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  1. #1
    SirGod's Avatar
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    What would you change about English?

    If you could change anything about English, what would it be? I am sure that, being a teacher, there are some things that you do not like about it or you wish they were a little bit different. Also, you would certainly like to keep some things the way they are, what would those things be?

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: What would you change about English?

    You may be surprised, but I wouldn't really want to change anything. I have been studying it one way way or another for sixty years now, and I love its oddities.

    I suppose if I had to change something, I would try to put some consistency in the way we use the definite and indefinite articles. It is one of the few areas of English grammar where the more you learn, the less you really understand. Even as an experienced teacher, I shudder when an advanced student says, "Can you explain why the writer has used these articles here?" (The simple answer is often that I can't.)

  3. #3
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: What would you change about English?

    I'd be in seventh heaven if there were NO ARTICLES. They are a real pain in the neck for learners whose native language doesn't have them. Choosing an appopriate tense is sometimes a bit of a headache too - so I'd cut tenses down to 5 or 6 - there are too many of them in English!

    (Copied from another website):

    "Let's face it: English is a crazy language! There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hambuger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. Quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig in neither from Guinea nor it is a pig.

    In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway. And 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, in which an alarm goes off by going on, and in which inflammable means flammable. And, finally, if Father is pop, how come Mother's not mop?"

  4. #4
    SirGod's Avatar
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    Re: What would you change about English?

    5jj, surprisingly, I think I understand you. It is probably hard to change the things you learnt and did for such a long time. I don't think (or, at least, nothing crosses my mind right now) I would want to change anything to my language, even I consider it harder than English.

    Verona_82, the examples you provided are indeed peculiar but interesting at the same time. Maybe its peculiarities (and the irony) make it interesting and, why not, a little bit funny.

    It looks like articles are indeed a nuisance even to language experts. I think that there are things that do not have other explanation than "that's how it is".

    As about English, we are on the same boat regarding the articles. Now, what I like about your language is the sequence of tenses, it makes English look tidier than Romanian. We don't have this rule, but we have a lot of particularities. For example, you say beautiful no matter what person, gender or number. We have different forms for almost every combination.
    Last edited by SirGod; 05-Mar-2012 at 18:20.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: What would you change about English?

    @ Verona,
    I loved the extract from another website. Sorry, but can I be very boring here? Could you please give the name of, or link to, that site? If we use their entertaining material, we should acknowledge this. Thank you.

  6. #6
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: What would you change about English?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    @ Verona,
    I loved the extract from another website. Sorry, but can I be very boring here? Could you please give the name of, or link to, that site? If we use their entertaining material, we should acknowledge this. Thank you.
    Sure! Actually, I copied the sentences from a jpeg picture; the name of the site written in the top right hand corner is BusyTeacher.org
    Last edited by Verona_82; 18-Feb-2012 at 23:42.

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