Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

Why Native English Speakers Don't Correct You and Why That's Ok

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Thu, Jul 10, 2014 @ 07:11 AM

why native English speakers don't correct youHave you ever found yourself wondering why native English speakers don't correct you?

Many students say that this is their biggest problem.

They get a chance to practice their English with natives once in a while but when they do, the native speakers don't correct their mistakes.

Today I'll tell you why this happens and why it's ok.



#1) They don't want to offend you


In American culture, it's considered rude to "nitpick."

To "nitpik" means to point out little details and mistakes that people are doing wrong.

Guess what? Even native speakers make grammar mistakes and it's considered extremely rude to point out someone's mistakes in this case.

Because native speakers hate to be corrected when they make a grammar mistake or some other small detail-oriented mistake, they don't want to do it to you!



#2) "Nitpicking" is not a good way to build a relationship


No one likes a "nitpicker" and we know that nitpicking is not a good way to build a relationship.

Your native-speaking friends probably want to build a relationship with you instead of correcting you and embarrassing you.

Focus on building a relationship with your native-speaking friends.

Speak with them and hang out with them on a regular basis and forget about being corrected.



#3) Spend more time around native English and you won't need corrections


Stop treating English learning like an academic exercise.That is your old way of learning.

English is a spoken language. It is a way to build relationships. It's not an academic subject.

It's better to spend many hours for free with a native-speaking friend, being immersed in real English and hearing correct English without being corrected than it is to pay for an hour of speaking with a native where the person corrects you.


Because the first way is a more authentic situation and you will start to naturally correct your own mistakes when you hear English being spoken the correct way.

Your goal should be to create as many authentic English situations as you can.



So stop asking natives to correct you (unless you are in a class).

Instead, ask them to hang out with you.

Find out what you have in common with them and invite them to a movie or to play a round of golf.

Do something together and relax a bit. Your English will improve before you know it.


If you want to be corrected by a conversation partner, that is a great place to start. But don't forget to also make friends outside of your classes!

If you are ready to starting practicing now, click on the button below for a free consultation.







Photo credit:

Topics: Advice for English Students, How to Learn English

Speak with Confidence

practice English now with native English speakers

Monthly Newsletter


English Podcast


American English conversation listening podcast

Nominated Top 100

Top 100 Language Lovers 2012

1. Top Language Lovers   Top 100 Final

Business English


Subscribe to this Blog

Free Trial Lesson



"Every day I read the English and Culture blog and I love it."

-Student of English and Culture

Connect with Us

Free Practice Guide


Latest Posts

Resources for You


Student Testimonial

business English student Boston

"My classes with English and Culture have been awesome. I have been taking the classes for almost two months, twice a week and I am really happy about my improvement. Now I feel more comfortable and secure when speaking English and more fluent, too."

-Elkin, Colombia