10 Fun Facts about English
Do you love English?
According to some websites, about 980 million
people worldwide speak English as a first or second language! Wow!
That's a lot! English is the second most popular language
after Mandarin Chinese.
English is also listed as the official language of over 65 countries.
language is popular all over the world.
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
The English language is fascinating.
words from many different languages including Italian,
Spanish, Greek, Dutch, Russian, and more. Many spellings do not
seem logical, and words are not always pronounced how they are spelled.
It is full of crazy inventions, needless and strange words, and strange
If you are learning English, it may sometimes seem difficult and even
annoying. But English can also be interesting! Here are 10 fun facts
that you should know about
the English language!
Shakespeare invented over 1,700 common English words!
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English poet, playwright, and
actor. He wrote well-known plays such as Romeo and Juliet
. He also
invented over 1700 of our common English words. He invented new English
words, but he also changed how some words were used. He changed nouns
verbs into adjectives
connected new words together, and added
to old words.
Here are 10 English words we can thank Shakespeare for:
state of being addicted
extreme villain (enemy)
become less; shrink
ray of light from the moon
worth; no value
clown; a foolish person
The most common letter in English is E.
According to Oxford
is the most commonly used letter in
the English alphabet
least common letter. The letter E
times more common than the letter Q
The most common letter used at the beginning
more English words that begin with S
than any other letter. Many of these
words begin with clusters such as sh
, and sc
. The letter X
least common letter to begin a word in English.
A pangram is a sentence that uses all 26 letters of the
A sentence that contains all 26 letters in the English
alphabet is called a
most common pangram is English is
A quick brown fox jumps
the lazy dog.
This sentence is often used to test typewriters and keyboards.
The word ALPHABET comes from the first two letters of the
The English word alphabet
came into Middle English from the Latin word alphabetum
Latin word alphabetum
came from the Greek word alphabetos
which was made from the first to letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha
Some words do not have a singular form.
There are some English words that exist only in plural
form. These are a few common words that do not have a singular form.
The letter combination -ough is pronounced in at least 9
- rough = ruff
- plough = plow
- through = throo
- though = thoh
- hiccough = hik-up
- cough = coff
- thought = thawt
- thorough = thur-oh
- slough = slou / sloo
The # symbol has several names.
The official name for the # symbol is octothorpe. Octothorpe
made-up word invented in the 1960s when the # symbol was added to
telephone keypads. The octothorpe now has several names and uses in
To learn more about the # symbol, visit this page: Number
English is the language of the skies.
We know that English is spoken by people all over the world, but did
you know that English is the language of the skies too? Clear
communication between pilots and air traffic controllers is important
for safety. In 1951, the International Civil Aviation Organization
that English be the standard language for air
ICAO published lists of words and phrases that all international pilots
and air traffic controllers must know. They even list how these words
should be pronounced
Not all pilots and air traffic controllers speak English. English is
the most common language of the skies, but it is not a law that
everyone must speak English. In some areas, air traffic controllers
will give instructions in their native language followed by English.
If you want to read more about this topic, visit this page: How
Only 2 modern English words end in -gry.
There are only 2 modern English words that end in -gry:
There is a third word in some dictionaries that ends in -gry: anhungry
was a synonym
for hungry, but it is no longer used in modern English.
About 1,000 new words are added to the dictionary each year.
An average of 1,000 new words are added to the dictionary
every year and some words and definitions are revised.
The Oxford English
is updated 4 times every year: March, June,
September, and December. In June of 2017, more than 600 new words,
phrases, and senses were added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Here
are a few of the changes:
- bug chaser (noun):
a person who studies and collects bugs
- chantoosie (noun):
a female singer of popular songs
- widdly (adjective):
showy, over-elaborate (especially when talking about the playing of a
updates Webster's Collegiate Dictionary annually. In a recent update,
more than a thousand new words were added. Some of these words are from
recent advances in science, borrowings from foreign languages, and
words from pop culture, sports, and tech.
Here are a few words recently added to the Merriam Webster Dictionary:
- Seussian (adjective):
relating to the works of Dr. Seuss
- face-palm (verb):
to cover one's face with the hand when embarrassed
- binge-watch (verb):
to watch many episodes of a T.V. series at one time
- FLOTUS (abbreviation or noun):
First Lady of the United States