Author Topic: Why English is so hard to learn  (Read 1595 times)

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Offline Bakersdozen

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Why English is so hard to learn
« on: July 11, 2021, 11:24:38 am »
Can you repeat these with out stuttering?  They are called heteronyms.

1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
2. The farm was cultivated to produce produce.
3. The dump was so full that the workers had to refuse more refuse.
4. We must polish the Polish furniture shown at the store.
5. He could lead if he could get the lead out.
6. The soldier decided to desert his tasty dessert out in the desert.
7. Since there is no time like the present, he decided to present the present to his girlfriend.
8. A bass was painted on the head of a bass drum.
9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10. He did not object to the object that he showed me.
11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid in his hospital bed.
12. There was a row amongst the oarsmen about who would row.
13. They were too close to the door to close it.
14. The buck does funny things when the does (females) are present.
15. The seamstress and a sewer fell down into the sewer line.
16. To help with planting the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail around the mast.
18. Upon seeing the tear in her painting she shed a tear.
19. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Can you think of any more?
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Offline neillsayers

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Re: Why English is so hard to learn
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2021, 01:00:15 am »
 :laugh: So true. This helps one understand how difficult it is for foreigners to learn our language.
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Offline Zweefer

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Re: Why English is so hard to learn
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2021, 01:06:22 pm »
Reminds me of this poem titled The Chaos:

Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation. I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye, your dress will tear. So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it's written.) Now I surely will not plague you With such words as plaque and ague. But be careful how you speak: Say break and steak, but bleak and streak; Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery, Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore, Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles, Exiles, similes, and reviles; Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far; One, anemone, Balmoral, Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel; Gertrude, German, wind and mind, Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet, Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would. Viscous, viscount, load and broad, Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation's OK When you correctly say croquet, Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer. River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home. Stranger does not rhyme with anger, Neither does devour with clangour. Souls but foul, haunt but aunt, Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant, Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury. Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth. Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath. Though the differences seem little, We say actual but victual. Refer does not rhyme with deafer. Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer. Mint, pint, senate and sedate; Dull, bull, and George ate late. Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven. We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed. Mark the differences, moreover, Between mover, cover, clover; Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police and lice; Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal, Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal. Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, Senator, spectator, mayor. Tour, but our and succour, four. Gas, alas, and Arkansas. Sea, idea, Korea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria. Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean. Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion and battalion. Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key. Say aver, but ever, fever, Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver. Heron, granary, canary. Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface. Phlegm, phlegmatic, donkey, glass, bass. Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging. Ear, but earn and wear and tear Do not rhyme with here but ere. Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen, Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk, Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation — think of Psyche! Is a paling stout and spikey? Won't it make you lose your wits, Writing groats and saying grits? It's a dark abyss or tunnel: Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough — Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough? Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!!!*
Keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.
Henry David Thoreau
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Offline iddee

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Re: Why English is so hard to learn
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2021, 01:31:28 pm »
Did you boil the water before you cleaned the boil on your arm?
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Why English is so hard to learn
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2021, 04:02:22 pm »
Reminds me of this poem titled The Chaos:

Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation. I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye, your dress will tear. So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it's written.) Now I surely will not plague you With such words as plaque and ague. But be careful how you speak: Say break and steak, but bleak and streak; Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery, Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore, Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles, Exiles, similes, and reviles; Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far; One, anemone, Balmoral, Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel; Gertrude, German, wind and mind, Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet, Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would. Viscous, viscount, load and broad, Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation's OK When you correctly say croquet, Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer. River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home. Stranger does not rhyme with anger, Neither does devour with clangour. Souls but foul, haunt but aunt, Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant, Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury. Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth. Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath. Though the differences seem little, We say actual but victual. Refer does not rhyme with deafer. Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer. Mint, pint, senate and sedate; Dull, bull, and George ate late. Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven. We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed. Mark the differences, moreover, Between mover, cover, clover; Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police and lice; Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal, Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal. Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, Senator, spectator, mayor. Tour, but our and succour, four. Gas, alas, and Arkansas. Sea, idea, Korea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria. Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean. Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion and battalion. Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key. Say aver, but ever, fever, Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver. Heron, granary, canary. Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface. Phlegm, phlegmatic, donkey, glass, bass. Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging. Ear, but earn and wear and tear Do not rhyme with here but ere. Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen, Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk, Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation — think of Psyche! Is a paling stout and spikey? Won't it make you lose your wits, Writing groats and saying grits? It's a dark abyss or tunnel: Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough — Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough? Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!!!*
I read this literally 3 weeks ago totally unrelated to this thread.  I thought it was awesome!! 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Why English is so hard to learn
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2021, 10:50:02 am »
My eyes glazed over after the first paragraph!  Now my head is spinning! :laugh: