As an online English school, we know firsthand how difficult it is to learn the world’s most popular second language. Anyone who’s spent any time learning the language knows that confusing grammar rules and illogical spellings are everywhere: but there’s absolutely no reason to be afraid of learning English. Just because something is complicated doesn’t mean that it’s impossible or even difficult: all you need is the right teacher (by the way, we might be able to direct you toward some online English classes that would be perfect for you!)

Inconsistent Rules

The rule “i before e, except after c” tends to be true, but not always. You see this rule working in words like “ Interestingly, lots of words disobey this rule, and there’s a lot of debate in the English teaching community about whether or not it can even be called a rule. Some of the words that don’t follow “i before e” include “seize,” “neighbor,” and “protein.” Another example is the word “weird,” which clearly disobeys the rule because, well, it’s weird.

Irregular Verbs

Most present tense verbs can be turned into past tense by simply adding “ed.” Most of them. The ones that don’t are called “irregular verbs.”

Unfortunately, some of the ones that don’t follow this rule are among the most commonly used verbs in the language, including “to go,” “to be able to,” and the notoriously difficult verb “to be,” which has its own special rules:

Present Tense

I am
You are
He, she, or it is
We are
They are
Past Tense

I was
You were
He, she, or it was
We were
They were
Present and Past Tenses of “To Be.”

Notice how none of those conjugations look anything like the word “be.” Confusing, right?

Learning the conjugations of these verbs is a rite of passage for people learning English, and really only gets easier with serious practice. Luckily, we’re happy to help!

Homophones

A “bear” is a big, furry, honey-loving animal. “Bare” means “not covered,” as in not wearing clothes. These words are spelled differently and mean different things: but frustratingly for many, they sound exactly the same. Words like these are called “homophones,” and English is full of them. Our online English classes identify the most common ones, and help you practice them so you don’t write a word meaning “naked” when you actually mean “bear!”

Synonyms That Stay Put

There are a lot of words that mean the same thing in English; it’s one of the things that makes it such a good language for creative expression. However, using the “wrong” word in a phrase will confuse people even if the word means the same thing. Here’s an example:

I watched T.V. with my brother last night.

I saw T.V. with my brother last night.

“Saw” and “watched” mean the same thing, but native English speakers know that only one of them is the correct choice when it comes to watching T.V.

English can be confusing! That’s why Verbalize Now was created. We can help you land the job of your dreams with our online business English classes, or simply help you learn how to hold a conversation with an English-speaking friend. Whatever the reason, we’re here when you need us!