Is English Easy to Learn?

Do you think English is a hard language to learn?

If so, you’re not alone. English students all over the world are lamenting at the difficulty of the English language, with its irregular verb tenses and spelling that doesn’t seem to follow a logical pattern. But is it really as difficult as it seems?

leia este a tradução do texto em português

Why English is Hard

There is strong evidence to support the claim that English is a difficult language to learn. English has a crazy spelling system and it seems like every word makes up its own pronunciation rules, because English has borrowed so many words from other languages. In order to know how to read the spelling you have to know which language it comes from or have previously heard the correct pronunciation.

Irregular verbs in English are seemingly complex and are often a headache for English language learners. Why is the past tense of “buy”  “bought”, and why is the past tense of “sell” “sold.” Why aren’t “buyed” nor “selled” real words?

In English, questions are made by changing the order of the words, something that doesn’t exist in other languages like Portuguese. Many Brazilians will say “You are American?” instead of the correct “Are you American?” Word order is not only important when asking questions, but when describing nouns as well. English has very subtle word ordering rules that make “A cute little brown dog” correct to say, whereas “A brown cute little dog” would be incorrect.

Why English is Easy

Despite these difficulties, English is actually the easiest language in the world to learn. You may think I’m crazy for saying this but allow me to explain.

Unlike other languages, English has no cases, no gender, no word agreement, and arguably has a simple grammar system. English speakers sometimes have difficulties when learning Portuguese because they are not used to words having genders.

The reason why English is the easiest language to learn is because of the vast selection of English resources to learn from, including TV shows, movies, music, podcasts, books and websites. English is the most studied foreign language in the world and there are a ton of resources available to help speakers of each specific language learn English. There are thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of books written about learning English as a foreign language that you can use to improve. In addition there are a ton of great English learning blogs on theinternet.

Studying from a book will only get you so far though; you need to get contact to the real language as it’s spoken by native speakers in order to speak the best English. You need to make a lifestyle out of English where you listen to music, watch TV and read in English every day. The popularity of English pop culture means that you don’t have to look very far in order to find English language resources that you can incorporate into your daily life.

English will seem easy for you when you stop looking at it as something mechanical and start connecting to the culture that it comes from. You need to connect to the language on a deeper level by absorbing media produced in English.

There are hundreds of TV shows in English that you can watch for free online to help improve your language abilities. Watching an episode of the TV show Friends every day can drastically improve your English, and it will help you understand the culture that comes with the language. No other language can boast so many different types of TV shows that guarantee there will be something that everyone will enjoy. I’ve found it difficult to find good TV shows to learn Portuguese with, since most TV shows in Brazil are novelas. If you know of a good Brazilian TV show, please let me know in the comments.

It’s All in Your Head

Truth be told, it is pointless to ask whether English is a difficult language or an easy language to learn. If you want to believe that English is a difficult language then you will find reasons to justify your belief that it is hard to learn. But if you believe that it is easy to learn then you will find reasons to justify that belief.

What is most important to ask is if you are willing to devote yourself to the process of learning a language, which means having daily contact with the language and incorporating it into your lifestyle. Anything that is seemingly difficult can be accomplished if you consistently apply yourself to it and are committed to the end result. NASA didn’t bother asking whether it was difficult to put a man on the moon, they asked whether it is possible and found ways to make it happen.

Language learning is not a destination with a clear path to follow, it is a journey that will lead you down many different paths. There are many paths to fluency but what they all have in common is that YOU are the one who has to walk down them. YOU are the one who sets your pace; YOU are the one who is responsible at the end of the day for failure or success.

Do you think English is an easy language to learn? How do you approach learning a new language?

  • Benslimane Houda says:

    Useful (y)

  • it' good

  • George says:

    English is all but an easy language to learn. If you look for an easy language, try Esperanto – after one year of learning it your language skills will be much superior to those acquired after ten years of learning English.

    • Andrew says:

      English can be learnt in One year. Maybe It is not The easiest but one of THE easiest

    • Person says:

      Esperanto is learnable (proficiently/masteredly) in under a half year.

  • Ypur tips and posts are very good to improve our knowlegments, thanks a lot.

  • very interesting article! Thanks for sharing your experience with us..

  • interesting!

  • rivery says:

    Hello there! Well, from my point of view I think English is not a difficult language to learn. Even though it has a crazy spelling system and many words from others languages with some strange sounds and difficult to know which is which there are many reasons that make English an easy language to learn. as you said it above you can find material and people willing to help and exchange languages everywhere on medIa, so that’s why I think English is one of the most easiest languages to learn. I’ll always find this articles useful, thank you for teaching us and greetings from Colombia.

    • Ethan says:

      Hey Rivery, thanks for your wonderful feedback 🙂

      You are right, each language has it’s difficult and easier aspects, and English is no exception! I’m glad to hear that you have found a variety of ways to make your learning easier ^^

    • lol get rekt says:

      You don’t say “most easiest” It’s either “most easy” or “easiest”.

  • rivery says:

    Hello there! Well, from my point of view I think English is not a difficult language to learn. Even though it has a crazy spelling system and many words from others languages with some strange sounds and difficult to know which is which there are many reasons that make English an easy language to learn. as you said it above you can find material and people willing to help and exchange languages everywhere on medIa, so that’s why I think English is one of the most easiest languages to learn. I’ll always find this articles useful, thank you for teaching us and greetings from Colombia.

    • Ethan says:

      Hey Rivery, thanks for your wonderful feedback 🙂

      You are right, each language has it’s difficult and easier aspects, and English is no exception! I’m glad to hear that you have found a variety of ways to make your learning easier ^^

  • XD Sana says:

    Thank you!

  • Aryane Marques says:

    Watch “3%”,it’s a Brazilian TV show 🙂

  • Simon Altus says:

    Hello This is a really good article for me English is one of the easiest languages to learn because it is very simple and has common words with many Latin languages but the real difficulty for me is that in Algeria we do not study English and instead are taught in French as compulsory foreign language.

  • Andrew says:

    maybe in other languages you can do this too? but in English if you say buyed instead of bought. we all know what you mean. and you will be ok. Proper English Grammar doesn’t exist in the real world. If we all wrote exactly the way we speak, there’d be no more confusing grammar. and all of these words that are required to be learned memorized, they would fade away into oblivion like their ancestors. and we would be left with an even easier language than our predecessors.

  • S1M0N_P says:

    As an american, I found english extremely easy to learn, being exposed to it all my life.

    • Rob Pinkerton says:

      Interesting. I live in the Philippines and when I ask people why do Americans speak English, nobody knows the answer.

      • Brianna says:

        Do you know why Americans speak English?

      • Elissa Johnson says:

        Americans speak English because we separated from the British, actually. If you search up: Revolutionary War, you’ll find further info.

  • Alisa says:

    How to lern english easier

  • GB says:

    I think basic English is very easy to learn and its lack of complexity explains why so few English people learn foreign languages (which have the elements you mentioned in your article).

    • Raven says:

      English is a popular international language so native English speakers aren’t really as motivated to learn other languages since they don’t actually need to. But native speakers of any language are capable of learning another given enough time and effort.

      Also “English people” means people from England specifically, not native English speakers in general.

  • jon says:

    i lik englais much better thean duetchland

    • Hi says:

      I like English better than German

    • Yep says:

      Inglés es muy mejor que español.

  • Andrew says:

    As a native English speaker, English is arguably the hardest language for a non-native speaker to learn. Just as a native English speaker would struggle with languages like Mandarin Chinese, native Mandarin speakers struggle with learning English. It’s a matter of perspective that allows you to make the final verdict of whether or not to learn English.

  • Hi says:

    Pourquoi ? It’s really fun, it took me a year to learn.

  • Sat says:

    How speak English?
    How Joined the word for English?

    • mon says:

      it is very broken but understandable. study more, you are on the right track!

  • Rob Tomkins says:

    If you think English is hard, try learning welsh. The spoken words are merged Ito each other and you have a
    thing called mutation, which is a nightmare

  • phượng says:

    I love English

  • Jason says:

    I guess English just seems so easy to me because it’s all I’ve ever known. Its crazy how intelligent humans have become. Most Americans communicate with each other using English without even thinking about it. I never stopped to think about how the English language actually works until I started learning other languages.

  • Terri says:

    I used to tutor ESL (English as a Second Language to immigrants) and I can tell you, English is a hard language to learn! I get so royally pissed when people rant about refugees etc. not knowing how to speak it almost instantaneously. Most of the complainers would be hard-pressed to learn any language besides English before they travel. They expect natives of other countries to also ‘learn English’ and kowtow to their ignorance.
    There is no law that sets up English as the only official language of the United States.

    • Guest says:

      It’s not about the refugees. It’s the rest of the immigrant community. Immigrants are required to learn English to gain naturalization status in many English speaking countries (England, USA, Canada, etc.). Worse yet are the people who have been in these countries for several years without accomplishing a decent grasp of the language. If I went to live in a non English speaking country, I’d learn the language before I even got there. People should understand the rules of immigration and naturalization before they pack up and move.

  • Piper says:

    I have family in Austria they speak German and it was easy for them to speak English because shirts and music are in English over there. Heck I know a couple 8 yr olds that know very good english!!

  • Hugo says:

    Thanks for the article. I’ve used some of this information to help a friend understand that English is not impossible to learn.

  • Jayden says:

    I agree the language English has a complexity of 0 (to me) and it’s not my native language. I also can speak Chinese and french fluently.

  • Philip Evans says:

    I am a 69 year-old (why are these two words hyphenated?) former English major, and I still don’t consider myself “fluent” in the language. At one time I was more fluent in French than I will ever be in my native tongue.
    To you who study ESL, all I can offer is a heartfelt “God be with you.”

  • andrew says:

    In my humble opinion,I think English language has its own complexity,some grammar rules easy to remind and all related to vocabulary and so on.But the language turns harder when you have to combine all its components(writting,reading,speaking and listening)the last two are the toughest to stablish a proper and succesful communication in real life,within a specific context.That is the reason I consider this language a challenge to achieve for my personal and proffesional life.And bye the way you never stop learning this wonderful language,you have to update your own knowledge every year to keep on going in your learning process that never ends.

  • James west says:

    As the article points out, English has many simple aspects which are not shared by other European languages. If something is inanimate, it is alway just “it”, with the possessive form “its” – no apostrophe. The overwhelming majority of English nouns take their plural form by just adding an “s”. English teachers of foreign students should provide them with a list of the exceptions, of which there are only about thirty e.g. mouse-mice, goose-geese, moose-moose and so forth. Learning these few exceptions is essential, then the student can rest easy. As a comparison, if you are given the nominative singular of a German word, there are fourteen different forms which the plural can take on.

  • Deka mohamad says:


  • Mattew says:

    Well never really had to think about this as I learned English from a young age along my native language which is Maltese. I prefered English as it was easier to write in it than Maltese and obviosly there were a lot more interesting things that were in english than Maltese so that didn’t help. I think Maltese is a harder language but I guess it depends more on the mentality than anything else also depends what aspect is harder as I do not have any difficulty speaking one or the other, might not have the words sometimes but when speaking the only difference is I am more fluent in English than Maltese as I speak it more.

  • Pat says:

    this is really helpful

  • Arturo says:

    Hey man, yep. Agree with your post. I am Spanish native speaker, currently learning Polish (yes, I live in Poland). So am constantly finding shortcomings in English like the word: ”could” which in English means Was able or would be able. It means both. However, in Polish there are two specific words for that.

    Besides, as you mention, the gender cases are quite straight forward while in Polish, there are rules for masculine animative, inanimate, neutral, feminine, and quite all of them change, of course in Plural but also in negative. An example is when the accusative case changes to genitive just because the sentence was negated.

    We all native speakers have expressions that are not possible to translate into English no matter how much you look into the dictionary.

    And that makes me think: It is awesome that English is easy to learn because it allows global communication.
    You dont need that much English to actually, get understood. So it makes life easier and globally connected.

  • Marksman says:

    Native English speaker here: English is pretty easy to communicate in in a basic and bad way, but it’s mind-bendingly difficult to speak with true mastery (native accent, no grammatical errors, fluid idiomatic structure with phrasal verbs, etc.).

  • Nomadisme says:

    English must be an easy language to learn. Because most of the ESL students at my high school spent only 2 months to understand and hold a short conversation and about 2 years to be fluent.

  • Georges says:

    I would say English quite an easy language to learn. I speak Chinese, and I have been learning French and Spanish. I should add that I am American. However, I see that english has simple, logical grammar and doesn’t need to conjugate genders and verbs and then add in tenses the way that Latin languages do, which multiplies the mental load by factors.

    It makes sense that English would be relatively easy to acquire seeing how quickly and easily it has spread across countries, throughout history. China is a major player right now, but you don’t see masses of foreigners just picking up Chinese all over the world. Because the language is not easy and amenable to non-native speakers. Unlike English.

  • xhe3bxbx3 says:

    Ok, so English isn’t the easiest or hardest. English has no genders, etc., but there are different dialects. In my opinion, American English is the hardest English to learn because of the pronunciations. For example, the “r” in American English is hard for most non-native speakers to pronounce. This is because only Mandarin also has the “r” sound like in English. So basically, English isn’t as easy as people say.

  • Tom Smythe says:

    Picking up basic, bad English is really easy – as you can see with the way many French-Canadians, or Hispanics speak. the problem is that 30 years later they still sound like bad, basic, novices of the English language – with bad grammar, vocabulary, and accents. I know. I speak 3 languages – English, Hungarian, and French. You can easily pick up basic English in a few months. Mastering English is next to impossible.

  • Steven says:

    English is by far the hardest language to learn , we have so many meanings , grammar corrections , alot of words that make sense to spell and pronounce but ultimately ticks one off because its like we purposely make the language difficult just because we can .
    We spend so much time trying to worry about grammar , spelling , announciation , pronounciation , that it makes it difficult to speak to others who are not up to speed with English , who would have thought those of us who speak english have to take english classes , and french classes .
    On top of all that
    Example of annoying words that sound the same but means different
    Where, were , wear ,
    We get lazy and sloppy like pronouncing werewolf
    Us english speakers pronounce it ‘ Wherewolf’
    Its pronounced Were- Wolf one word Werewolf
    Thats a big pet peeve of many including myself
    So yes like all new languages to learn English is the most difficult because we have so many Grammar corrections , many words that mean the exact same but spelled different or other way around .

  • Divya says:

    I dunno why everyone thinks it’s difficult
    But it’s kinda easy for me
    Perhaps it’s because I love english language
    And everbody knows if u have an interest in something then that seems to be easy to u!
    I like this so much that’s why I’m learning it
    Even though my english isn’t that good but as I experienced while learning it
    In my opinion it’s easy!
    If there’s one thing I found difficult that’s pronuciation
    It isn’t difficult as well
    But because in my school the English words pronuciation had been taught very wrong on account of which I learnt wrong pronuciation n I wasn’t paying attention to it but later when I gotta know how much pronuciation is important
    I started to improve it
    So this ended up seeming difficult

  • Anna says:

    In my opinion it’s not all about “learning” English , of course it’s a part to have in consideration , but what about the personal skills of the “student” ,it’s not the same someone shy than someone who is really sociable and self-confident. In my case it’s more about the fear of make a mistake and don’t have a correct feedback than the grammar,speach or pronunciation … I’ve never had English particular lessons, I’d studied basic english at school ten years ago and I can say I’m proud of my English , ever when I don’t have to speak directly with someone 😂

  • Diana says:

    I know English, German, and a tiny bit of French and for me, English is definitely the easiest. I’d say English pronunciation is hard because rules change from word to word sometimes, but grammatically speaking, I find it easier than German, French, and my native language Spanish.

  • Joy says:

    English as a a language is easy to learn…but the grammatical aspect is a nightmare. Sentence structures, and a lot of rules with special cases….


  • Simone says:

    English is easy to learn because of the Internet. But it’s extremely difficult to master.

    • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

      Don’t give up, Simone! Try to find a way to enjoy the process 🙂 It will be easier then

  • George Samuel says:

    If we practice it is easy language!

    • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

      Aw yeaah!

  • Cathrine says:

    English is not easy for foreign learners.

    • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

      But it is in their reach for sure, Cathrine!

  • Person says:

    Not esperanto crying in the background being the 4th most spoken language and the most spoken auxiliary languages which on average takes about half the time to learn as english which people have mastered in less than half a year

    • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

      Hi Person! How come Esperanto is the 4th most spoken language?

  • Anson Chow says:

    English is too easy to learn if you started learning this language when you were a child. If you were already an adult (non-native speaker) that will be a big challenge for you.

    • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

      It’s challenging and satisfying too!

  • Hamza Baloch says:

    It’s amazing article for me to learn somthing new & gather use information here.
    Thank you for motivating us.

    • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

      aww yeah! Always happy to help!