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Author Topic: 21 Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn  (Read 7678 times)

Offline Hadrian

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Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.

19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?



 

Offline tony6789

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21 Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn
« Reply #1 on: 09/03/2009 15:03:54 »
english ugh no wonder im failing haha
 

Offline Don_1

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21 Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn
« Reply #2 on: 09/03/2009 15:04:52 »
I don't see your problem....... must get off now, there's a live group in the pub near where I live.
 

Offline Hadrian

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« Reply #3 on: 09/03/2009 15:30:07 »
be grateful then there not dead one! LOL
 

Offline tony6789

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« Reply #4 on: 09/03/2009 15:31:06 »
haha
 

Offline Don_1

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21 Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn
« Reply #5 on: 09/03/2009 15:34:04 »
be grateful then there not dead one! LOL

No I don't think it will be 'Grateful Dead'.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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21 Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn
« Reply #6 on: 09/03/2009 16:21:57 »
I find the "ough" combination quite interesting:

rough
through
thorough
trough or cough
though
thought
bough

And I was going to teach English as a Foreign Language? Jeesh!
« Last Edit: 09/03/2009 16:34:50 by DoctorBeaver »
 

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21 Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn
« Reply #7 on: 09/03/2009 16:41:24 »
It's the rules which can get confusing too (to, two)

Potato (c - v - c - v - c - v)
Tomato (c - v - c - v - c - v)

So why is the 'a' in 'potato' pronounced 'eh' yet in 'tomato' pronounced 'ar' (not in US English of course)

'Petrol' & 'patrol' are another weird example, OK so 'petrol' is an abbreviation but what the heck!

Frank Bough had to bow when he met the Queen under the bough of a tree and then he had to tie a bow in his laces which made him cough all through their meeting. Though his throat was so rough he could have drunk a trough, he thought he'd be thorough as the interview went off.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #8 on: 09/03/2009 16:48:10 »
Hearing a French person asking for directions to Slough is rather amusing  :D

And how the hell can Leicester rhyme with pester?

Other interestingly pronounced place names:

Towcester (toaster)
Bicester (bister)
Wymnodham (windum)
Hull (sh1thole)  ;D
« Last Edit: 09/03/2009 16:53:08 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline Don_1

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21 Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn
« Reply #9 on: 09/03/2009 16:53:54 »
Luton can be a bit tricky too.

Goole - Where the goolies come from.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #10 on: 09/03/2009 16:57:36 »
Don - I note that you're from Lund'n
 

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21 Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn
« Reply #11 on: 09/03/2009 16:59:51 »
Hull (sh1thole)  ;D


Where I work
Goole - Where the goolies come from.

Just up the motorway from me, is there a pattern emerging?
 

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« Reply #12 on: 09/03/2009 17:03:31 »
Don - I note that you're from Lund'n

Yus mate, sarf o' the riva.

is there a pattern emerging?

So long as the Goolies aren't emerging!!!
 

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« Reply #13 on: 09/03/2009 17:12:57 »
Other strange pronunciations of UK towns;

Coleshill, West Midlands pronounced Coh-s-all
Flitwick, Bedfordshire pronounced flit-ik
Southwark, London borough pronounced suth-ark
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Wales - 'nough said!!!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #14 on: 09/03/2009 17:13:48 »
Don - I note that you're from Lund'n

Yus mate, sarf o' the riva.


Anywhere near Saint Reatham?
 

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« Reply #15 on: 09/03/2009 17:27:08 »
Nah mate, I wus born in Bermondsey not far from Tahar Bridge an' brunged up in Greenwich.

'Saint Reatham', 'oo da vose plonkas fink vey are eneways. Bloody soodoh toffs, ITS BLOODY STREATHAM ya bluudy bunch a nobs. Ya aint reeeel Lunduners ya noh.

I wus born wivin the sarnd 'o the Bow Bells mate. I is wot a reeeel Lunduner is 'sposed ta be lyk, in I?
 

Offline Hadrian

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« Reply #16 on: 09/03/2009 17:36:38 »

Ah so eloquent!

Nah mate, I wus born in Bermondsey not far from Tahar Bridge an' brunged up in Greenwich.

'Saint Reatham', 'oo da vose plonkas fink vey are eneways. Bloody soodoh toffs, ITS BLOODY STREATHAM ya bluudy bunch a nobs. Ya aint reeeel Lunduners ya noh.

I wus born wivin the sarnd 'o the Bow Bells mate. I is wot a reeeel Lunduner is 'sposed ta be lyk, in I?
 

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21 Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn
« Reply #17 on: 09/03/2009 17:49:59 »

Ah so eloquent!

Nah mate, I wus born in Bermondsey not far from Tahar Bridge an' brunged up in Greenwich.

'Saint Reatham', 'oo da vose plonkas fink vey are eneways. Bloody soodoh toffs, ITS BLOODY STREATHAM ya bluudy bunch a nobs. Ya aint reeeel Lunduners ya noh.

I wus born wivin the sarnd 'o the Bow Bells mate. I is wot a reeeel Lunduner is 'sposed ta be lyk, in I?

Ooo ar ya callin' an elephant?
 

Offline Don_1

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« Reply #18 on: 09/03/2009 18:09:56 »
Maybe it's biggawz I'm a Lunduna
That I luv Lundun soohhhhah
Maybe it's biggawz I'm a Lunduna
That I fink of 'er wherever I goohhhah

I get a funny feelin' inside a meehhah
When walkin' up and dahhhrn
Maybe it's biggawz I'm a Lundunahhh
That I luv Lundun Tahrn

Git orff ya barrah,
That I luv Lundun Tahrn,
Suck a Bananahhh,
Theeeaaat 'oieee luuuuurv Luuunduuuun Taaahhhrn.

Actually, to tell the truth, I'm right peeeeeeesed orf with the P**Y hole.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #19 on: 09/03/2009 19:01:57 »
I find the "ough" combination quite interesting:

rough
through
thorough
trough or cough
though
thought
bough

And I was going to teach English as a Foreign Language? Jeesh!

You missed hiccough, lough, and slough (that's not the same as Slough BTW, it's a verb rather than a proper noun).

I guess many people have met things like this poem.
I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough.
Others may stumble but not you,
On hiccough, through, lough and through.
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps.

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead--it's said like bed, not bead.
For goodness's sake, don't call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat:
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.

A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there's dose and rose and lose--
Just look them up--and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart.
Come, come, I've hardly made a start.

A dreadful language? Man alive!
I'd mastered it when I was five


But I have a question- are there similar poems in other languages or is English the only one  that's eccentric enough to do this?
 

Offline Hadrian

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21 Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn
« Reply #20 on: 10/03/2009 01:04:15 »
no no i meant Ellie in the tent



Ah so eloquent!

Nah mate, I wus born in Bermondsey not far from Tahar Bridge an' brunged up in Greenwich.

'Saint Reatham', 'oo da vose plonkas fink vey are eneways. Bloody soodoh toffs, ITS BLOODY STREATHAM ya bluudy bunch a nobs. Ya aint reeeel Lunduners ya noh.

I wus born wivin the sarnd 'o the Bow Bells mate. I is wot a reeeel Lunduner is 'sposed ta be lyk, in I?

Ooo ar ya callin' an elephant?
 

Offline Hadrian

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« Reply #21 on: 10/03/2009 01:35:23 »
This is a far as i have got.

see if you can add to it

phonological Ambiguities

A breast and abreast
A head and ahead
A loan and Alone
Air and heir
Apart and a part
Apparent and a parent
Ate and Eight
Aunt and Ant
Badger (animal) and badger (pester)
Band and Banned
Bank and Bank
bare and bear
Bate and Bait.
Be and Bee
Bear (an animal of the family ursidae, but also to carry).
Been and Bean
Berg and burg
blow and below
board and bored
Bogie (from one's nose) and bogey (small train wheel) - these may be the other way around.
Bonnet (not American - of a car) and Bonnet (cap)
Boot (Not American - of a car) and Boot (footwear)
Bore (to drill) and bore (to be uninteresting).
Born (both to give birth, but also the past tense of bear) and bourne (also spelt bourn).
Bow (from the waist) and bough
Brain and brane
bred and bread
Buy and bi and by
Camp (for tents) and camp (effectedly effeminate)
Canvas (cloth) and canvas (e.g. of opinions).
Card (birthday, Christmas, etc.) and card (comedian) and card (playing card) and card (thick paper)
Cast and Caste
Cheap and Cheep
Chestnuts (from the tree) and chest nuts (the result of being kicked hard in the groin)
close and clothes
Coarse and course
Cool (temperature) cool (in fashion) cool (mood)
Copper (Cu) and copper (policeman)
Cot and cote (although some would say coat and cote)
Deer and Dear
Despatch and dispatch
Die (both death, but also a mould for stamping or shaping metal, and plural for dice) and dye.
Dolly (child's toy) and dolly (trolley)
Entrance and in trance
Ewe (sheep) and You   
Fan(sports) and Fan (ceiling)
Fate and fete
Father and farther
Felt (material) and felt (touched)
Fence (with swords) and fence (a barrier around some land).
Flower and Flour
Flu, Flue and Flew
Foot (anatomical) and foot (a unit of measure).
Fowl and Foul
Genes and Jeans (pants)
Glasses (eye) and Glasses (drinking)
Grate and great
Grave and Grave ( as in to bury)
Grieve and Greeve
Groan and Grown
Guise and Guys
Habit (a garment) and Habit (a habitual activity)
Hair and Hare
Ham (acting) and Ham (pork).
Hamlet (Shakespearian character) and Hamlet (small village) and Hamlet (cigar)
Hand (anatomical) and Hand (a unit of measure).
Hear and Here
Hide (to conceal) and Hide (skin of an animal)
Hood (American - of a car) and Hood(head covering)
Horse and hoarse
I and eye
In and Inn and Inne
in two and into
Intense and in tents (back to camp!)
jacket and jack it
knight and night   
Leak and leek
Lean (upon something) and lean (slim - without fat) and lean (legal).
Lean and lien
Lee (sheltered from the wind) and lea (meadow)
Leech (bloodsucker) and leech (to leak)
Lester and Leicester
Let (allow) and let (to rent)
letter and let her
lettuce and let us
like(to) and like (same as)
Loan and lone.
loo and leu.
maid and made
Main and mane
Mean and mien
meter and metre.
might (power), might (may) and mite (bug)
mighty (powerful)and mighty (good)
Minute (time) and minute (very small)
Moaner and Mona (Lisa)
more on and moron
Morning and mourning.
Mould (a die, but also a fungus).
No and Know.
Nose and knows
Not and Knot
Oaf (cumbersome lout) and oaf (what a cockney swears)
Of and Off (not exact homonyms)
Our and hour
our and yaw
Pain and pane.
Panda and Pander (not exact homonyms)
paradise and pair o' dice
Pare and pair and pear
patients and patience
pay per and paper
Peak and peek
Pease (pudding) and peace and piece
Peek and Peak.
Peer (a ) and pier and peer (look at)
Pen (a writing instrument) and pen (an enclosure).
Piece and peace
Pin and pen
Plain and plane
plane(air) and (a different) plane and plain
Please (out of politeness when asking for something) and please (to make someone happy)
Point (to or at something) and Point (the tip of something).
Polygon (geometric shape) and polly gone (dead parrot)
pool and pull   
poor and p our and p ore
present (gift) and present (time) and present (here)   
Rail (a steel bar) and rale and rail (to complain vociferously).
Raise and raze
Rasta (lines on a TV) and Rasta (Jamaican weed-smoker)
Read and Red
Read and Reed
Right and Write and Rite
Ring and Wring and Wring (something out)
Rive and Reeve
Rock and (to) Rock and Rock (and roll)   
Ruff and Rough
Sail and sale
Saw (tool) and Saw (see)
Scotch (whiskey) and scotch (to scrounge)
Seal (animal) and Seal (e.g. to seal with wax) and Seal (maybe similar to previous - to protect against the elements)
sealing and ceiling
Seam and seem
Seek and Sikh.
Sell and Cell
Sense (common) and sense (touch, sight, etc.)
Shiver and shiva (also spelt shibah or shivah - Jewish period of mourning).
Shoot and chute
Sign and Sin
sleigh and slay
Soul and sole (of a shoe) and sole (fish) and sole (alone or singular).
Spell (of language) and spell (magic and witchcraft).
state and state (mood) and (to) state
Stationary and stationery
Sun and son
Sure and shore.
tale and tail and tell   
Tea and tee
Team and teem
tell a vision and television                               
Teller and tell her
Theatre (for stage plays etc) and theatre (of war)
they're and their and there
Threw and through
Tick and tic
tide and tied
Tiger and Do I have to wear a tie? grrrrr!
Toaster and Towcester
too and two and to
Tort and taught and taut
Train (of a wedding dress) and train (related - of wagons or camels) and train (to teach).
trance mission and transmission
Trunk (American - of a car) and Trunk (of an elephant) and Trunk (luggage)
waive and wave
wake (up) and wake (of boat) and (Irish) wake
Ware and Wear.
waste and waist.
Weak and week
Wear and ware and where
weigh and whey
Well (in health) and well (a bore hole).
Wet and whet
Whale and wail.
Whales and Wales.
Wheel and will and well
Whether and Weather
whine and wine
wind (breeze) and wind (to turn)
with her and wither
Wither and whither
Would and wood
write and right
Yard (an enclosed area of land) and yard (a unit of measure).


This is a far as i have got.

see if you can add to it
 

Offline Don_1

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« Reply #22 on: 10/03/2009 10:25:31 »
A nice list Hadrian, but think about it..... if it were not for all these different spellings and double meanings, There would be no puns and no innuendo (in yer window).

See, something else the Brits have given the world!!!


No, don't thank us, please, it's our pleasure.
 

Offline Hadrian

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« Reply #23 on: 10/03/2009 14:40:13 »
yes you have given a lot of things to the world some are better then others.

Funny enough the world has improved or is better at most of them even the bad ones.......... LOL

Hadrian
 

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« Reply #24 on: 10/03/2009 18:06:06 »
yes you have given a lot of things to the world some are better then others.

Funny enough the world has improved or is better at most of them even the bad ones.......... LOL

Hadrian

Oh Yeah!!! And what about cricket and football........ OK point taken.
 

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