Why Is English Hard To Learn? 11 Reasons

Is English Hard To Learn? So, you’ve decided to study English. But, for some reason, when you will use what you’ve learned, it seems not to work that way in real life.

Don’t worry; you’re not the only one who feels this way. English is a hard language to learn. It is not, though, impossible!


In reality, how difficult it is to learn depends on your native language. This is because languages are more (or less) related.

Many of the words we use in English developed from Latin and Ancient Greek words. But, is English hard to learn? We’ll let you make your view!

Why Is English Hard To Learn? 11 Reasons

The English language considers among the most challenging languages to learn. We’ll look at some of the common reasons why people find it hard to learn English.

1. Families of Languages:

Today, the world’s speaking languages number is about 6,000. The scientific discipline tends to think of languages as families. They have developed from one another and form specific family trees.

Since English is a member of the Germanic family of languages, it would be easier to learn if your native language is similar to Dutch or German.

However, learning English would be difficult if you speak the Japanese language. Which has little in common with either the Romance or Germanic languages. And thus sounds and looks very different. You can find it easier to learn English if your native language is close to it.

2. Some Things Are Nonsensical:

The English language is often full of inconsistencies and illogical statements. Many words, for example, seem confusing to non-native speakers.

For example, what does pineapple have to do with the words “pine” and “apple”?

Some Things Are Nonsensical

There are also cases where nouns become verbs. Teachers, for example, taught while preachers preached. It’s difficult enough to clarify to native English speakers.

So imagine how difficult it is for English learners to understand these inconsistencies.

3. Why Is English Hard To Learn? Rules and Exceptions:

The English language, like any other, is rife with rules. Whether they’re grammatical or use it to assist in spelling. There are many of them. And there are many ways for them to get changed, refuted, or proved wrong.

For example, English students learned to say “I” before “E” except after “C.”

When it comes to most English words, such as “friend” and “believe,” this rule stands true. There are, however, exceptions, such as “science” and “weirdness.”

When it comes to sentence order, there are several confusing rules to understand. Native speakers have an intuitive knowledge of how to order those words because they sound right.

Getting used to all complexities and exceptions to the rules. It can be a nightmare for people who are trying to learn the language. Rules don’t always work. Especially when using established knowledge to apply the same rule to a new word.

4. Writing Rules:

Even native English speakers make mistakes, especially when it comes to punctuation rules. It’s the stylistic side of writing that gives them the most trouble.

Writing Rules Of English


Whether it’s the fast Oxford Comma of today or how to use hyphens in compound nouns. There’s always something new to learn. This field of English requires the most focus of all the language skills.

The strange case of the English pronoun “I” is also worth mentioning. When we look at all other English pronouns, we can see that “I” is the only one written in capital letters, regardless of its form.

5. Why Is English Hard To Learn? Words Order:

You can immediately detect the word order if you speak English fluently. Another difficulty for students in distinguishing between right and incorrect orders.

It’s not clear why the words are set in such a way that they sound right. You may say “an interesting small cup,” but “a small interesting cup” does not sound right.

While it is grammatically correct, the way it sounds distinguishes how it may deliver. Native speakers, for example, have an intuitive grasp of the language’s complexities.

6. English Has a Mixed Vocabulary:

When it comes to specifics, 26 percent of English vocabulary is Germanic in origin. Nearly 30 percent is French, and 30 percent in Latin in origin.

English Has a Mixed Vocabulary

As a result, French speakers are likely to have an easier time learning English. Because they are familiar with much of the vocabulary. The same is true for German and Dutch speakers.

It’s easier to learn a language if we have a jump start. Because our primary language is more similar to the language we are attempting to learn.

7. Perplexing Spelling:

English is fundamentally hard to learn in specific ways. One explanation is that English has a perplexing spelling scheme. Even native speakers find it perplexing.

For example, the words’ dough,’ ‘tough,’ and ‘bough’ all have the exact spelling but are pronounced differently.

This ‘-ough’ spelling is a relic from Middle English, Chaucer’s country. Where the spelling reflected the pronunciation.

Many of those pronunciations have changed over time. But the spelling remained constant.
Like the ‘ch’ sound in the Scottish word ‘loch,’ it is no longer used in British English pronunciation.

8. Why Is English Hard To Learn? Confusing Idioms:

Idioms are another tricky topic to learn. Every language contains idioms. They aren’t meant to take literally.

For example, the phrase “she kicked the bucket” means “she died.” All you need to know is the meaning of the whole unit.

‘She jumped down my throat,’ or ‘He hit the roof,’ are two other examples. The literal sense is not the exact wording. Also, Idioms include words like ‘all of a sudden,’ which a language learner does not understand.

In English, there are tens of thousands of these. Idioms exist in all languages. The length, variety, and unpredictability of English idioms characterize them. Idioms in English are tricky for non-native speakers to grasp.

Why Is English Hard To Learn - Confusing Idioms

9. It’s Difficult to Use Plurals and Tenses:

Since there are so many tenses to note. It can be difficult for an English learner to differentiate between future tense and future perfect.

It is difficult to learn not only when memorizing grammar rules in the text. But also when having an English conversation in which the speaker refers to the future.

Furthermore, when it comes to the use of plurals in English, there are several variations. When it comes to words like mouse and ox, where a non-native speaker learns to add -s to form a plural, this is wrong.

10. Synonyms Aren’t Always Synonymous:

If you look at a thesaurus, you’ll find several groups of words that generally mean the same thing. You’d think this meant they might be interchangeably used, but you’d be wrong.

Since English words may have various meanings. Even terms with very similar definitions can refer to something entirely different.

People can end up misusing a word as a result of this. You would “see a film” or “watch television,” but you would never “see a television.” Another example is when you say, “I received a gift,” you don’t say, “I welcomed a gift.”

Even if the two words are similar depending on the background, the context may be entirely different.

11. Different Dialects:

We assume that all languages have regional dialects. Because of the many regional dialects in the U.K, people find it difficult to learn English.

When pronouncing “bath” or “castle,” there is a distinct north/south distinction. In the south, it’s a long “A,” while in the north, it’s a short “A.” And there is a never-ending debate on how to pronounce ‘scone’ correctly (S-gone or S-cone?).

Of course, each English-speaking nation has its distinct way of pronouncing words. The U.S., Canada, Australia, and South Africa each have their specific way of pronouncing words. This means that where you study English has a massive effect on the pronunciation you use.

Is English Really That Hard To Learn?

Although English indeed is a complex language to learn. The same case is with other languages such as Mandarin, Russian, or Japanese.

English is one of the most popular languages globally, spoken by over 1.5 billion people to some point. And your dedication to studying all its complexities and differences will open many doors for you in the future.

Several factors make learning English hard and perplexing. It is difficult to learn its grammar structure, pronunciation, definitions, and rules. But bear in mind that the situation is similar for English speakers learning a foreign language.

What matters is your ability and commitment to learning the fundamental rules. Learning English was never more straightforward or more accessible than it is today. Finally, whether a language is challenging to learn depends on the person.

It’s easier to learn English if you don’t care about the rules. Concentrate on reading and listening to native language content. The higher your language learning targets are, the more difficult it would be to learn English. It’s as simple as that.


Hundreds of millions of people learn English around the world. And make English the third most studied native language. And many of them enroll in an English-speaking course as adults or as children.

The English language is widely regarded as one of the most difficult to master. Because of its unpredictable spelling and challenging to learn grammar, it is challenging for both learners and native speakers.

Learning a new language is difficult in any case since so much depends on your original language and its similarity to your target language. It isn’t impossible just because it is challenging.

Best of luck with your learning!

Contact Us:

You’re not alone if you’re having trouble learning English. The Language Doctors are on hand to assist you if you’re looking to advance your English skills.

Please get in touch with us to make learning and studying English a lot easier for you.

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