When getting started with learning a language, your word bank can be quite limited. With time and practise, you will begin to expand your English vocabulary and you will find it easier to express yourself in a variety of different situations and in conversation with a range of different people. Although there’s many ways to speed up the learning process when it comes to learning a new language (you can find some tips on our previous blog posts) the most important thing is to keep practising.
If you read a range of sources, listen to music, watch different films and tv programmes and practise conversing with your fellow language learning students, over time you will learn new words that you can try out yourself when you’re talking to someone in English.
In the English language, we have many words that have similar meanings. Knowing the alternative words you can use instead of a commonly used word will serve you in a few ways. If you have a wider vocabulary, you will be able to express yourself more accurately and get to the point of what you are trying to say quicker. Additionally, some words will be appropriate for certain conversations and settings but less appropriate for others. In time, you will learn to decide naturally which words are appropriate in which setting.
The word ‘correct’ which means to be right about something, is a very commonly used English word. To avoid making your writing sound repetitive, there are several alternative versions you can use. Let’s consider these different words and when they should and shouldn’t be used:
We’ve already used this word in our definition of ‘correct’ above, but ‘right’ is a commonly used alternative for correct.
Example sentence: You’re right about that.
You might know this word as the popular opposite of ‘false’ often used in quizzes or games where the quizmaster will ask, ‘Is it true or false?’
Example sentence: Please don’t listen to them! Whatever they told you – it’s not true!
Example sentence: You must ensure you are precise with the measurement, or the recipe will not work.
Flawless means something is perfect, rather than simply being correct, there is absolutely no problems with what is being described.
Example sentence: There’s no mistakes here – it’s a flawless first attempt!
Example sentence: She always knows the exact time I’ll arrive home.
Example sentence: I’ve checked the answers and the report is error-free.
7. Spot on
Example sentence: I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there, you’re analysis is spot on.
Extra tip: Are you familiar with the phrase ‘hit the nail on the head’? The English language has many idioms like this that native speakers like to throw into their everyday conversations. ‘Hit the nail on the head’ means to fully understand the point.
Example sentence: I don’t think that’s right – are you sure the facts you’re working with are accurate?
Example sentence: I’m quite suspicious, is there a way we can confirm this is legitimate and not a scam?
Example sentence: I know you’re going to do amazing in your career. You have chosen the perfect profession.
11. Bang on
Example sentence: Your answers are bang on.
Example sentence: You must ensure you have a proper knowledge of the subject before you begin.
When you are learning a new language, it can be easy to use the same words several times, especially when your vocabulary is quite limited. As you evolve in your language-learning journey, you may keep using these words simply because you are used to it. This can make your speech appear boring – which is why it’s important to use alternative words to diversify what you’re saying.
Although generally these alternative words we have suggested can all be used in place of ‘correct’ in most sentences, sometimes the meaning can be slightly altered. Additionally, the sentence may not flow correctly dependent on the word you have replaced ‘correct’ with. Overtime, once you start to get the hang of speaking English more fluently, you will be able to identify which word works best yourself.
When choosing an alternative word, it can also be useful to think about the situation you are in and who you are presenting the conversation to. For example, different words may be appropriate for writing an essay in comparison to the words you will want to use when having a conversation with a friend. Keep practising – keep reading and keep listening to different forms of English conversations to learn which alternative words are correct in which situation and get your English language skills up to the level of a native English-speaker!