Home EDUCATION 5 Reasons Why English is a Difficult Language to Learn

5 Reasons Why English is a Difficult Language to Learn

English is a Difficult Language

Curious about the difficulty of learning English? If you were raised using the language, you are fortunate not to have to start learning it from the beginning.

But, if you were not, I can provide you with a complete list of reasons that you may not have considered as to why learning English is difficult and why most people get enlisted in an english tuition centre in Singapore.

And, when I finish, you will be grateful that your mother taught you English, native speakers!

Some languages allow you to use logic to solve problems on the spot once you understand the rules. But, what about English? Well, here, sometimes, the rules are not logical.

1: It’s Quite Different Than Your Own Native Language

English is spoken in various ways across the globe. It can be difficult to fully understand.

There are lots of rules for grammar, spelling and pronunciation. Words that contain combinations of letters may have varying meanings in different languages, for example, “have” and “of.”

In English, there are also numerous homonyms, which are words that appear to have the same meaning but actually have distinct meanings, such as “light” and “right.”

2: The Vocabulary is Quite Huge

English boasts a vast vocabulary when compared to other languages. It is regarded by some as the language possessing the largest vocabulary.

This makes students feel like they are constantly adding to their English vocabulary as new words continue to appear. Now, although this is the case with all languages, it seems particularly daunting in English. And if you are not a native speaker, remembering it all can be even trickier.

3: The Grammar is… Well, Difficult to Understand

English grammar is filled with peculiarities that can make it challenging to learn. For instance, English has a specific guideline on which order to place multiple adjectives before a noun.

Abiding by this guideline, you can mention that a tiny bird with blue feathers flew in through the window, but you cannot say a bird small and blue.

As stated in The Elements of Eloquence in English, the correct order for adjectives is opinion, size, age, shape, origin, material, and purpose. Other things that cause difficulties for learners can include verb patterns and tenses, auxiliary verbs, and subject-verb agreements.

Once again, focusing more on these components can assist you in grasping them more quickly.

4: Too Many Inconsistencies and Exceptions

English grammar is full of irregularities and contradictions that do not adhere to any consistent rules. Put simply, you will need to commit them to memory.

For instance, the majority of nouns form their plural form by adding s, es, or ies. Nonetheless, specific nouns have unique plural forms that adhere to different rules due to specific reasons.

An example would be a mouse [ˈmaʊs] being one rodent, and multiple of them would be mice [ˈmaɪs]. In the meantime, you can possess one house [ˈhaʊs] or two houses [ˈhaʊsəz], but never two hice. One goose can honk loudly, as well as two geese.

Nevertheless, although a singular moose can bellow, the same is not true for multiple moose – they would be referred to as moose. Yes, it is identical to the singular version.

5: The Usage of Phrasal Verbs

Oh dear. How can a non-native English speaker master these correctly when even native English speakers confuse them?

Give out, Give in, Give up, Give to, Give away…

Moreover, some phrasal verbs compound the issue by having various definitions. Do you think you understand the meaning of “take off”? Reconsider your thoughts.

Here are the various interpretations of it:

Take off something, such as clothing

Take time away from work

An aircraft taking off from the airstrip.

Separate from the individuals you are currently with and move to a different location.

Start to experience a sudden surge in accomplishments.

Remove an item

And if I start talking about silent letters, we will be spending all day on that topic.

However, the most difficult English skill to become proficient in is writing, which native English speakers often make mistakes in on a daily basis.

What is the method for utilizing the Oxford Comma?

Where should apostrophes be placed?

Which adverbs should have a hyphen following them?

Many English speakers struggle with writing because it demands the highest level of focus among most language skills. When you’re learning English, I’d recommend against asking your new friends at the pub for advice on punctuation.

Comparing the Difficulty of English and the Other Languages

As we have observed, English is known for its quite extensive lexicon, erratic pronunciation, and challenging grammar. But the difficulty of learning it is not as extreme as commonly believed.

One instance is that learning English will be simpler if your mother tongue belongs to the West Germanic group. If Dutch or German is your mother tongue, you probably already have a decent grasp of English vocabulary, as they are part of the same language family.

If you already speak a language with strong Latin influences like Spanish, French, or Italian, learning the new language will be comparatively simpler.

Moreover, English does not have tones like certain Asian languages. There’s literally no need to learn specific sounds and tones to accurately convey the meaning of certain words.

Finally, due to the widespread use of English, there are numerous resources like movies, books, series, and podcasts at your disposal.

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