how to speak daily english and slang

  • Hi!
    because I think that only cool guys are member of this forum I´d like to ask the native speakers some questions about speaking english as they do.
    Two weeks ago I visited London - and there the Vans-Store. I wanted to pass two guys who looked for some shoes and I said "excuse me". After this they loughed and the girl from the shop looked at me like I´m not from earth. So I like to ask you how do I say this in a better way?

    Also I said for example "I´d like to have a muffin please" in a very trendy kiosk. What would you think about me? He´s not from earth too?

    And my last question: How do young people say hello? My "hi" was not common I think ....

    Thanks! And If you have got some other words I have to use tell me!

  • hey!
    i'm not a native speaker, however, i spent last year in the states.
    american english is still a little different from british but i can try to help you =)

    "excuse me" is just really formal. you would probably use it at a dinner with your grandparents ;). in a store...just say "sorry". i think that should work.

    it's kind of the same with "i'd like to have a muffin, please". it is very friendly. maybe leaving away the "please" would make it sound less formal. but, me being a friend of polite conversation, would still say "i'd like...".

    hi is fine.
    or hey!
    if you want to be totally hip, say "what's up". that's pretty informal though.

    and asking "how are you" is very common. at least in the states. i know. ask the guy at the cashier how he is. i don't think you'd do that in germany =)

    hope i could help you!

  • Zitat

    Original von parker

    so I was right with my impression that my sentences were very infomal. In two weeks i´ll visit UK again and will try your tips!

    no, they are way too formal :) but they'll understand you anyway :)
    don't bother about your skills, keep on speaking! that's the best way to improve your english skills. and don't care about people who are laughing at you -they did get what you said, didn't they? :)

  • i got some friends in the UK from a band exchange. we're still in contact. nearly every day. we'll go over there in april for some days and to play some concerts in liverpool and chester.
    its great to have the chance to speak english with some people who cannot speak german. you learn to communicate in another way, body language, describe things. you just need to dare to speak. they will understand you anyway, so don't worry :D
    otherwise they're little bit lame.

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  • thanks again! i think you´re right. i only have to listen to the people i meet and it will become better and better.

    probably i´ll find some "exchange" partner too... let´s see what happenes.

  • I always use "excuse me" and I also spent one year in the US. But that's like 10 years ago. And after getting my essay back today at university, i Thought: Well, I'm definitely not that good anymore. If you want to speak English I suggest you visit That's a kind of "meeting place" for English speaking people who are currently living in Germany. Usually they meet once in a while. I got to know some really nice people there.

    Oh, and you know what I found really interesting when I was in the US?
    Somebody came up to me and we were having a conversation. And then the other person said: "Thank you" and was staring at me, waiting for me to answer something. About a week later I learned that you alsways have to say "You're welcome!" That's something I had never learnt at my English classes before.

  • I find it weird that they laughed at you being polite...but i guess it was a bit formal.

    however i always say 'excuse me'.

    In terms of saying hello there are many ways:

    Hiya / heya





    and one which confuses see someone you know and they say 'hey how are you?' but keep walking and dont stop to find out the answer so you should do the same and answer ' hey how are you?'. strange social habits.

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  • Hi guys, I'm new to the forum but I'm english so I might be able to help.

    Don't worry about saying things like "excuse me" and saying "please", that is the correct way to say it. They probably looked at you funny because of your accent. Whenever I have met a german person they have always spoke brilliant english, so keep it up!

    As punkmik mentioned instead of saying "hello" you can say:

    alright, hey, hi, morning, afternoon, good day

    Keep having to confidence to speak english because i certainly don't have the confidence to speak german!

  • Of course, it's actually pretty much correct, except for the age... if you mean 22, it would be zweiundzwanzig ;)

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  • I did mean 22! I'll remember that for next time.

    How do you say things such as:

    "I like..."
    "I play..."

    and how do you ask questions?

    "what is..."
    "when are..."

    I need to work on my german, I can't rely on you clever people to help me all the time!

  • oh some new answers ...

    since the trip i explained i was three times in uk .... and now i think that it was realy my accent which was horrible :-) ... I heard "excuse me" many times even in spitalfields - london ... there i met a girl ... she also said that this would be ok ....

    but since that time i also learned much more ... for example to say cheers instead of thank´s ... :D this i learned in wolverhampton .... ;)

    @ Jon ... I understood what you´ve written! ... by the way are there some concerts you look for someone who ist coming with you? maybe that could be my next trip ....

  • Well I haven't got any concerts lined up at the moment but if you have any you are thinking of going to let me know...I could always tag along!

    I rarely say "thank you"...i usually say either "cheers" or "thanks". Hopefully the Beatsteaks will come back to England soon, we could go and watch them together.

    If there are any other English sayings you want to know just ask, I'm more than happy to help!

  • "I like...":
    normal: "Ich mag ..."
    or: .... ist geil

    "I play...":
    "ich spiele" .... if you think about playing an instrument

    "what is...":
    "Was ist ..." of if you mean what´s going on you can also say ... "was geht ab"

    "when are...":
    "Wann ...." z.b "Wann spielen die Beatsteaks ?"

  • Ich mag the Beatsteaks und fuzzball speilen.

    Ich spiele sie guitar. Ich habe Gretsch White Penguin und Marshall JCM2000 TSL.

    I think german and english are quite similar as a language, I can usually understand what people have written in german, but don't know how to reply!

  • cool .. the first words were right! Ich mag die (the) Beatsteaks. I would say the same.... but the following :-)

    ".. und Fussball spielen. Ich spiele Gitarre. Ich habe einen Gretsch White Penguin und Marshall JCM2000 TSL."