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15 Interesting Facts About the English Language

English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world so it is not surprising that so many people want to learn how to speak English.

In your English classes you no doubt learn interesting things but I’m sure you haven’t heard all of these facts before:lettere

1. ‘E’ is the most commonly used letter in the English language. In fact, as many as one in eight of all the letters written in English is ‘e’.

2. More English words begin with the letter ‘S’ than any other letter of the alphabet.

3. ‘I am.’ is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
thoughtful

4. The longest English word that can be spelled without repeating any letters is ‘uncopyrightable’.

5. The following sentence contains seven different spellings of the sound “ee”: ‘He believed Caesar could see people seizing the seas’.

6. Do you know what is special about the following sentence? ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’. This type of sentence is called a ‘pangram’ as it uses every letter in the English language.

7. The longest word in English has 45 letters: ‘pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis’! It is a type of lung disease caused by inhaling ash and sand dust.

8. There is no word in the English language that rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.
confused

9. ‘Queueing’ is the only word with five consecutive vowels (five vowels in a row). This is a great word to use when you play hangman!

10. There are nine different ways to pronounce ‘ough’ in English. This sentence contains all of them:  ‘A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.’ You can search for these words on the Cambridge Dictionary website to listen to their pronunciation. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/
dictionary

11. Due to a printing error, there was a word in the English dictionary from 1932 to 1940 which didn’t have a meaning.  The word was ‘Dord’ and it became known as ‘ghost word’.

12. ‘Pronunciation’ is the word which is most mispronounced in the English language!

13. English is the official language of the sky! It doesn’t matter which country they are from, all pilots speak in English on international flights.
tonguetwister

14.The most difficult tongue twister in the English language is “sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick”. Why not try it out on your friends and see if any of them can say it without making a mistake?

15. Approximately one new word is added to the English language every two hours and around 4,000 new words are added to the English dictionary every year.

One extra interesting fact for you:typewriter

Have you ever wondered why the English computer keyboard is set out in the way it is instead of in alphabetical order? The reason for this is on early typewriters, the keys needed to be arranged in a certain way so that the mechanical rods which held the letters did not clash too much and jam. The letters needed to be separated so that the ones which were most commonly used were not next to each other.

Have fun with English

Riddles

Can you work out the answers to these fun English riddles?

1. What has a face and two hands but no arms or legs?

2. What type of cheese is made backwards?

3. Which letter of the alphabet has the most water?

4. What begins with T, ends with T and has T in it?

5. Which month has 28 days?

Answers for phrasal verbs with ‘take’

Take after (someone) Resemble a family member
Take off Start to fly
Take (something) back Return an item to a shop
Take over Take control
Take up (something) Start doing something regularly (e.g. a hobby)
Take (someone) out Pay for someone to go somewhere with you
Take (something) apart Break something into pieces (on purpose)

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