How does anyone ever learn to speak English?

I’m interested in the peculiarities of the English language and how difficult it must be for foreigners to learn English.

Did you realise that the word ‘Australia’ contains three A’s, and that all of them are pronounced differently?

Why does the word ‘laid’ rhyme with ‘paid’, but doesn’t rhyme with ‘said’?

Why does ‘said’ rhyme with ‘bread’  but it doesn’t rhyme with ‘bead’?

‘Bead’ can rhyme with ‘lead’, but doesn’t rhyme with ‘lead’…..


Here are some more weird pronunciations….

The words “I’ll”, “aisle” and “Isle” are all pronounced the same way.


In the word ENOUGH, the ‘GH’ is pronounced ‘F’

In the word WOMEN, the ‘O’ is pronounced as a short ‘I’ sound.

In the word NATION, the ‘TI’ is pronounced as ‘SH’.

So therefore, the word FISH should be spelled as “GHOTI”……


Finally – 

Why do we say ‘taking’ a shower?  Why do we ‘take’ showers?  Does that mean that we can ‘give’ showers, too?  Where do we take them?  After we’ve taken them somewhere, do we then ‘leave’ them?

Can you think of any peculiarities of the English language?





5 thoughts on “How does anyone ever learn to speak English?

  1. I recently thought of the word “spot”. It can be a location, it can be small round area of color, it can be a stain etc. Interesting it is because in my native language we also use sometimes the same word for a stain and a territory where you live, where your house is. I find it really fascinating 🙂


  2. How weird! Was just trying to remember the GHOTI thing we were told at school, when I scrolled further down and there it was. As I have a noticeable Yorkshire accent, I’m often accused of not speaking English properly (I write it correctly, I hope).

    Liked by 1 person

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