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Episode 12

Carolina goes to the river and goes on a rowing boat with Jamie. Adam and Jo talk about difficult aspects of English such as homographs and homophones.

Elementary Podcasts

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3

Task 4

Task 5

Task 6

Task 7

Task 8

Exercise

Leave a comment below!

  • What about you – what's difficult for you in English?
  • Do you agree with Carolina that English spelling and pronunciation 'is impossible!'?
  • And what's easy for you? Do you agree with Jo's students when they say that verbs are easy but prepositions are horrible?

Leave a comment and we'll discuss some of your answers in the next podcast.

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Language level

Intermediate: B1
Pre-intermediate: A2

Comments

For me the most difficult is to remember how to use the different past forms correctly, I don't think the spelling or pronunciation are so hard to learn, it's a matter of good memory and getting use to it, but when we talk about the past in English there are so many ways to same the same thing, so sometimes that make me a bit confused between past participle and past continuous for instance. I find it easy to talk and write about the future but prepositions and articles are a bit confusing though, despite there are a few to learn, sometimes it's a bit difficult to remember which to use in each case correctly.

Thanks for the episode.
Great site!!

I don't agree with Carolina that English spelling and pronunciation is impossible. It is difficult, of course, but we can learn that. What's more difficult it slang. We can't learn it in English textbook, but English-speaking people use a lot. That's why the most difficult thing in English for me is slang.

Hi,
I don't think English is a difficult language, It's so easy but I think it needs that amount of practicing ( listening, reading. speaking and writing) you have to practice these skill every day and you'll see the outcoming as soon as you stay disabled and commitment, the only thing I found it confusing is phrasal verbs.

To me it is difficult listening, I would like to understand movies without subtitles or music without reading before his lyrics. And it is right, English words have different meanings. In Spanish it happens the same but the same word almost always has relative meanings. one word in english could have two completely different meanings. I think if you read a lot your brain is gonna understand better the different uses of words and how to use prepositions with those words.

Hi,

Every word in English tends to carry with it multiple meanings. For instant, searching up a word like "destroy" under any dictionary will yield multiple meanings such as "to kill an animal", or "to physically damage something" or "to defeat an opponent in a game". My question is does this make words like destroy a homonym? or is it words like "bark (which can refer to the sound a dog makes or to the outer covering of a tree" which are homonyms? If so, what's the difference between say "destroy" and "bark" when it comes to considering whether a word is or is not a homonym?

Hello magnuslin,

My students often tell me that English is difficult because words have so many different meanings. What they don't realise is that Catalan and Spanish (and I expect all other languages) also have many, many polysemic words.

'homonym' can be a somewhat imprecise term, as it can cover 'homographs' (words with different meanings that are spelled the same) and 'homophones' (words that are pronounced the same), though it also has a more specific meaning.

I think the articles I linked to will help you, but if you have any other questions about this, please let us know.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

for me the difficult skill in English is listening because I am not native speaker and I live in middle east . natives speakers sometimes have special accent I can not easy to understand like . there are many different accent like Australian accent or south Africa . writing also difficult specially when you write formal letter .yes I agree with carolina pronunciations difficult because they have same meaning but different uses i think the easies things in English IS READING actually I likes reading books

I think, learning new languages depends on two main factors, the first one is the capability of a person to learn new languages, and the second one is the age of the person. Each language has sophisticated rules that couldn't be learnt without practising. I think the biggest problem I am facing with learning English that I learnt it in the wrong way when I was a kid so that I have problems with everything, prepositions, phrasal verbs...., with a horrible pronunciation. because of that, I have to duplicate my efforts in order to learn faster.
I hope that the world could find useful and effective instructions to learn English and force all countries to follow them or to give up teaching English. Finally, I wish all the world speak one language to save the time we spend to learn a new language in order to communicate with the outer world.
thanks

I think that english lenguage not so difficult.

lucky to you

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