Edit Blog Post
Published: October 24th 2010
Teaching English is quite a task. If you've ever thought about it, English has a HELL of a lot of words! For instance, how many words are there in English that equate to "very good"?
...and those are just off the top of my head!!
English has more words than any other language; tipping the scales at 500,000 it more than DOUBLES the amount of words in the next language on the list: Germany, with almost 250,000.
Despite the surplus of verbiage at our disposal, this not the most daunting explanation of why English is so difficult. There is a slew of other reasons which account for its complexity and pose obstacles to learning.
Oh where to start? The grammar in English is something that one could pore over for years, and still not know certain idiosyncratic nuances this wonderful language of our offers.
There IS a lot of people. “Is”, here, modifies “lot”, not “people”. Just as one would say “there is a murder of crows” or “there is a gaggle of geese” or “there is a (insert synonym for ‘great number’ here) of (things) here.” One cannot say “there are a great number of stars in the sky”; it would be incorrect.
She and I. Mom and me. Observe: “She and I went to the store.” “This is a photo of Mom and me.” In order to ascertain which is correct, take out the first subject in the sentence, e.g. “This is a photo of Mom and
me.”(This is a photo of ...me) NOT “This is a photo of Karen and I.”
Does this make sense, “This is a photo of.... I”??? It does not.
I know this is tricky, but if you passed the third grade, you should possess the ability to differentiate between “you’re” and “your.”
“You’re so cool, you can use proper English!”
“Your mom is cooler than you are.”
Colons and semi-colons, I’m not even going to address. Their situation is so muddled, I could write a thesis on it! (As I wrote this, Microsoft Word suggested that I put a semi-colon in place of the comma after “muddled”.)
Plural and possessive. “These are Jane’s photos.” Please DO NOT say “These are Jane’s photo’s.”
Once you were a friend of mine, now a friend of mine no more;
I once enjoyed your company, but your absence has become a chore;
Reading, without you, is hazy;
People have become so lazy;
Trying to understand what they write has driven me almost crazy!
I can’t really say more than that about spelling. It’s a skill that Word cannot be used in lieu of.
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