How to write better in English

Expressing yourself isn’t easy in any language, let alone a foreign tongue. Learning grammar and vocabulary from exercises is a challenge. Knowing which grammar and vocabulary to use (and using it correctly for the right situation) is a mountain-sized challenge! Here are some useful tips from an English teacher about how to write better in English.

Don’t try to do too much

When your English level is still low it’s easy to become frustrated and quit. You can’t say everything you want to say, and you can’t express yourself the way you want. Don’t put down your pen or switch off your computer in anger. While your English is limited, limit what you write. Keep it simple, use the grammar and vocabulary you’re sure about and don’t over elaborate. If you try to write the way you do in your native language, it could be a disaster! Be patient and keep studying – you’ll eventually get there.

How to write better in English pic 1
You don't have to be Shakespeare to write well in English

Practise different types of writing

It’s ok if you have no intention of being a novelist. The average person still needs to write personal and work emails, WhatsApp messages, product reviews, etc. There are lots of great examples to find online, and you can use these as a model to practise different types of real-world writing tasks. Practice makes perfect, so the more you write, the better you’ll get.

Match your grammar and vocabulary knowledge to the task

When you need to write something, first think of what tools you’ll need for the job. Before even beginning to write, think about the grammar and vocabulary you’ll need for the task at hand. Writing a covering letter? Brush up on how to use Present Perfect to talk about your experiences. Making a complaint about a product? Practise writing in the Passive to sound more polite and formal.

These are just a few tips on how to write better in English. We hope they’re useful, but the best thing you can do is write, write, write, and make sure you show your writing to a teacher or native English speaker.


Match the bold words in the article to the definitions below.

  1. (v.) add more detail
  2. (ph.) used to say that something is much less likely than something else already mentioned
  3. (n.) a person who writes long fiction stories
  4. (ph. v.) improve your knowledge or skill in a specific area
  5. (adj.) feeling annoyed because you can’t achieve or achieve something
  6. (ph. v.) stop a machine or electronic device from working
  7. (v.) say or communicate what you think
  1. Elaborate
  2. Let alone
  3. Novelist
  4. Brush up
  5. Frustrated
  6. Switch off
  7. Express

This is Ingla School of English‘s weekly blog, intended as reading practise for our students in Turnpike Lane, in London, and around the globe. We hope you’ve enjoyed it and take a look at the rest of our writing, much of which has activities for teachers to use in the classroom.