5 Reasons Why English Isn’t as Hard as You Think

It’s not easy to learn a new language, and English is no exception. With a daunting list of prepositions and a complicated spelling system that gives endless grief even to native speakers, it’s no wonder that the English language poses a serious challenge to learners worldwide. But learning English isn’t all blood, sweat, and tears. In fact, there are several features of the English language that are quite simple in comparison to other languages. Here are some of the reasons why English isn’t as hard as you might think.

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Image via Abhi Sharma / flickr

1. Minimal conjugations

In Romance languages like French and Spanish, verbs are conjugated by person and number which means that each verb has six different variations depending on what the subject is (e.g., I, you, they, etc.). In English, however, the only conjugation you have to worry about is the third-person singular (i.e., he/she), in which case you add an -s to the end of the verb.

2. Nouns have no gender

Memorizing the gender of inanimate objects is a common struggle among English speakers learning foreign languages. Some languages, such as German, even have three genders, further complicating the issue. In English, however, the vast majority of nouns have no gender, which is one fewer thing that learners have to worry about. The only exceptions are nouns that correspond to actual people, such as “actor/actress”.

3. 1 in 7 people speak it

English is rapidly becoming the international lingua franca, and well over a billion people speak it as either their native or non-native language. Therefore, it’s incredibly easy to find English-speaking conversation partners who you can practice your skills with.

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4. It’s the #1 language on the internet

English is by far the most common language on the internet, meaning that finding free English-language websites to practice your reading skills is a cinch. We particularly recommend reading English-language articles on Wikipedia or joining English-language forums on Reddit. For learners who have a smartphone or tablet, there’s also plenty of of useful English learning apps at your disposal.

5. Close relation to Germanic and Romance languages

English is closely related both to Germanic languages, such as German and Dutch, as well as Romance languages, such as Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian. As a result, English shares a lot of its vocabulary with languages from the Germanic and Romance families. This means that if you speak one of these languages, you have a head-start in learning English, as much of its vocabulary will already be familiar to you.

Indeed, it may be confusing that “rough”, “through”, and “dough” don’t rhyme. But don’t throw in the towel just yet — at least you don’t have to worry about inanimate objects having genders! Especially if you take tailor-made courses from a native English speaker, achieving fluency in English isn’t as hard as it seems. Ready to take your English skills to the next level? Check out our course and package options to see how we can best help you meet your English-language learning goals.