As an accredited English language school in Hawaii, we understand that learning the English language doesn’t come without its pitfalls. It’s tough, and there are many common mistakes to be made – but you can do it! Ironically, even those whose native language IS English don’t always get it right; in fact, very few speak the language perfectly and always use it in the correct context!
Some of the toughest aspects of learning the language are contractions and homophones. Let’s start with contractions first.
People often combine two words and make them into one using an apostrophe where the other missing letters would have been if the phrase had been left as two words. For instance, instead of “I am” or “I have,” people may instead use “I’m” or “I’ve.” Other examples include “he’s” for “he is,” and “they’re” for “they are.” Where things often get sticky is in the case of “should have,” “could have,” or “would have,” as the contraction for these words is confusing in phonetic terms. For instance, “should’ve” for “should have” sounds like the speaker is saying “should of.” “Could of” and “would of” also make no sense semantically speaking.
Now for homophones, which can also be used incorrectly and are confusing even for native English speakers. These are words that, while spelled different and usually having different meanings, sound very much the same, or even exactly alike, when spoken. Examples of homophones include:
to, too, two
by, buy, bye
their, there, they’re
It’s easy to see why this is the most difficult language to learn, however people from all around the world do it every day. It’s important in almost every aspect of your life including your work, communicating with others, traveling, even relaxing or entertainment. At Intercultural Communications College, we provide an exceptional English language school in Hawaii, making it possible for you to learn in an exciting, beautiful environment while making friends with others from all around the globe!