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Why is English Hard to learn? 

Why is English Hard to learn? 

The global population is familiar with English and the fact that it can be a difficult language to learn.

More people are learning English for many positive reasons. It is spoken in almost 101 countries around the world and is the language of international communication. This means that the global population has some form of familiarity with the language and more people are learning English these days for all the favorable reasons. 

Graphic image of a book with illustrations and letters appearing out of it.

Despite its prevalence, English is a hard language to learn due to its complex grammar rules, pronunciation variations, and vast vocabulary. 

English grammar is riddled with exceptions and irregularities, making it difficult to master. Additionally, English has a diverse range of accents and dialects, making it challenging for non-native speakers to understand and communicate effectively. Furthermore, English has borrowed words from many languages, resulting in a massive vocabulary with multiple meanings and nuances. Therefore, learning English requires a lot of effort, patience, and practice.

Read on this blog to find out more about some challenging features of the English language and also see some tips that can help you combat these challenging features easily. 

Vague Vocabulary:  English has a rich vocabulary with over a million words, making it one of the most extensive languages in the world. As a result, non-native English speakers face difficulties in mastering the language. Vocabulary is the foundation of any language, and without a comprehensive understanding of words, one may struggle with reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Additionally, English words can have multiple meanings, making it challenging to determine the right context.

Moreover, English has many idioms, phrasal verbs, and slang terms, which are not always easy to comprehend for non-native speakers.

Tip: When encountering unfamiliar words, try to guess their meaning from the context in which they appear. Pay attention to the surrounding words, the tone of the text, and any visual cues that may help you understand the word. Write down new words, their definitions, and any examples of how they are used.

Pronunciation Problems: Speaking English can be a significant challenge in learning English for non-native speakers due to the tonal language in English spelling and pronunciation rules. English has borrowed words from multiple languages, resulting in multiple pronunciations for the same spelling. Additionally, the same pronunciation can have different meanings depending on the context.

Furthermore, English has various intonation patterns, stresses, and accents that can alter the meaning of a sentence.

Tip: Identify which sounds in English are particularly difficult for you and focus on practicing those sounds. You can find resources online that will help you learn how to pronounce specific sounds in English.

Grammar Game: English grammar can be challenging to learn because it has many complex rules and irregular verbs. English literature borrows words from other languages and its grammar evolved over time, leading to a multitude of exceptions and variations. Additionally, some words in English have homonyms and words that can have multiple meanings. The use of articles, prepositions, and verb tenses can also be confusing for learners.

Tip: Read English books, articles, and listen to English podcasts, songs, and TV shows. This will help you to become familiar with sentence structures, vocabulary, and grammar rules.

Image of grammar terms.

Confusing Exceptions: Some English verbs do not follow the usual pattern of adding “-ed” to form the past tense.

For example, the plural of “child” is “children” and the plural of “tooth” is “teeth”. Homophones are words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings and spellings. For example, “there”, “their”, and “they’re” are all pronounced the same but have different meanings.

Tip: Some exceptions are used more frequently than others. For example, irregular past tense verbs are used in almost every sentence you speak or write in the past tense. Focus on learning the most common exceptions first.

Image of a blackboard with grammar terms written on it. 

Idioms and Slangs: English idioms and slang can be difficult to learn because they often use figurative language that is not meant to be taken literally. They are expressions that have a different meaning than what the words actually suggest, and their origins may not always be clear.

Similarly, slang terms can vary greatly depending on region and context, and they may not be found in traditional dictionaries or language learning resources. Moreover, new slang terms are constantly being created and used, so keeping up with them can be challenging.

Tip: Look up the idioms and slang you come across in a good English dictionary, such as the Oxford English Dictionary or Merriam-Webster. Make a note of the meaning, usage, and context of the idiom or slang and try to use it in a sentence.

The more you expose yourself to English, the more you will become familiar with the language’s rhythm and sound, helping you develop your listening and speaking abilities. It is essential to learn English in context. This means understanding the language’s usage and structure by reading and listening to examples of English being used naturally in various situations. By doing so, you will gain a deeper understanding of the language’s nuances and develop your ability to communicate effectively.

If you wish to excel in your English learning experience, join our English courses to enhance your skills. 

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