Interesting Facts About English
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Being an EFL teacher we are often expected (by our students) to know everything about the English language and its grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. While of course that’s not possible, we can always do our homework and come back to our students on any questions we weren’t able to answer on the spot. This blog provides interesting facts about English that every EFL teacher should know. You’ll then be able to impress your students with these interesting facts.
But it can be nice sometimes to show our students how much we do know. So if you’re looking to drop some nuggets of wisdom in your next EFL lesson to show your students how smart you are, here are a few interesting facts about English that will knock their socks off. You’re welcome.
Interesting facts about English
- English is not a pure language. It’s a mix of Dutch, German, French and Hindi, among other languages.
- Chaucer was the first author to write in English. If you’ve ever tried to read Chaucer you’ll know he didn’t write in the English that we know and love today, but it’s English, nonetheless.
- Shakespeare contributed about 1 700 words to the English language. These include dawn, dwindle, circumstantial, cold-blooded and
- The first dictionary was written by Samuel Johnson and published in 1755.
- About 4 000 new words are added to the English dictionary every year. Avo, iftar and bingeable are three of the latest additions to the English dictionary (in 2018).
- There are more English speakers in China than in the United States – though, of course, this includes non-native speakers.
- English is the second most-spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese. Over 840 million people speak English as a first or second language.
- More people speak English as a non-native language than there are people who speak English as a first language.
- English is the official language of 67 countries.
- Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is the longest English word. It is 45 letters long. By the way, it is the name of a lung disease caused by inhaling dust and ash.
- Month, orange, silver and purple don’t rhyme with any other words.
- There are seven ways to spell the sound ee in English – e, ie, ae, ee, eo, ei, ea.
- The average adult English native speaker knows about 20 000 – 35 000 English words.
- Set is the most complex word in the English language, with over 430 definitions.
- More English words start with the letter s than any other letter, but the most commonly used letter is the letter e.
- The word synonym has no synonym.
- The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog is a pangram. It is a sentence which contains every letter of the alphabet.
English certainly is a funny language.
The next time your students ask you something you don’t know, you can dazzle them with one of these interesting facts.
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