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How do native speakers tell I’m foreign based on my English alone?

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I’m a 19-year-old student from Malaysia. I’ve been introduced to the language at a very young age and I’m capable of conducting any type of conversation. However, some of my English-speaking friends on the internet didn’t take too long to figure I’m not a native speaker. Why is that?

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2 Answers

  1. It may be little things like not using native idioms, that you would pick up from living in the UK.

    But, hey. That’s just a guess.

    Also, I don’t think I would’ve noticed you were foreign from what you wrote, if you didn’t point it out.

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  2. You probably have strange grammar. Pretty much every language has a different grammar style than English, as far as I know. Don’t know Malaysian, so I can’t answer that specific part. But based on your question, you have better grammar than most on the internet. So that could be it, that you’re “too perfect.” Could be an accent, too. Or idioms, those things are pretty funny.

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