Tuesday, March 8, 2011

English Is a Tricky Language...

So... English is fraught with tricks and giggles, and the non-native learner has a tough job trying to sort all of them out.  Inevitably, something comes out just a little wrong.  Working with twelve-year-olds, it makes for some entertaining days.  I regret that I haven't written down the funniest moments, but I thought I'd share some classic yet highly representative student mistakes from others (I'll accumulate my own soon enough!):
Double letters:  Should I have a coma in the middle of this sentence?
Idioms:  We have hated each other for so long.  I want to borrow the hatchet.
Ambiguous consonants: The police were attacked by a large group of angry mops.
Similar words:  Me and my brother share a small womb in the basement.
Tough vowels:  My relationship with my ax girlfriend was so painful.
More vowels:  We live on the sex floor. Our apartment is small but we have a nice view.
Gerunds: Do you like this food?  I made it from scratching!
Participles:  Do you like your coffee cremated?
Syllables:  You eat soup in a bowel.
Phrasal verbs: You can’t sleep with me because it is too crowded. But you can probably sleep with my sister. That’s what most of my friends do when they visit.
False advertising: 
I want my face to have the buttocks treatment.  The what?  The buttocks treatment. It makes your wrinkles go away. It’s very famous in Hollywood.  Oh. It’s pronounced “bo tox”.  That’s it. The buttocks treatment. Maybe you need it too a little.
And oh, prepositions... Yesterday, I ate my friends.

Disclaimer / Disclosure: I publish these with a bit of a smirk as I myself am a language learner and have had my own moments of... modification.  It's a beautiful thing : )

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