Why just memorising phrases from phrase collection books on the market is a no-good way?

G’day mate, how’s it going? Today, I am going to talk about the reason why just memorising phrases from phrase collection books on the market is a no-good way. You can see heaps of different phrase collection books out there. However, do you really reckon this learning method is effective? I highly doubt. Let’s discuss why.

You can hardly put your memorised phrases from phrase collection books to practical use as they offer you fixed phrases, which are not applicable to irregular circumstances in a flexible way

What do I mean by this? To put it simply, phrase collection books have no flexibility when it comes to the application of their provided fixed phrases to a real conversation. Why? Because, even if you memorise them, it doesn’t mean that you are going to utilise them flexibly as they are not your words, more specifically they are simply artificial sentences. So, if a native speaker asks you exactly the same question in accordance with the fixed phrases, then you should be able to cope with the situation. On the other hand, if the native speaker asks you exactly the same question in a different word, then you are probably going to be stuck in answering. And, your conversation is likely to be intermittently interrupted by this situation. I am not saying you shouldn’t buy this kind of book, but if you really want to improve your English ability, then you shouldn’t just memorise the fixed phrases, but you ought to change the standard form of wording for your own way. In doing so, she’ll be Apples!

You tend to barely collect a wide range of rare and sophisticated phrases, and so you could use only a few of them in a real conversation

As I mentioned previously, phrase collection books on the market only offer you some fixed phrases, some of which are rarely used or too sophisticated to use in a daily conversation. For instance, “it rains cats and dogs”. It’s a good idiom. And, ok, you want to use it in a daily conversation. It could be used, depending on the circumstances. However, people don’t often use such classical idioms. Not really. People would normally say like, “It’s been pissing down, mate, I hate rain, although it’s def good for our dry weather.” As for a daily conversation, this is the way it should be, instead of saying such a fixed idiom or expression. Of course, you can use it, but it needs to be used in an appropriate manner. The use of idiom is, so to speak, for advanced English learners or a native-like level.

Learning phrases from phrase collection books on the market is meaningful if you use them for your self-talk training every day

Just memorising so many fixed phrases and expressions seem to be a futile effort as you’re often stuck in the way in which they should be used in a daily conversation. Phrase collection books normally don’t give you exact tips as to how to be used in different situations. Instead of this, they have, more or less, the inclination to show off various phrases which are interchangeable or synonyms. If you are already adept at synthesising them and applying them to any conversational circumstances effectively. Go for it! But otherwise, you are going to end up piling up heaps of idioms, which will be utterly useless for practicality. To compensate for void of practicality, what you could do is to take full advantage of the fixed phrases for your self-talk. You kind of force yourself to use them in various topics, which you often feel awkward how weird I am using them, but it’s fine as long as you try to use them in a practical setting. Better than just memorising and doing nothing. First of all, you try to give them a whirl, and then you use them in a real conversation with a native speaker. If the usage is not right, then she or he willingly helps correct you. And in the end, you’ll get used to the use of some new phrases gradually and appropriately.

Without having a solid understanding of English grammar and vocabularies, learning English from phrase collection books on the market has an adverse effect on the development of your English skills

It’s dead simple, right? It’s absolutely nonsense if you just memorise phrases and don’t use them in a real conversation. And worst of all, without having a good understanding grammar rules and vocabularies, how could you be able to use various phrases flexibly and effectively? Unless you were born and raised in an English-speaking country, learning basic grammar rules and vocabularies are indispensable to your English learning journey. But for them, it would be extremely hard to apply fixed phrases to a real conversation naturally. So, conversely speaking, if you have already got an excellent comprehension of advanced grammar and vocabularies, there will have no worries at all in using phrase collection books for your English learning journey. Because, you are proactively learning English whereby you do talk to yourself using phrase collection books. This is the way any phrase collection book should be utilised effectively.

That’s all for today. Much appreciated!

Have a beautiful Monday!

Published by Masato Kawaguchi

I am an English entrepreneur here in Australia. I've been teaching the PTE exam for the last 2 years or so, now mainly general English online.

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