (“mayuv”) to make guesses about past situations.

For example: He “mighta” been out of town. He “coulda” been out of town. He “mayuv” been out of town. All three of those sentences are exactly the same!  

MUST HAVE

Don’t say, “must…have…been”. The contraction for must have is “must’ve”, and when native speakers say it, it usually sounds like, “musta”.

How do we use it? This is also used to talk about a past situation, but unlike “mighta”, “mayuv”, and “coulda”, “musta” expresses much more certainty. So, we’re pretty sure about what happened, but not 100% sure. 

Here are some examples:  

I can’t believe the teacher missed class yesterday. She “musta” been really sick because she’s always here! 

They’re never late to class. They “musta” missed the bus or something.

I can’t believe he fell asleep at 8:00 last night! He “musta” been exhausted! 

IMPORTANT

These contractions are only used in speaking. Never use them in writing. In fact, when you’re doing formal writing, you should avoid using contractions!

I hope that you start using these contractions in your speech today to speak English faster and more natural!

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Check out these related posts about English speaking!

https://www.gonaturalenglish.com/english-like-a-native/

https://www.gonaturalenglish.com/five-rules-native-english-speakers-never-follow/

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