Surely you already know that English is one of the most spoken languages in the world, but there are many curiosities about this language that are not so well known… and some of them are very useful if you are studying English. Today we tell you 10 curiosities or fun facts about the English language.
10 Essential Curiosities About the English Language
1) English is the language with the greatest international presence. In 2015 there were 67 sovereign states and 27 territories where English was the official language. In addition, it is the common language of many professions worldwide, such as in the business world and in the aviation world.
2) There are only two English words ending in “-gry”: “angry” and “hungry”. Maybe that’s why many English learners confuse them, so beware: being angry and hungry are definitely not the same.
3) The English alphabet has only 26 letters… but 44 different sounds. That is one of the reasons why Spaniards have so many problems with pronunciation, since we are used to words being read “the same as they are written”.
4) Ending in -ough is a headache for English learners… and it is pronounced in up to 9 different ways. Ouch.
5) Speaking of pronunciation difficulties, in English there are words that are pronounced exactly the same, but do not have any letter in common. This is the case of ewe and you or eye and I. Which reminds us of this joke… (If you catch it aloud, you’re on the right track!)
– What’s a deer with no eyes?
– No-eye deer.
6) And if you haven’t got tired of pronunciation yet, you should know that the most difficult tongue twister in the English language is “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick”. If you still do not dare with it, here are a couple more to warm up your tongue:
- The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.
- Can you can a can as a canner can can a can?
- I wish to wish the wish you wish to wish, but if you wish the wish the witch wishes, I won’t wish the wish you wish to wish.
7) If you have trouble learning new vocabulary, you don’t have to despair: it is estimated that a normal English speaker uses the same 400 words 80% of the time.
8) If you want to continue learning new words, you can start by setting as a goal the 2,800 that an average English uses in their day-to-day. However, in their dictionaries there are about 350,000 officially recognized and it is estimated that the total figure is approximately one million.
9) The shortest sentence that can be written in English is I am. Subject and predicate with full meaning in just three letters.
10) Between the numbers from 1 to 999 you will not find the letter “a” once. (If you’re sleepless and bored of counting sheep, you can take the test!)
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