5 Reasons Why English Grammar Proves Challenging For ESL Students

English is frequently confusing, even when it’s a speaker’s first language.

It’s obvious why grammar is important in communication—everyone wants to be clearly understood, after all—but that doesn’t make the learning process any easier. It doesn’t help that grammatical errors can even slip into published articles, making it difficult to learn English grammar by exposure.

If you’re learning English as a second language (ESL), the road to fluency can feel so steep that it’s practically a vertical climb. That is, unless you have the proper climbing equipment.

CorrectEnglish is the perfect tool for anyone learning English as a second language. The revolutionary AI weighs your writing against over 63,000 grammar rules as you type, also checking spelling, context, word choice, and more. It even has a built-in plagiarism checker to ensure authenticity and originality.

Best of all, unlike a human teacher, CorrectEnglish is available at all hours, every day, on both desktop and mobile devices. You can take your grammatical explanations with you on-the-go.


English Can Be Confusing

It’s no wonder that English is so perplexing as a second language. From strange metaphors (“it’s raining cats and dogs”) to mixed acknowledgements in response to questions (“No, it’s okay” isn’t a contradiction), English sometimes feels like it’s intentionally obtuse.

When Huffington Post asked English learners what they found most disorienting about the language, the collected answers showcased just how confusing English can be.1

“The fact that one word can have different meanings, or it can be a noun or a verb,” said Angela Ortiz Guerrero.

“We have silent letters, like in ‘plumber,’” said Maria Harvey.

“Syntax. The words have to be in the same order. There’s not much wiggle room. So then, how do you know which part of the sentence is the most important one?” said Elina Singh.

Here are 5 ways CorrectEnglish addresses common ESL challenges like these.


#1: Me Vs. I & Who Vs. Whom

“Me” and “I” have the same meanings, as do “who” and “whom,” but depending on where these words are in a sentence, they may or may not be grammatically correct.

For example, “Me and Mike went to the store” is incorrect because “me and Mike” are in the subject of the sentence; it should read “Mike and I went to the store.”2

On the other hand, if the sentence were reversed to place Mike in the predicate, it would be correct to say “The store’s employee helped Mike and me,” not “The store’s employee helped Mike and I.”

“Who” versus “whom” is somewhat similar. “Who” refers to a sentence’s subject, but “whom” refers to the sentence’s object. For example, “Who did you go shopping with?” is incorrect and should read, “With whom did you go shopping?”2

If your brain feels like soup after reading that, have no fear—CorrectEnglish solves the problem altogether. The AI identifies the proper word based on the surrounding context, marking mistakes as you type and suggesting corrections.


#2: Affect Vs. Effect

Word Genius explains this common mix-up: “They both look the same and are often pronounced the same, but they are used very differently. Affect is a verb and means to bring about change. Effect is usually a noun and is the result of change.”3

CorrectEnglish intelligently deciphers the context of your word usage, informing you right away if you mistakenly type a sentence like “The economy has a strong affect on the stock market.”


#3: Spelling

Returning to the Huffington Post article, Krisztina Hera said, “As a dance teacher, I kept telling my students to move their ‘feets’ with the ‘s’ at the end. It’s confusing why some plurals don’t need the ‘s’ like fish or feet.”1

Spelling errors like this are incredibly common. English spelling features baffling rules and even more incongruous exceptions to those rules. For example, “dough,” “tough,” and “bough” have similar spellings but unrelated pronunciations. Just because words don’t sound the same doesn’t mean they aren’t spelled the same.4

It’s enough to make your head spin. Thankfully, the CorrectEnglish database corrects spelling errors (both common and uncommon) as you type.


#4: Irregular Verbs

In light of the complex English rules featured so far, it should come as no surprise that verbs, too, can be irregular.

Irregular verbs don’t simply add a suffix, such as “-ed,” when they become past tense. Instead, they change their spelling completely. Examples of irregular verbs include:

  • “Fight” becomes “fought”
  • “Light” becomes “lit”
  • “Seek” becomes “sought”
  • “Grind” becomes “ground”5

CorrectEnglish does more than identify these kinds of spelling errors—if you mouse over the highlighted mistake, the AI will also explain the irregular verb. By reading the reasons for the AI’s corrections, you can avoid repeating the error in the future.


#5: Homophones

The fifth and final puzzling aspect of English is homophones: words that have identical sounds, but nevertheless have different spellings and meanings.

“Two,” “To,” and “Too” are homophones that are frequently confused; so are “They’re,” “There,” and “Their.”

The difference in meaning is often vast between homophones. You ride a “horse,” a four-legged animal, but not a “hoarse,” an adjective describing a strained voice; the American flag is a “symbol” of the country, but a “cymbal” is something a drummer hits for effect.6

Luckily, CorrectEnglish is never caught off guard by a particularly odd homophone, ensuring clarity in every sentence you write.


In summary, CorrectEnglish is the best spelling and grammar AI available in 2019—and it will only continue to improve in the coming years as it checks essays, resumes, texts, and more for mistakes.

Whether switching “who” for “whom,” “affect” for “effect,” or an improper spelling for the correct one, CorrectEnglish empowers ESL students to communicate clearly in every written piece, teaching valuable lessons about English grammar along the way.

To learn more about how CorrectEnglish teaches English grammar organically, visit correctenglish.com.


Additional Sources:

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  6. www.shorturl.at/nqP89

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