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How to improve your English
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March 23, 2007

Part I: 'Which English is correct -- British or American?'

How do I know when to use 'might' and 'may'? Is there any book, which I can refer to for grammar? How do I improve my English?

Proficiency in English is a must in today's workplace, and you could lose out on a promotion or job offer because yours does not measure up.

Communcation expert Prajjwal Rai answered queries concerning English language skills during a chat on March 14. According to Prajjwal:

'May and Might are modal verbs. Generally, 'might' is used for possibility, while 'may' refers to permission or request. Though there are cases when 'might' and 'may' could be used for various other modal forms.'

'The best book for grammar is Practical English Grammar by Thompson and Martinet.'

For those of you who missed the chat, here's the transcript:

Prajjwal Rai says, This is Prajjwal from W.C.H Training Solutions and I am ready to take your questions.

priyanka asked, how to use newspapers as a tool to improve english grammar?
Prajjwal Rai answers, Reading newspapers can prove to be helpful in enhancing your vocabulary. However, if you read aloud to yourself, you hear the correct patterns of speech. This implements "parrot method" of learning languages.

vikas dhond asked, How to construct sentences, quickly?
Prajjwal Rai answers, It's always better to stick to basics. Construct simple sentences and keep your ideas crisp.

Umesh asked, Hello Sir, this is Umesh. I am in IT industry. Although I can speak good enough, but still wants to imporve the Vocabulary. What is the best way to do this?
Prajjwal Rai answers, Reading helps in improving vocabulary. Read newspapers and as you come accross a new word, check the meaning and try to implement it. You can watch chat shows, News (BBC or CNN) for better comprehension and pronunciation.

pankaj768014 asked, Whats the best way? First learn Grammer and then start talking in english or first start talking and then correct yourself grammatically??
Prajjwal Rai answers, Both should go hand in hand. We improve while we speak and read. Referring to the rules, using a grammar book always helps. Do keep a nice dictionary handy.

r.sujitha asked, which is the best book for grammer
Prajjwal Rai answers, 
Practical English Grammar by Thompson and Martinet.

abc asked, when we should make use of might/may
Prajjwal Rai answers, May and Might are modal verbs. Genarally, 'might' is used for possibility however 'may' refers to permission or request. Though there are cases when might and may could be used for various other modal forms

jitender asked, i hesitate to speak the english
Prajjwal Rai answers, Find the right environment to speak. When you watch TV, try to imitate the speaker. You can also record your speech and listen to it. Analyse the hesitation sounds and when you record again try to work on them. asked, How to bring confidence while speaking English? Whenever I try to speak english I loose my confidence (feeling that I will make mistake)
Prajjwal Rai answers, It's good to make mistakes and learn from them. Better to have someone listen to what you are saying and correct it.

sheeba_cbe asked, Hi Sir, Which Tense is mostly we using in normal conversation?
Prajjwal Rai answers, Just keep the situations in mind, as in when did the act take place and use tense accordingly. Present Tense for current moments and situations; Past Tense for events that took place in the past; Future Tense for the events which will happen in the future. Refer to Practical English Usage by Thompson and Martinet

Rama asked, Hello sir, Right now i working in LTD cpompany in Okhla-1 so sir can you suggest any study centre for improve english language???
Prajjwal Rai answers, Thanks for the question Rama, you can write to us at, we do conduct sessions on language development.

Part I: 'Which English is correct -- British or American?'

-- Prajjwal Rai is a Lead Training Consultant with WCH Training Solutions. He is a Cambridge CELTA certified Trainer and can be reached at

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