Why English is So Hard to Learn
The following “fun” fact sheet was given out at a continuing education class I took last year to help break up the monotony of the three-day course. The key is to read them out loud and try not to hesitate when reading the sentences. I had the girls in my office read these out loud and there were a few that they snagged on. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
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?
Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in an eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple more pine in pineapple. Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. And if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. You park in the driveway but you drive on the parkway. You ship by truck and send cargo by ship. How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on. When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And finally, how about when you want to shut down your computer you have to hit “START”!