Lets’ learn English


I was a great student, loved school and was a fast learner. Went to the the highest school the Gymnasium, had good grades 1-2 (A-B) no drama at all…until I decided to learn English as well. I mastered Latin and Old Greek, spoke German and Italian from an early age on. English would be just a walk in the park, such a simple language…I had been told.

I fell for it and signed up for the class. Got my first English book, went home and looked at the grammar “this is going to be easy”. Nouns have no gender, everything is neutral. No definite articles only a, an and the.  “Oh, I will master this in no time.” What a smart decision I had made and pet myself on the shoulder.

Well, the grammar was indeed easy and then there came the words. Are you kidding me? One word and 100 different meanings? What were they thinking?

I was used to one word = one meaning, maybe two…but so  many. Ludicrous!!!

Take the word “lost” for example:

I lost my pen = you can’t find it.

I lost my Grandmother = she passed on.

I lost my pet = you can’t find it   or   it passed away…no telling.

I lost time = doesn’t mean you can’t find your watch.

and many more examples. I could go on with this for hours. Some things I learned the hard way. I remember a dinner meeting when someone said “I just lost my Grandmother” and I offered “Do you want me help you find her”. The looked at  me funny, very funny.

English was the land of confusion for me, so someone upstairs – with a great sense of humor -decided I had to fall in love with an American, just so I could stay confused forever. 🙂

Here is the proof, that they really all lied to me, when I was a child. The easy grammar is a trap.


  • We must polish the Polish furniture.
  • He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  • The farm was used to produce produce.
  • The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  • The soldier decided to desert in the desert.
  • This was a good time to present the present.
  • A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  • When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  • I did not object to the object.
  • The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  • The bandage was wound around the wound.
  • There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  • They were too close to the door to close it.
  • The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  • They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
  • To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  • The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  • After a number of injections my jaw got number.
  • Upon seeing the tear in my clothes I shed a tear.
  • I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  • I was content to note the content of the message.
  • It’s a bit wicked to over-trim a short wicked candle.
  • If he will absent himself we mark him absent.
  • I incline toward bypassing the incline.

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Land of Confusion

Which subject in school did you find impossible to master? Did math give you hives? Did English make you scream? Do tell!

13 thoughts on “Lets’ learn English

  1. Wow! I had no idea you were not a native English speaker. In college I had a boyfriend who spoke seven languages while I struggled to get through the Russian I needed for my interdisciplinary degree.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always loved to learn languages….Latin ,French (and Italian obviously ,) when I lived in Italy during my childhood , then Spanish and English when I lived in Argentina , and Portuguese when I lived in Brazil….
    I came back to Italy , where I live now , and I would have liked to approach German……
    But…. I ‘ve been so lazy , recently…!
    Love your beautiful entry and your English lesson, of course!


  3. English is an impossible language – people learning it have asked me why so many homonyms(now they are called homophones) words that sound the same but spelled differently- you just have to “know” it there are no rules! I took a Yiddish course and was introduced to masculine, feminine and “neutral” genders- and for the most part it all seemed to make sense!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember trying to learn Hebrew — a relatively simple language by comparison to English — and discovered that you can’t translate from English to Hebrew. You simply can’t. Hebrew doesn’t have all those tenses and complexity. So you have to think in that language and I’m so stuck in English, I never really got beyond toddler-speak in Hebrew. I admire ANYONE who manages to master a second language. I am so hopeless.

    At least you are in America where English isn’t really English 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started thinking and dreaming in English about 10 years ago…after 20 years of living here. I even curse in English when I hurt myself. Hebrew is complicated, I can understand a little bit but would never dare even trying to speak. I can understand the Amish people, but the same…I wouldn’t even dare trying to speak.


  5. I was a high school English teacher. You are correct–very confusing, even for native-born English speakers. And then, of course, you have the differences between British English and American English, where bonnets are the hoods of cars or something to wear on your head, and lifts are either elevators or something you wear in your shoes. No end of silliness.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Why german is difficult for an english person to learn.
    They have nominativ, akkusativ, dativ und genetiv
    The have three sexes, male, femal and neutral, so does english. But a door is female, a table is male and a girl is neutral (because she is a diminuative)
    So you have to decline all these nouns and don’t think about describing them, because nice is not just nice. It is according to what is nice – you know what I mean.
    So I love Swiss German. It is dialect, you can swallow the endings of the words and the article can be just a “d'” or “e”. At least that is how I simplify it.
    Funny I don’t have a problem with english, but Mr. Swiss doesn’t have a problem with german either. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • there is a trick when you learn German, if you are not sure just make it littler and end the words with “chen” or “lein”. Buch=Buechlein, Stuhl = Stuehlchen..then it’s always “das” and looses the gender :-).
      I went to Great Britain when i was 14, stayed there for 2 months with an English family. I understood English better and fell in love with an American. Still hear “you are from Great Britain” once in a while when they try to figure out where I am from. What the Heck 🙂


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