Hey there! This is TOP episode 179. Why Is English Hard To Learn? (3)

My name’s Ola, I am an English teacher. I know you can eliminate your language blockade. I record this podcast’s episodes with worksheets, to help you start speaking faster and achieve fluency and enjoy all the things that come with it. Easy, light, pleasant communication. Visit my shop at teacherola.com, get your Worksheet Sets and enjoy your journey to fluency! Happy learning! And hey! Thank you for joining TOPeople!

Hello again and welcome to another episode! Thanks for listening and sharing this episode with your friends. It really makes a difference and helps me reach people who need to learn to speak English now! Thank you. The topic of our today’s rant on English as a very difficult language is EXCEPTIONS. Oh my gosh, I hate this language for it! Every rule is broken. So you basically learn one thing and after some time, when you go deeper you see that all these rules are thrown out the window because, well there are exceptions. Sometimes I think there are more exceptions than rules in English. 

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Why is English hard to learn? Because of the exceptions, let’s see some of the most annoying ones:

One. Auxiliary verbs in affirmative sentences. At the very beginning of our learning English journey, we get to know that ‘do’, ‘does’ and other auxiliary verbs are used to formulate questions and negative sentences. For instance: 

Do you like cheese?

Why doesn’t she eat meat?

Life’s good, everything seems to be fairly clear but then, we come across a sentence like this:

She does speak Spanish! 

They did enjoy that event. 

What? Why? Well, it’s ok to use ‘do’ or ‘does’ or ‘did’ in an affirmative sentence for the sake of emphasis. To highlight that the statement is true. Listen to this short dialogue:

I’m afraid they didn’t enjoy our event.

They did enjoy it!

Two. Present simple for future tenses. Ok, so present is future. Wow, that’s deep! But wait, no, it’s just another rule inside the rule we have to learn! Present simple is a basic tense, you can learn a little about it in episodes 60 and 64. Check them to refresh your knowledge. We use the present simple to describe our habits, repetitive tasks, characteristics, qualities, things that are always true et cetera. But, the present simple is also used to describe the future. It’s used for timetables and schedules. For example:

The bus goes at 5 tomorrow. 

The coffee break is at 6 pm. 

Three. If I were you. Ok, so, I was, you were, she was, he was, it was. Wait a minute! If I was you! It should be ‘If I was you’. Well, it’s the second conditional and these basic, fundamental rules of English do not apply. Ha! That’s illogical, that’s annoying, and that’s an exception. So, If ‘I were you’ is the only correct way of expressing the idea. There are more in fact… Although you can say: If she was fair, I would trust her, it’s more correct on the scale of correctness so to speak to say: If she were fair, I would trust her. I know. 

Four.  Nouns with -ing endings. In the sentence “I am eating,” “eating” is part of the verb. But “I like eating,” is a gerund, a form of the verb that’s actually a noun. It’s especially confusing when there are possessive subjects in a sentence: Adam’s reporting consumed a lot of time. Adam is reporting equals Adam’s reporting. What the..?

Five. Irregular verbs. Do I need to explore this topic? You know the pain. Learning all these columns of irregular verbs, sing – sang – sung, and the pronunciation! Wow. English, you have the -ed endings for regular verbs. Why on earth don’t you use them for all the verbs? Well, to learn irregular verbs go to episode 152 Irregular Verbs Training. 

You know what? I could go on and talk about irregular plural forms, irregular adjectives, gradable and non-gradable adjectives not to mention pronunciation but, I think we all have enough. Guys, let’s practice now. Let’s focus on doing instead of complaining! Listen and repeat:

We all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her.

The telephone rang and interrupted my train of thought.

Adam’s reporting consumed a lot of time.

We celebrated Adam’s winning the contest.

If I were you, I wouldn’t buy such expensive shoes.

I wouldn’t make such strong comments if I were you.

The bus goes at 5 tomorrow. 

The coffee break is at 6 pm. 

She does speak Spanish! 

They did enjoy that event. 

Good job! Now, go to your inbox and get the worksheet to test yourself. Translate the sentences into English. If you aren’t a member of TOPeople download the worksheet from teacherola.com/179. By doing that you’ll become a member and receive my weakly newsletter.

If you find this episode useful, tell your friends about my podcast. Thank you so much for doing so! Please rate this podcast wherever you listen. Thanks again! I’ll see you next Wednesday! And hey! Join the challenge! Go to powiedzcos.pl and start speaking English today! Happy learning. Take care! Stay fearless and say it out loud! Bye!