Learning English

English doesn’t have to be difficult!

There are many sayings about English being weird. One of my favourite sayings that I hear most often is:

English is not a language, it’s three languages wearing a trench coat pretending to be one.

Gugulethu Mhlungu

English is one of those languages that has borrowed from so many languages over the years. It is hard to say it is just one language! It has become like Frankenstein’s monster: a collection of random parts that work together to make a language. That is why I love it.

But what does that mean for you? If you speak one of the languages that it has borrowed from, you have an advantage! Your language probably has something in common. All you have to do is find it!

Latest posts about English:

Immersive language learning online and offline

Guest Blogger: Nick Eley is the Co-Founder of English Like A Native and has become fluent in Spanish and Thai while travelling.   What is immersive language learning? Immersive language learning is the process of surrounding yourself with a language and culture.  At its best, you take away all of the options to engage with the…

Double negatives in English – a big no no

Picture it: you are sitting in an English class and a teacher says “don’t use double negatives”. Double negative? What is a double negative? How can anything be negative twice? What is a double negative? A double negative in the content of language is when a sentence has multiple negative words. A negative word can…

Future in the past – What were you going to do?

In English, there exists a concept called “future in the past”. This is when you talk about how the future was going to be at some point in the past (whether it actually happened or not). Before you continue this article, if you are unfamiliar with either the future tense or the past tense, please…

Reported Speech – He said, she said

Sometimes when you are telling a story or relaying information someone told you, you don’t necessarily want to say absolutely everything in exactly the same way as it was told to you (i.e. direct speech). Sometimes you simply can’t remember and other times exactly what was said was important. So what do you do instead?…

Past habits – Over and over again

In this article we will cover: You can describe past habits (or actions that happened repeatedly in the past) in three different ways in English: used to, would and the past simple tense. Used to If you have learnt about modal and semi-modal verbs before, you may be familiar with used to. In fact, this…

Should vs ought to vs had better

Before reading this post, you should be familiar with should, ought to and had better. You will need this information to understand Should vs ought to vs had better. Which to use? Should? Ought to? Had better? What are these three modal verbs? Why are there three ways to talk about recommendations or suggestions? Are…


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England – the place where it all began.

Why is English such a weird language?

English is an old language that decided to conglomerate with other languages. After being allowed to develop for several hundred years, the result is Modern English. While many argue that it is an easy language to learn, there are still many idiosyncrasies. My response has always been that English is an easy language to learn but very difficult to master.

Hectic History

But why is it like this? A big reason is The Great Vowel Shift. This is when grandparents and great-grandchildren may have not understood each other very much. Well, they probably did not live long enough, but still.

Also, What is the Plural of ‘You’? Is it y’all, youse, yous, you guys? Why isn’t there a clear cut answer?

There is then also The Most Important Word in the English Language and Its History, which itself is a conglomeration of several words. And we use it every day without even realising it. Scary!!

Wacky Words

And it is not just pronunciation and plurals. There are many more. What about the French Phrases in English the French Wouldn’t Understand? They are as common as water in English but the French would be sitting there scratching their heads. What exactly is a bathroom en suite?

Or how about English directly contradicting itself by using one word to mean two things that are exact opposites. Those are called Contronyms.

Vast Voices and Temperamental Timing

On top of all this, there are all the tenses in English. Need a review? Here is an all-encompassing one: Active Tenses in English. If you prefer, you could focus on Past SimplePresent Perfect, their differences under Past Simple vs Present Perfect or look at the differences between the “Will” vs “Going to” vs “Shall” Futures.

But that isn’t everything. Those are just the main tenses in the active voice. What about when we start getting creating with time in a sentence. Well, you may need to use Future in the Past. Or maybe even Reported Speech.

Then there are the five types of Conditional SentencesPast Habits, and even Modal Verbs (will/wouldcan/couldshall/shouldmust/must notmay/might). Also, what are the differences between can vs may?

To make things even more complicated, there are even Semi-Modal Verbs (had betterneeddarehave to) that do exactly the same thing. But do they really? Here are some differences between should vs ought to vs had better. Here are some differences between must vs have to.

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