English is a West Germanic language with 1.5 billion speakers. This global language is significant, and the only way of international communication. So, people around the world learn English as their second language. You might have heard that learning English is very difficult. Is it a myth or fact? To be honest, English can be hard to learn like other languages. But, it is an indisputable language in our life.
Lots of Rules And Exceptions:
Learning English seems very difficult due to its hundreds of grammatical rules. They are challenging for learners and have a lot of exceptions along with standard formats.
- The boy is swimming in the pond – here swimming is a verb.
- The boy swimming in the pond is my brother – here swimming is a noun.
English grammar has a ton of exceptions like this example. Sometimes, nouns can act as adjectives and vice versa. Identifying these exceptions is troublesome for a learner at the beginning level.
Perplexing spelling is one of the challenging parts for English learners. Sometimes, you will see words with weird spelling that has no explanation.
For example, laugh sounds – /lɑːf/, but there is no existence of “f”.
A huge number of words in English have come from other European languages, even from Asian languages. As a result, English spellings are greatly influenced by multiple languages.
Spelling differences between British and American English can also misguide learners. Moreover, homophone words are very confusing and they have entirely different meanings with the same pronunciation.
For example: see/ sea, write/right, buy/by etc.
Structure and Grammar:
Mastering English grammar can take years. Though it is said that English sentences follow strict grammatical rules, you will often notice the opposite. The use of grammar in spoken English can be more complicated. Native speakers don’t even follow the accurate rules.
Grammar is essential for writing correct English. But, most learners struggle a lot with it due to its unpredictable changes.
For example, the use of “her and me” in place of “she and I” will be a mystery for beginners.
Sounds and Phonemes:
Though English has only 26 letters, it has 44 unique phonemes. You can speak English after a few lessons. But, speaking English in an accurate tone may take years. The sound of vowels and consonants differ a lot during pronunciation. Learners might be confused with those diverse phonetic changes.
For example, A sounds like “a” when you say apple [apl]. On the other hand, A sounds like “eɪ” when you say cake [keɪk]. Similarly, T sounds very different when you say ticket [ˈtɪkɪt] and they [ðeɪ].
For learning accurate pronunciation and stress, English learners join phonetic courses separately along with the spoken course.
English idioms can create misunderstandings due to their weird meaning. The use of idioms in native speakers’ speeches sounds very interesting. But, they can define the opposites to non-English speakers.
Here are some examples that will make you understand how strange English idioms can mean:
- Under the weather – to feel ill
- See eye to eye – to agree completely
- As right as rain – perfect
- Spill the beans – to give away a secret
So, when a native-English speaker is “breaking your leg”, he is actually wishing you luck.
Some are illogical:
English phrasal verbs logically make no sense. Adding different prepositions to the same verb expresses different meanings.
Here are some phrasal verbs and their meanings as an example:
- Call in – make a phone call
- Call off – cancel
- Call on – invite formally
- Call out – shouting
- Call for – necessary
- Call at – stop somewhere
Phrasal verbs like these are widely used by native speakers. But, they are extremely difficult for non-natives to learn and apply.
English has many grammatical and spelling inconsistencies. It is full of irregularities that make learners confused. Some letters remain silent during speaking English. But, you have to use them while writing.
For example, you say design [dɪˈzʌɪn] where “g” is silent. But, you have to include “g” in spelling.
Most plural nouns end with “s”. But, this standard format is not applicable in all cases.
For example, children [not childs] is the plural of a child.
Finally, English may not be easy to learn. You must face numerous difficulties and obstacles during the learning period. But, nothing can prevent you from learning if you are determined. Learning a language will be effective when you practice it in your daily life. So, you should read English books, watch English movies, and write your diary in English. Besides, you can converse with other English speakers to keep your flow.