How to Know When You’re Fluent in English? 8 Fluency Signs to Look For

May 27, 2019English and Study Tips, Smart Brains Spotlight


How to Know When You’re Fluent in English? 8 Fluency Signs to Look For


Becky Aspinall


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The topic for today is “How to Know When You’re Fluent in English?“.

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How to Know When You're Fluent in English

How to Know When You’re Fluent in English | Becky Aspinall


How to Know When You’re Fluent in English? 8 Fluency Signs to Look For


Becky Aspinall


How can I become fluent in English?



How to Know When You’re Fluent in English?



Thank you, Youtube – Go Natural English.


Answer by Becky Aspinall (Native Teacher – Teaching English as a second language! Co-Founder / Teacher at All credit goes to Becky Aspinall, Thank you!


How to Know When You’re Fluent in English 7.0/10


How to Know When You’re Fluent in English? 8 Fluency Signs to Look For


Am I Fluent in English yet?


This is a big question!

How many times have you asked yourself this?

Answer the questions further on in this post to see if you have finally reached English fluency.

You’ve been working hard on your English.

You’ve studied everything you need to know.

But can you actually speak English fluently yet?

Knowing whether you’ve reached fluency or not is a big question and sadly there is no guaranteed way to say you have or not.

However, we have provided a checklist that you can use to see if you have reached a level of fluent English.

If you can answer these questions confidently, then well done you can finally say you’re fluent in English.

If you cant answer then confidently, then I’ve provided some useful tips to help you get there.


​1. Do I understand what fluency means?


There is a common misconception when it comes to fluency.

​Most learners think that being fluent means to know all the vocabulary there is and be able to speak perfectly without any errors.

This is not true.

Fluency means you are able to speak at length about a variety of different topics without unnatural pauses and hesitation.

If you understand this, then you know that you can still make mistakes with your spoken English and you continue working towards expanding your knowledge of vocabulary.


2. Am I able to talk about a variety of different topics in English?


As i already mentioned being fluent means you can express yourself well on a variety of different topics.

Are you comfortable talking about different topics?

Can you talk about current affairs, sports, music, travel and the environment?

If you can speak about most common topics, you would be pleased to know that you are well on your way to being fluent in English.

If at this moment you don’t feel confident talking about different topics, remember to regularly explore new topics in English to expand your knowledge further.

YouTube is a fantastic tool to learn about new topics.


​3. Do I still translate in my head?


This is a big one for most learners.

Unfortunately, it’s one of the biggest factors holding you back from reaching fluency, and that is translating everything in your head.

Are you able to communicate without the need to translate into your native language?

Often when you stop to think about something in your language, it slows down the rate at which you speak and can sound unnatural.

If you no longer need to translate what it is, you want to say then you’re doing very well and can say that you are well on your way to fluency.

If you aren’t quite there yet, don’t give up!

Try to stop relying on translations and say whatever you need to until translating is no longer necessary.

Our advice would be to immerse yourself with English media. For example, Films, TV programmes, podcasts, or YouTube videos etc.

The more you do this the more you will expose yourself to natural fluent English and become aware of new words and phrases.

You will also find that you no longer need to translate so much.


​4. Can I speak with ease?


When speaking in English do you find it easy to connect words and sentences together?

Another factor of fluency means that you find it easy to say what it is you want to say. If you can connect your ideas and opinions together with little effort, then you are doing very well.

Fluent speakers have the ability to talk about things in an effective and clear way.

They use what we call cohesive language that helps connect their ideas and opinions.

If you don’t feel that you are at that stage yet, it might be a good idea to learn more about cohesive language and start to apply them to your spoken English.

​Why not take a look at our simple explanation of cohesive language here.


5. Am I able to hold a conversation with others?


When speaking with others in English can you keep the conversation going or do you start to feel uncomfortable and not know what to say?

Being able to hold a conversation is a great sign of fluency.

At a fluent level you should be able to speak with other English speakers fairly well. You should be able to develop the conversation and respond to the other speaker accordingly.

If this is difficult for you to do, then why not consider talking with other English speakers.

You can find other speaking partners or Native English teachers to practice with on italki.

This way you get more conversation practice and receive feedback on your weaker areas.

6. Can I understand others when I speak with them?


This kind of relates to the previous question above. However, this relates to how quickly you are able to understand other English speakers.

A strong sign of fluency is that you can quickly understand other speakers during conversation.

Are you able to understand other English speakers quickly?

If you cannot then, you need to be spending more time listening to English on a regular basis, so that you encounter different contexts, situations, words and phrases.

Like the advice i gave earlier, the more you immerse yourself in English the more you are able to understand different situations.


7. Can others understand me when I speak?


If you are fluent in English, then other English speakers should be able to understand you easily.

When you speak with other English speakers do they ask you to repeat what you have said?

As the main objective is to be able to communicate effectively and express yourself on a variety of different topics then it’s a big disadvantage if others find it difficult to understand you.

The reason for this could be poor pronunciation, accent or knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.

Some of these factors could be keeping you from reaching fluency.

It’s a good idea to try to find out where the problem lies and once you find out what it is that is stopping others from understanding you then you can work on improving that specific area.


​8. Am I able to use my target language comfortably?


It’s important that you feel comfortable using English.

Are you able to use English as comfortably as you do with your own language?

If you do feel comfortable using English, then this a sure sign of fluency. If, however you still don’t feel comfortable using English, then there’s a chance that you aren’t quite fluent yet.

If this is the case for you, then one good way to overcome this issue is to try language exchange.

With language exchange it’s a good opportunity to speak with someone who is a native speaker of English who has the desire to practice speaking your native language. It’s a great way to boost your comfort and skill level.

Language exchange services like Tandem are a helpful way to connect with your ideal conversation partner.

OK, So the question is; are you fluent? Leave me a comment on your answer.

Hopefully, these 8 questions have helped you to determine if you have successfully reached a fluent level of English.

Please, if you found this useful, upvote and share below… Thanks Becky!

If you’re not satisfied with your level of fluency why not try my English Skills fluency course. You can sign up for FREE and try out some of my effective methods that ultimately help you reach your goal of fluent English

Try a FREE English Fluency Course and develop your English Fluency Skills, join here


How to Know When You’re Fluent in English Reference: Becky Aspinall. “How do I know when I’m fluent in English??”  originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.



How to Know When You’re Fluent in English | Other Signs to look for



How to Know When You’re Fluent in English Yourself


You’ve probably heard many different definitions of “fluency”, and while some of them may or may not be true, “fluency” is defined by one factor and one factor only:


Fluency is what you decide it is! Your family, your teacher, and your friends might tell you what fluency means but if you’re the person who is learning a new language, you decide when you’re fluent!


Thank you, Go Natural English – Go Natural English: Learn English Your Way.


How to Know When You’re Fluent in English Well enough to have meaningful interactions


For me, at least with respect to basic/emerging fluency, you don’t have to sound great or necessarily articulate yourself in the most beautiful way, but you do have to communicate well enough to have meaningful interactions and perform functions that are important in your life.


Thank you, Real Life Global – RealLife English – Connecting the World Through English.


How to Know When You’re Fluent in English Forget what language you are doing it in


When you get to the point where you are doing stuff in English, whether speaking to people in conversation, reading books, listening, whatever it is, and you start to forget what language you are doing it in… then you are doing pretty damn well.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you are perfect in English (there is always more to improve). But it does mean that you do the things that you do in your native language, and you do them in a way where you’re not thinking about your English.


Thank you, Doing English – Doing English with Julian Northbrook: Helping Frustrated Non-native English Speakers Speak English Like It’s Their First Language, FAST since 2007.


How to Know When You’re Fluent in English You Can Use it Creatively


Creative language use means you can come up with multiple ways to express a thought or feeling. It means you can articulate opinions and engage in debates. It means you no longer rely on memorized phrases, but can come up with word and phrase combinations you’ve never read or heard before.


Thank you, Day Translations – We offer professional translation services, localization & interpretation solutions for legal, medical, finance, IT & other industries.


How to Know When You’re Fluent in English Eavesdropping Is Easy!


Following a conversation between two strangers in a language that is not your first language can actually be harder than it seems. You must establish a context, fill in any missing information, and acquaint yourself with the unfamiliar voices and linguistic mannerism of strangers, all of which need rapid processing of a lot of information. Being able to eavesdrop therefore is a true milestone, though it may be a bad habit to develop, and not for us to debate the ethics of it!


Thank you, Cudoo – Cudoo is a comprehensive lifestyle e-learning platform offering a library of 800+ online courses in languages, professional and self-development skills.


Recognize that fluency doesn’t mean perfection


Don’t ever feel bad if you make mistakes. The truth is that mistakes are part of the learning process and you need them to grow. Even native English speakers make mistakes so don’t let this hold you back.


Thank you, All Ears English – All Ears English – Episodes | All Ears English Podcast.


You know when and how to use swear words


Native speakers often love teaching curse words to foreigners. When you first heard these phrases, they probably just sounded weird. However, these days you not only know when obscenities are culturally used, but how to inflect them just like the locals do. Even if you don’t swear, the fact that you could in your foreign language is what’s important!


Thank you, EFEF is an international education company offering study abroad, language learning, cultural exchange and academic programs around the world. Since 1965


Come out easily and unconsciously


For me, “fluency” (or maybe, “the state I like to achieve with respect to language learning”) is when you just speak and understand easily, naturally, without any effort and without any trace of translation among languages in your mind. Also without any conscious thought: no internal thoughts about which words you are trying to find, they just come out easily and unconsciously.


Thank you, DuolingoDuolingo is the world’s most popular way to learn a language. It’s 100% free, fun and science-based. Practice online on or on the apps! ( Duolingo – matfran2001)


If you think about it, our lives are an endless pursuit of answers and new questions. So how can YOU take action to ensure that your learning never comes to an end?


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