The No. 1 Reason Why You Understand English But Can’t Speak?

Do you understand English but struggle to speak? 

You can write well in English but find it hard to speak? 

Yes, today, I’ll reveal the #1 reason that’s stopping you from becoming a confident and fluent English speaker. 

Plus, I will provide you with 100% practical tips which you can use immediately to sharpen your English speaking skills. 

Stay tuned! 

The #1 Reason You’re Struggling To Speak English Fluently

It is because of lack of practice. Yes, you read it right. 

Currently, you’re not speaking English enough in your day-to-day activities. 

As a result, you can understand English but cannot speak fluently. 

When you listen to a lot of English content, your mind automatically starts grasping things. This is why you have no trouble understanding English.

Many of us studied in an English-medium school wherein we read and write English but don’t speak. 

Speaking English or any language is a two-way process. In other words, you can’t talk passively while we can listen passively. 

English is like riding a bike. You can learn only when you practically go and try to ride the bike. 

You can’t ride a bike just by reading theory, can you?

When you want to speak English, you have to think before speaking. But in your case, you haven’t trained your tongue to speak English words and phrases. 

To train your tongue, you need to speak daily. Now, I am going to share 100% actionable tips which you can use to practice effectively. 

Build a Habit of speaking English daily

There’s a saying, “Humans are creatures of habit and routine.” 

“It takes at least 21 days to build a habit.” 

To make your learning process super easy, we recommend you make it a habit to speak English daily. 

Right now, you don’t speak English much. That is also a habit of NOT using English in your daily life. 🙂 

You just need to replace this habit by making incremental changes in your life. 

Start using stylish phrases and words. Have small self-talk. You can write down your thoughts and read them aloud. 

These micro-actions will lead to macro transformation. 

Once you develop the habit of speaking English every day, you will not feel like you’re learning or you’re putting in efforts. 

We feel learning should be effortless, especially when it comes to mastering the English language or anything. 

There’s a saying, “Learning never exhausts the mind.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Now, let me tell you about a powerful practice hack that anyone can use:

You don’t need any English partner to practice. You don’t have to join expensive live classes. 

And it’s super easy. All you have to do is

Post speeches on a TOPIC daily 

You can post speeches in a closed Facebook community group

Don’t worry; your Facebook friends can’t see the group activities. 

Our students use this simple technique to improve their English fluency. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

Step 1:  Join a like-minded Facebook community. You can join our Public Speaking Challenge group. All our groups are private. Only members can see group activities. 

Step 2: Pick a topic that you can talk about. It could be cooking,  gardening or anything you like. 

Step 3: Do a little bit of research around that topic, so you’ll have some idea what to speak about. In this process, you will also enhance your word power. 🙂 You can hit two targets with one arrow! 

You may start by posting speeches on the following topics: 

  • Introduce yourself in the group
  • Why do you want to improve your English fluency? 
  • What’s the biggest problem you face when it comes to speaking in English? 
  • What was your favourite subject in high school and WHY?  

Practice speaking difficult words

Many times we just practice simple and easy words which we already know and can speak effortlessly. 

Find out which words and phrases make you fumble and practice saying them aloud.

So next time, you can save yourself from embarrassment or fumbling.  

You can practice tongue twisters as well. This will train your tongue to speak difficult words. 

Here are some tongue twisters: 

  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?

Sounds/words stressed: p

  • She saw Sharif’s shoes on the sofa. But was she so sure those were Sharif’s shoes she saw?

Sounds/words stressed: s & sh

  • Drew Dodd’s dad’s dog’s dead. 

Sounds/words stressed: d

  • A pessimistic pest exists amidst us.

Sounds/words stressed: s & t

Brush up your basic grammar and spelling skills

In our mentorship programme, we often find that our students need to brush up on their basics such as tenses, spelling, etc.

If you understand English but are struggling to speak, it’s time to revise the things you already know. 

We encourage this in all the students who join our training programmes.

I see many people who know English well but make prevalent mistakes. For example, using the second form of the verb with “Did.” 

Did in itself is a second form; you do not need to use the verb’s second form along with it. 🙂  

You got the gist of it?  

Stop making common mistakes by working on basic English.

Don’t focus too much on learning Grammar.

I see a lot of Indian people focus too much on learning grammar and vocabulary. 

You should learn grammar, but initially, you just need to FOCUS on the speaking aspect. 

The goal here is to start speaking ready-made phrases and stylish sentences. 

As you move forward in your journey,  you can start learning grammar and get into the technical aspect of the English language. 

Initially, become a copycat just like a child does. You will see your English fluency is improving rapidly when doing so. 

Make English your second nature.

I see many people try to speak English by translating. There’s nothing wrong with that. 

However, translating makes it difficult for you to speak fluent English. 

Translating takes time. It is essential that you think in English and then speak. 

To make English your second nature, listen to English content. You can listen to audiobooks, podcasts and watch English movies (if you like). 

Then use your learnings wherever you can. If you can do this, eventually, English will become your second nature. 

After that, you will not have to be conscious to speak fluent English. You can speak English just like your native language. 

Reaching this point may take some time and effort, but it’ll be worth it!

You can unlock many new opportunities in your life by improving your English fluency.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal to understand a language but can’t speak it? 

Yes, it is completely normal. When you listen to a language a lot, your mind can understand that language but can’t speak it fluently.   

Especially in India, we study in English-medium schools. We learn how to read and write English but we don’t focus on speaking. 

Is Speaking English Difficult? 

No, it’s not. Once you know the basics of English and can understand it well, it is super easy to speak fluent English just like your native language. 

Why do I struggle with words? 

You’re not learning new vocabulary. Even if you learn 1 to 2 new words and practice them daily, your word power will increase rapidly. 

It’s all about consistent learning.  

Why am I better at writing than speaking?  

It is because of our conditioning. In schools and colleges, we were taught to read and write, not speak.  

Naturally, your writing ability becomes better than speaking. 

How can I improve my English fluency?   

You just need to focus on two things: 

  1. Listening 
  2. Speaking

That’s it. 

If you’re listening or reading, you might not be using English in your day to day activities. 

Active listening will improve your word power, too.  

You’ll be able to understand English better. You can effortlessly talk to native English speakers. 

Listening is very important. 


Speaking fluent English requires a bit of effort and patience. Now, you know the reason why you understand English but can’t speak. 

If you apply the tips given in this guide, you’ll see positive results within a few weeks. 

Are you looking for more tips to improve your English fluency without any English partner? 

Read our new guide on 7 Time-tested tips to speak English fluently

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