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Common Difficulties in Learning English - Grammar

Common Difficulties in Learning English - Grammar

  • Common Difficulties in Learning English - Grammar

  • Grammar
  • Tense, aspect, and mood - English has a relatively large number of tense–aspect–mood forms with some quite subtle differences, such as the difference between the simple past "I ate" and the present perfect "I have eaten." Progressive and perfect progressive forms add complexity. (See English verbs.)
  • Functions of auxiliaries - Learners of English tend to find it difficult to manipulate the various ways in which English uses auxiliary verbs. These include negation (e.g. He hasn't been drinking.), inversion with the subject to form a question (e.g. Has he been drinking?), short answers (e.g. Yes, he has.) and tag questions (has he?). A further complication is that the dummy auxiliary verb do /does /did is added to fulfil these functions in the simple present and simple past, but not to replace the verb to be (He drinks too much./Does he? but He is an addict/Is he?)
  • Modal verbs - English has several modal auxiliary verbs, which each have a number of uses. These verbs convey a special sense or mood such obligation, necessity, ability, probability, permission, possibility, prohibition, intention etc. These include "must", "can", "have to", "has to", "need to", "will", "shall", "ought to", "will have to" , "may", and "might".
  • For example, the opposite of "You must be here at 8" (obligation) is usually "You don't have to be here at 8" (lack of obligation, choice). "Must" in "You must not drink the water" (prohibition) has a different meaning from "must" in "You must have eaten the chocolate" (deduction). This complexity takes considerable work for most English language learners to master.
  • All these modal verbs or "modals" take the first form of the verb after them. These modals do not have past or future inflection i.e they do not have past or future tense.
  • Idiomatic usage - English is reputed to have a relatively high degree of idiomatic usage.[citation needed] For example, the use of different main verb forms in such apparently parallel constructions as "try to learn", "help learn", and "avoid learning" pose difficulty for learners. Another example is the idiomatic distinction between "make" and "do": "make a mistake", not "do a mistake"; and "do a favor", not "make a favor".
  • Articles - English has two forms of article: the (the definite article) and a, an (the indefinite article). In addition, at times English nouns can or indeed must be used without an article; this is called the zero article. Some of the differences between definite, indefinite and zero article are fairly easy to learn, but others are not, particularly since a learner's native language may lack articles or use them differently from English. Although the information conveyed by articles is rarely essential for communication, English uses them frequently (several times in the average sentence) so that they require some effort from the learner.
  • From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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