In the IELTS Speaking test, it is okay to make mistakes and correct yourself. This shows the examiner that you realised you made a mistake. However, if you correct yourself too much, it will have a negative effect on your fluency score. Mistakes can be language mistakes (grammatical, lexical, etc.) or perhaps you said something in an unclear clear. In this post we will look at some simple ways of correcting yourself.
How to correct yourself
Native speakers also make and correct mistakes in their speaking. Mistakes can include things like accidentally using the wrong word, giving a wrong phone number, stating the wrong time, etc. When they correct themselves, they often use a short expression such as:
- I mean …
- What I mean is …
- What I meant to say was …
- I get to home every day at 5 o’clock pm…I mean 5pm. (NOTE: we cannot say ‘o’clock’ and ‘pm’ together)
- I live in a house for students…I mean a student hall of residence.
- I’m going to…I mean I go to…work every day.
- I cannot watch TV, go to the cinema or play sports. What I mean is I don’t have much free time.