Learning English

Learn English for free! Our wide range of online language reference, exercises, tests, quizzes and articles are used by millions of English students from around the world.

Is English Hard to Learn?

English is often thought of as a hard language to learn. Many regard it as difficult because it has lots of spelling and grammar rules that can be difficult to learn. Our online poll, asking 'Is English is a hard language to learn?' currently agrees that English is difficult to learn, but only just. At the time of writing, 53% of responses say it is difficult to learn, while 47% say it isn't. We think it depends a lot on your what your native language is, and how much practice you have had.

How Long Does it Take to Learn English?

The answer depends on what source you look at, what you classify as having 'learned English', and what your background in languages is. The BBC suggests that it can take 360 hours to achieve a good level of English - enough for citizenship exams. To get to B2 level on the CEFR scale (Upper Intermediate) it's been suggested that it could take up to 720 hours of instruction. The responses to our poll asking 'How long do you think it takes to become fluent in English?' suggest that the majority think it will take over 5 years.

How to Learn English

There are many ways to learn a language. UsingEnglish.com has lots of content to help you out. Here are some great places to find out more:

A learner looks at how he learned English.
Learning a new language can be hard work, so here are 70 practical tips for improving your English that you can do outside of school or college.
Tips on how you can speak and communicate better in English.
Short and long term solutions for those who want to speak more quickly and smoothly. Also useful for teachers planning classroom fluency practice.
Short tips on various aspects of the English language, with examples.
Some suggestions about learning English vocabulary.

Resources for Learning English

Grammar

Learn the meanings and usage of common grammar terms.

Idioms

Find out the meanings behind English idiomatic expressions and sayings.

Phrasal Verbs

Browse definitions and examples of common phrasal verbs.

Irregular Verbs

Discover the meanings and conjugations of English irregular verbs.

Short Quizzes

Take our free online quizzes which cover a wide range of subjects.

Longer Tests

Use our testing section to test your knowledge of English topics.

Reading Comprehension

Test your understanding by reading short texts and then answering questions.

Polls

Have your say on what you think is correct usage or grammar.

Latest Articles on Learning English

Learning a new language can be hard work, so here are 70 practical tips for improving your English that you can do outside of school or college
Short and long term solutions for those who want to speak more quickly and smoothly. Also useful for teachers planning classroom fluency practice.
List of UK gestures, with meanings of gestures used in the United Kingdom and how to make them.
Some ideas for using language exchange sites
How to do well in and study for the first part of Cambridge Proficiency Use of English
A look at ways in which learners can improve their pronunciation.
Test your knowledge of accent reduction
Do games have a place in an adult ESL class?
Advice on choosing English classes for very young learners
This article has some suggestions on developing self-correction skills and starting to use more accurate English, all without the help of a teacher.
Ideas and tips to help you improve your pronunciation outside class
Easy and sensible ways to practise English with your children
A learner looks at how he learned English.
Some tips for learners to help them to proofread their writing
Understanding principles of learning can be as important for students as for teachers - especially adult learners.

English Language Help Forums

Our online discussion forum is the perfect place to quickly get help learning English. We have a number of professional volunteer English teachers and experts ready to answer your questions 24 hours a day.

Our Student Discussion Forums:


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