English Lesson: “Say You, Say Me”

Oh no, with the last few English videos I’ve made, I might’ve gotten too academic. We definitely need to change that!

Let’s get away from the phrasal verbs and salutations, and check out one of the greatest classic tunes of all time: Lionel Richie’s “Say You, Say Me”.

The lyrics to the chorus are:

Say you, say me

Say it for always

That’s the way it should be

Say you, say me

Say it together


This one’s great for three reasons:

  1. Practicing L’s and R’s
  2. The Power of the Pause
  3. “That’s the way it should be”

Practicing L’s and R’s

Look at the words we have in the chorus: always, should, together, naturally. Simple enough to understand, but for many Asian students especially, very tricky to execute in the pronunciation. Remember to have your tongue touch the back of your teeth when saying the L sound.

The Power of the Pause

A lot of people think that speaking fast is what should be copied in order to sound like a native speaker. That’s really not the case. In fact, instead of increasing your speed, I recommend learning to take more comfortable and natural breaks in your sentences. And in this tune, Lionel demonstrates that very well with how he breaks up “say you” and “say me”, as well as “say it together”.

“That’s the way it should be.”

This is a very simple sentence that is easy to process but rarely used by non-native speakers. Learn to incorporate it into your word usage! It’s a great ending note to sound more confident with your idea.

For example, you ask your friend to pass you a basketball. Then you make a three point shot with ease. Turn to your friend with a smug look on your face and whisper, “That’s the way it should be.” Booyah!

If you have any questions, or if you’re interested in booking an online English lesson, send an e-mail my way at letstalk[at]commdao.com

Published by Jon Dao

Formerly, the Conversation Coach

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