English Language: Complete Guide

Updated: 16. Aug, 2022

You are reading this complete guide because you want to learn or improve your English. So, how can you make fast progress learning the English language? Many English learners get frustrated when they begin to feel like they are not achieving all their set English goals. Learning English means becoming a child again. It includes learning new sounds and new words for something you probably knew all your life.

Keep reading to learn everything about the English language to help boost your speaking confidence.

English Overview

People learn English for different reasons. While some want to relocate abroad, some want to step up their job applications, and others want to be able to travel easily. However, learning a language can be tricky and scary sometimes. There is so much to understand about English and so many ways to learn the language.

The English language is the most spoken language in the world. Over 2 billion people worldide use English to communicate with each other. Therefore, it is considered one of the most important languages in the world. One of the many reasons English is so important is that it is usually spoken as a first language in various countries. According to research, there are about 104 countries with the English language as their first spoken language.

People still use English for different purposes in countries where it is not the first language. For example, the English language is considered the business language in many countries. Additionally, it is the official language for several commercial places, such as airlines and airports.

There are different kinds of English, including British English, American English, and Canadian English. These are dialects and not separate languages. A dialect is how people in a particular location speak their native language. For example, the British like to call a building used for motion pictures a cinema. However, the Americans call the same building a theater. Both words are correct and are English words.

It doesn’t matter whether you are relocating abroad or focusing on self-development, there are ways to learn good English skills. Before you begin your English learning journey, there are a few things you should keep in mind. There are different benefits to learning English and different methods to learn it effectively.

English Dialects

It is almost impossible to get the exact number of English dialects in the world. However, there are over 150 different English dialects worldwide. This number keeps increasing due to the global pronunciation differences in local cultures. The English language has grown and become the global language of communication. Due to the spread of the culture and growth of the British empire, English became the bridge that people communicated with worldwide.

Every country that uses English to communicate has its own different dialect of the English language. These dialects exist due to the tendency of humans to personalize the delivery of what they want to communicate closer to their first language. Like every other language, the English accent relies on the region that is being spoken. An accent is how people in a particular location pronounce words, while dialect involves vocabulary and grammar.

People’s first language heavily impacts the English dialect. English dialects stem from a combination of the understanding of English with the personalized delivery of the location. The most common English dialects are from Australia, India, the US, Kenya, and Jamaica.

The English Alphabet

The first step to learning the English language is understanding the English alphabet. Knowing all the English alphabet and understanding how the letters sound is important. The English alphabet and the development of each letter have an interesting background. Even though English is a widely spoken language in the world, it can be difficult for non-English speakers. In addition, there are different consistencies in English because of the different languages that came into the picture during the developmental stage.

English scholars shaped the English language into the English spoken today. The combination of both Latin and the runic alphabet gave rise to the modern English used today. The modern English alphabet consists of 26 uppercase and lower letters. In the English language, there are different sounds produced with the alphabet. These sounds can be used to spell letters and syllables within words. However, knowing how to get English alphabet pronunciation right is one of the biggest challenges for many people.

Numbers in the English Language

In the English language, numbering has two main categories, which are ordinal and cardinal numbers. The cardinal numbers such as one, and two are adjectives that refer to quantity. On the other hand, ordinal numbers such as first, second, and third refer to distribution. Decimal points in English are read out by pronouncing the decimal point as “point.” Afterward, the digits are read individually.

Fractions are also read using the cardinal number as the numerator and the ordinal number as the denominator. This makes the ordinal number plural only if the numerator is larger than one. This rule applies to all numbers except the number ‘‘2’’, which is read as ‘‘half.’’ When reading out percentages, you only say the number and add the word ‘‘percent’’ at the end.

When reading the money sum, you must add the currency name. However, the decimal is pronounced as a whole number if there is a decimal. It would help if you remembered that normal decimals are not pronounced this way; this rule only applies to naming currency. On the other hand, measurements are read out differently in English. When reading out measurement, the number is read alongside the unit of measurement.

Reading years is quite more complicated than another English numbering. For example, if you are reading a four-digit number, you must read the first two numbers as a whole. Then go ahead and read the second two digits as a whole number. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, millennia are read out as whole numbers while new centuries are read as whole numbers of hundreds.

English Sentence Structure

Sentence structure is a set of rules or tools that helps writers and readers make sense of a sentence. These rules include the following:

  • Every new sentence should begin with a capital letter.
  • A sentence must end with punctuation such as a question mark, period, or an exclamation point.
  • A sentence must contain only one subject.
  • A subject should contain a verb phrase or a verb.
  • A sentence should follow the correct word order: subject + verb + object.
  • A subject should always have a complete idea on its own.

Subject, verb, and object are the components of an English sentence. However, there could be additional words in an English sentence. There is usually the addition of adjectives and nouns that describe the sentence more. However, a verb must always appear before an object and pronoun such as him, us, etc. There are basic sentence elements, some of which are highlighted below. 

Independent clause

An independent clause will stand alone as a complete sentence and contains a subject and a verb. For example, ‘‘she loves books’’ is an example of an independent clause.

Dependent Clause

Unlike the independent clause, a dependent clause is not a complete sentence. A dependent clause has to be attached to an independent clause to make a complete sentence.

Subject

A subject is a person, place, animal, or thing that performs an action. You determine a subject in any sentence by asking ‘‘who or what?’’ an example is ‘‘I’’ or ‘‘He.’’

Verb

A verb simply expresses what the subject in a sentence does. You determine a verb in any sentence by asking ‘‘what happened or what was the action?’’

Object

An object in a sentence is a person, place, animal, or thing that receives the action from the subject. We determine an object in any sentence by asking ‘‘to whom?’’ or ‘‘what did the subject do?’’

English is a flexible language when it comes to creating sentences. In addition, there are four types of sentences, and they are:

Simple Sentences

A simple sentence consists of a single and independent clause. An example is ‘‘the boy threw the stone.’’

Compound sentence

A compound sentence is formed when there are two more independent clauses. These independent clauses are joined by conjunctions such as ‘‘or,’’ ‘‘but,’’ etc. For example, ‘‘the boy threw the stone and it went over the fence.’’

Complex sentence

When there are two or more dependent clauses with an independent clause, then a complex sentence is formed. These clauses are joined by conjunctions such as ‘‘so,’’ ‘‘that,’’ ‘‘because,’’ etc. For example, ‘‘when the boy threw the stone, his parents screamed.’’

Compound-complex Sentences

A compound-complex sentence is a combination of multiple independent clauses with at least one dependent clause. For example: ‘‘When the boy threw the ball, his parent screamed, and the stone went over the fence.’’

English Grammar

English grammar is a set of rules that ensures the use of only standard and correct English language. The English tool helps preserve the language’s accuracy by guiding learners and users toward its standard use. However, there are different grammatical differences among modern English dialects. However, these differences are minor compared to social and regional differences in pronunciation and English vocabulary.

Different words come together for phrases. Therefore, a phrase serves the same function as a word from a particular word class. For example, “my beautiful sister Kate” is a phrase that can be used in a sentence as a noun and is called a noun phrase. On the other hand, adverbial and adjectival phrases function as adverbs or adjectives. However, when combined with other types of phrases, the words have different implications. In addition, a verb phrase consists of a verb with any objects or other dependents, while a prepositional phrase consists of a preposition.

Different Ways to Learn and Improve your English

When choosing ways to learn the English language, go for the best method that works best for you. While some people prefer the fun and engaging learning approach, others prefer the traditional or textbook method. Regardless of your chosen learning approach, consistency and commitment is the best way to achieve fluency. Here are a few learning methods to learn English quickly.

Schools

Classroom teaching is one of the popular and traditional ways to study English in a school setting. Most subjects and courses are taught in English and with well-spoken teachers. Most English teachers can help you improve your English language skills by conveying any information that can help you study more often. Having schoolmates is another way to learn or improve your English language quickly. You can always revise, chat and practice with them.

Language Apps

Another way to learn or improve the English language is using language apps. There are several top-notch language apps with all the resources needed to take your language skills to the next level. In addition, these language apps let you learn the English language at your own pace. Language apps such as Duolingo and Babbel are continually updated with fresh information. So, with these apps, you can have a good and effective learning experience.

News

Watching or reading the news on TV or newspapers is another way to improve your language skills. Many people get news on their TV, on doorsteps, and on social media even without signing up for them. So, you can take this opportunity and brush up your language skills as you read or watch the news.

Private Tutor

Another effective way to study English is to work with a qualified and professional private English tutor. English tutors will focus on improving basic English words, pronunciation, and language structure. Your English lessons with the tutor can either be online rather than having a face-to-face class.

English Movies and TV Shows

This is one of the most effective ways to improve your English vocabulary and become fluent in the language. You can always relax and watch English movies during your leisure time. As you watch these movies or TV shows, you can mimic these English native speakers to improve your pronunciation.

You can also download subtitles for English movies if you want to improve your listening and speaking skills. This way, your English vocabulary will develop, and you can follow the English speakers in the movies. Watching English movies is another way to develop an accent, so don’t be shy to pause and repeat the words you hear.

English Audios and Podcasts

English audio and podcasts are effective ways to study English while doing other things. When you are listening to audio resources or podcasts, you do not need to look at a computer or focus on a TV. Instead, you can listen to your podcast while completing your chores, eating, driving, or taking a stroll. There are so many English audio resources online that you can download.

Conclusion

We understand that learning English can be challenging especially learning on your own. However, being consistent with your learning is the best way to improve your English skills. Practise listening, writing, speaking, and reading skills daily. Always review everything you’ve learned and have a plan of what you want to learn next. In a little time, you will become a master of the English language.

English Language – FAQ

What is the best language app to learn the English language for free?

The best language app to learn English for free is Duolingo. You can access all the English courses for free on the app.

Can I learn English on my own?

Yes! You can learn English by yourself by getting the right resources. These resources include language apps, English media, and practicing with native English speakers.

Is it possible to learn English in three months?

Anyone can learn English in three months. However, you should already have a basic understanding of the language. In addition, you will need to study and practice your language skills, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

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