Interesting Facts About English Language
I am (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English is really indeed a very interesting language especially that it is a language full of funny and fascinating facts. It is incredible how the language can just put out one letter after another and result to interesting words.
Just like the intriguing longest English word pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis. Could you possibly pronounce and spell out this word without any mistake? I wonder how and why English language formed such word as this.
Well, here are more about the fascinating facts about English language. There’s more to know than what our minds could comprehend. Here are the lists:
- No word in the English language rhymes with month.
- “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”.
- The word “set” has more definitions than any other word in the English language.
- “Underground” is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters “und.”
- The longest one-syllable word in the English language is “screeched.”
- There are only four words in the English language which end in”-dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
- The only other word with the same amount of letters is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokonioses, it’s plural.
- There is a seven letter word in the English language that contains ten words
- Without rearranging any of its letters, “therein”: the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, here, ere, therein, herein.
- No words in the English language rhyme with orange, silver or purple.
- ‘Stewardesses’ is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.
- To “testify” was based on men in the Roman court swearing to a statement made by swearing on their testicles.
- The combination “ough” can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.”
- The verb “cleave” is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.
- The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is “uncopyrightable.”
in no particular order…
- The most common letter in English is “e”.
- The most common vowel in English is “e”, followed by “a”.
- The most common consonant in English is “r”, followed by “t”.
- Every syllable in English must have a vowel (sound). Not all syllables have consonants.
- Only two English words in current use end in “-gry”. They are “angry” and “hungry”.
- The word “bookkeeper” (along with its associate “bookkeeping”) is the only unhyphenated English word with three consecutive double letters. Other such words, like “sweet-toothed”, require a hyphen to be readily readable.
- The word “triskaidekaphobia” means “extreme fear of the number 13”. This superstition is related to “paraskevidekatriaphobia”, which means “fear of Friday the 13th”.
- More English words begin with the letter “s” than with any other letter.
- A preposition is always followed by a noun (ie noun, proper noun, pronoun, noun group, gerund).
- The word “uncopyrightable” is the longest English word in normal use that contains no letter more than once.
- A sentence that contains all 26 letters of the alphabet is called a “pangram”.
- The following sentence contains all 26 letters of the alphabet: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” This sentence is often used to test typewriters or keyboards.
- The only word in English that ends with the letters “-mt” is “dreamt” (which is a variant spelling of “dreamed”) – as well of course as “undreamt” 🙂
- A word formed by joining together parts of existing words is called a “blend” (or, less commonly, a “portmanteau word”). Many new words enter the English language in this way. Examples are “brunch” (breakfast + lunch); “motel” (motorcar + hotel); and “guesstimate” (guess + estimate). Note that blends are not the same as compounds or compound nouns, which form when two whole words join together, for example: website, blackboard, darkroom.
- The word “alphabet” comes from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha, bēta.
- The dot over the letter “i” and the letter “j” is called a “superscript dot”.
- In normal usage, the # symbol has several names, for example: hash, pound sign, number sign.
- In English, the @ symbol is usually called “the at sign” or “the at symbol”.
- If we place a comma before the word “and” at the end of a list, this is known as an “Oxford comma” or a “serial comma”. For example: “I drink coffee, tea, and wine.”
- Some words exist only in plural form, for example: glasses (spectacles), binoculars, scissors, shears, tongs, gallows, trousers, jeans, pants, pyjamas (but note that clothing words often become singular when we use them as modifiers, as in “trouser pocket”).
- The shortest complete sentence in English is the following. “I am.”
- The word “Checkmate” in chess comes from the Persian phrase “Shah Mat” meaning “the king is helpless”.
- We pronounce the combination “ough” in 9 different ways, as in the following sentence which contains them all: “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.”
- The longest English word without a true vowel (a, e, i, o or u) is “rhythm”.
- The only planet not named after a god is our own, Earth. The others are, in order from the Sun, Mercury, Venus, [Earth,] Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.
- There are only 4 English words in common use ending in “-dous”: hazardous, horrendous, stupendous, and tremendous.
- We can find 10 words in the 7-letter word “therein” without rearranging any of its letters: the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.
- The following sentence contains 7 identical words in a row and still makes sense. “It is true for allthat that that that that that that refers to is not the same that that that that refers to.” (= It is true for all that, that that “that” which that “that” refers to is not the same “that” which that “that” refers to.)
It is true for all that that that that that that that pronoun conjunction determiner noun relative pronoun determiner noun (adjective) “that” which (adjective) “that” refers to is not the same that that that that refers to. noun relative pronoun determiner noun “that” which (adjective) “that”
A sentence with a similar pattern, which may help to unravel the above, is:
It is true, despite everything you say, that this word which this word refers to is not the same word which this word refers to.
Or, if you insist on being really correct:
It is true, despite everything you say, that this word to which this word refers is not the same word to which this word refers.
- The “QWERTY keyboard” gains its name from the fact that its first 6 letter keys are Q, W, E, R, T and Y. On early typewriters the keys were arranged in such a way as to minimize the clashing of the mechanical rods that carried the letters.
source: English Club
Changing an Imperative Sentence into the Passive
Sentences which express request, order, advice, suggestion, prohibition etc., are
called imperative sentences.
The imperative sentence in the passive voice has the following structure:
Let + object + be + past participle
When the active voice begins with do not, the passive voice has the following
Let not + object + be + past participle
In some sentences it is possible to put not after the object or be.
Examples are given below:
Active: Bring it home.
Passive: Let it be brought home.
Active: Do it at once.
Passive: Let it be done at once.
Active: Do not beat the dog.
Passive: Let the dog not be beaten.
Active: Let me do it.
Passive: Let it be done by me. OR Let me be allowed to do it.
You can begin the sentence with you if you want to put emphasis on the person
Examples are given below:
Active: Please help me.
Passive: Let me be helped.
Passive: You are requested to help me.
Active: Don’t touch it.
Passive: Let it not be touched.
Active: You are warned not to touch it.
The passive form has to begin with you, when the object of the verb in the active
voice is not given.
Active: Work hard. (No object)
Passive: You are advised to work hard.
Active: Get out. (No object)
Passive: You are ordered to get out.
More examples are given below:
Active: Please lend me some money.
Passive: You are requested to lend me some money.
Active: Kindly do this work.
Passive: You are requested to do this work.
Active: Get me a glass of water.
Passive: You are ordered to get me a glass of water.
Active: Let us go for a walk.
Passive: It is suggested that we should go out for a walk.
Note that suggest is followed by a -that clause and not an infinitive.
Sentences with modals
Active: You ought to respect your parents.
Passive: Your parents ought to be respected by you.
Active: You should learn your lessons.
Passive: Your lessons should be learned by you.
In sentences where God is invoked the passive voice will be as follows:
Active: May God bless you!
Passive: May you be blessed by God!