Why English is a difficult language?
Take a look… We park our cars on a driveway but we drive cars on a Parkway. When you transport something by car it’s called a shipment but when you transport something by ship it’s called cargo. Piano players are called pianists but race car drivers aren’t called racists. We cook bacon but we bake cookies. That’s English for you.
The most popular sport played in North America is football but there is no ball and they use their hands not their feet.
We have an alphabet with 26 letters and it’s always recited in the same way but is there any reason that the alphabet has to be in that specific order? it can get really really confusing.
Nouns are things like literally they’re an object, like a table or a car, they’re people, there are places.
Verbs are words that are used to describe actions.
The girl ran down the road, the guy jumped into the pool but alas English comes in and just screws this entire thing up.
Some words are both nouns and verbs at the same time and can be used in the same sentence. Sometimes you can create entire drawn-out sentences from a single word.
The word police is an example. the police are well you know the police, cops. But police is also a verb as, in watching over or keeping order. So technically,
Police police police. Is a real sentence!
I don’t know for some reason we call it a building even though it’s already been built.
It gets a lot easier to read when we add in punctuation and emphasis on some words but still just by some words are spelled the same and have multiple meanings. Some of these can and can’t rhyme at the same time.
The word lead ( verb – to lead) rhymes with read but Lead (element) doesn’t rhyme with read. It rhymes with read (Past Tense verb of read). Got confused? Here is one more
Using chemicals to remove the polish is pretty fine and standard but use chemicals to remove the Polish and you might be Hitler.
The word BOW can mean many things,
- like a bow and arrow,
- a bow as in the bow on a Christmas gift,
- the bow of a ship
- or you could bow in front of someone.
Some words look like they should rhyme but just don’t. Take the word BOMB change the B to a T and now it’s TOMB.
Okay, let’s try again. Change the first letter to a C, and now it’s COMB which doesn’t rhyme with either BOMB or TOMB.
All right that’s fine. just take the word HOME but wait, change the H to an S and it becomes SOME that don’t rhyme with HOME. This is why English is confusing. Especially for those people who are learning English as a Second Language.
Phonetics in English
Letters don’t always make the same sounds.
Phonetics is the study of the way that words and letters sound but funny enough the word phonetics isn’t even spelled phonetically.
X usually makes kss sound like in the words apex, relaxed, and tax. But sometimes when placed by other letters just causes it to make a completely different sound.
Xylophone and Xenophobic are two examples where the sound just completely switches to a Z.
So why don’t we just use a Z and set up X?
C sometimes sounds like K like in cat and can. But C also sometimes sounds like S like in cigar or scent.
Quick side note the letter W is kind of weird too…
In most books and fonts and web pages, it looks more like a double V than a W. But I guess it all depends on how you write it.
The letters G & H and P & H when put together, end up making an F sound. But even still the ending ough is one of the most confusing ones in the entire language.
take these words :
All of these words end in OUGH but somehow none of them rhyme with each other. But PONY and BOLOGNA do. It just doesn’t make sense.
Some of our letters make multiple sounds and when put together with other letters sound like other letters. You can spell words and ways that they just shouldn’t be.
If you take the W in answer, the H in ghost, that extra a from aardvark, and the T in listen you get the word what. Nobody would hear it though because all of those letters are silent.
One of the dumbest things about English is how we use silent letters. Letters that otherwise make a sound sometimes decide they just don’t want to show up.
The S in Island, the P in psychology, the H in honest, and the o in the opossum. What’s even the point of silent letters? They’re only good for tricking Spelling Bee contestants who are given words that they’ve literally never seen before or will ever use again. Believe it or not, every single letter in the English alphabet is silent sometimes.
Contractions in English
Sometimes we get lazy and we don’t want to say multiple words so instead, we use contractions we put in an apostrophe, and just completely get rid of half the letters in some words.
I am going to has turned into i’ma. It’s informal but we cut all free spaces at 75% of the letters and yet we still all understand it. have not is shortened to haven’t. Did not turns into didn’t.
THEY ARE is shortened to THEY’RE.
But we have multiple there’s. there’s, there, their and they’re. Although which are used in their own different situations but, We’ll get there later.
There’s plenty of people who don’t know what the difference between you and you’re is. But hopefully, you’re not one of them.
We kind of took this too far though and made triple contractions. we’ve started slurring our words so badly that we ended up with things like y’all’d’ve and you’dn’t’ve.
But to be honest, sometimes these contractions don’t even make much sense once you expand them. Take this question for example :
Why won’t she come to my birthday party?
When you expand the contraction that becomes, why will not she come to my birthday party?
Heard about Contra Names?
I just don’t know… Why some words have multiple meanings? It is fine. But what isn’t fine is when they’re completely opposite of each other. For example:
The word OFF
Here the light just got turned off as I deactivated but when my alarm goes off in the morning it turns on or is activated.
The word screen is also a continent.
You can use a hat to screen your face from the Sun as in to concealed or protect it but movie theaters tend to screen new movies when they come out as in to show or display.
Commas are also very important. they can be used to bridge two sentences into one or separate items in the list. But there’s a gray area here, as to when you should or shouldn’t use them.
The Oxford comma is one of the most debated things in the English language. Simply put it’s the last comma used in a sentence with three or more items. But for some reason, a lot of people choose just not to use it. Most people don’t even know that they’re doing anything wrong.
Here’s an example: I love my parents, Adam, and Eve.
This is a normal sentence, right? You can tell that there are at least three different people here and there’s no confusion.
Now without the Oxford comma: I love my parents, Adam and Eve.
Here it gets kind of confusing are your parent’s names Adam and Eve? Or are Adam and Eve other people?
It just causes unnecessary confusion, even for people who are native speakers. For people learning English as a second language, it makes things thousand times more difficult because it’s so inconsistent across the world. Some places use them, other places don’t.
The masculine pronouns in English are he, his, and him so you might imagine that the feminine ones are she, shis, and shim but they aren’t. Instead, we change it to she, hers, and her.
In English, you might notice that we often change things up just for the sake of being difficult. We say in November but we say on Friday.
It’s pretty clear that English is broken but you know at the end of the day
it’s what it’s.