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The English language is very strange. When it comes to understanding the English language, it can get quite confusing. Even people from the same English-speaking country can be confused by the speech of different regions within their country. For non-native speakers, one of the most challenging parts of the language is homophones. For native English speakers, it is understanding the different dialects within a country. For both native and non-native speakers of English, slang can pose a challenge. Especially depending on the age of the recipient. Let’s explore deeper into these topics in the following paragraphs. Homophones. What is more confusing than “The rose rose from the ground.” or “Reed read over the red text that sally would later read.”? All of these sentences have homophones. In the first sentence, we see two words that a spelled the same and pronounced the same, ‘rose’. The first ‘rose’ is the subject, the rose flower while the second ‘rose’ is the verb, the direction it grew. “Reed read” is the past simple subject and verb tense, telling us that ‘read’ is pronounced like ‘red’. “Sally would read” is the future continuous tense, telling us ‘read’ is pronounced like ‘reed’. So, in this sentence Reed and read are pronounced the same but spelled different, as well as red and read. Notice, though, that read and read are spelled the same but pronounced differently. The most common misused homophones, even by native speakers are to/too/two, there/their/they’re, and your/you’re combinations. Native speakers occasionally invent words of their own, though, which can be just as confusing. Like the southern United States, they’ve created the word “Y’all’d’ve” which means “You all would have” in plain English. We’ll talk more about dialects in the next paragraph. Certain regions of a country can speak a completely different way from another region in the same country. This is referred to as a dialect. There are three dialects I would like to focus on today. North Midland dialect includes “Want to come with?” meaning to join someone. “Pop” is exclusive to this area as an alternate word for soda, and “sweeper” refers to the vacuum cleaner. The Chicago Urban dialect has actually given words to the English language. “Cloud nine” means a state of bliss, a “jinx” is to curse someone, and “props” means to give respect to someone. They also have a whole phrase meaning “etc.” which is “Woo wap da bam”. Let’s give “props” to Chicago for their creativity. Gulf Southern is probably one of the most well-known and poorly imitated dialects from the States. “Fixin’ to stand in the gallery and drink a Coke” might sound confusing to some, but ‘fixin’ means to do something, a ‘gallery’ is the porch of a house, and you might think they mean Coca Cola soda but you’re only half right. “Coke” refers to all carbonated beverages. Some of these words can even be considered slang, but we’ll look at English slang that is used worldwide in the next paragraph. Slang is informal speech that is used in every language. New slang comes out every year and English slang is used in music of all genres and loved by many. Songs don’t necessarily have to be in English to have English slang either. It has been shown that music from all over has loved throwing a bit of English into their songs to give them some extra flavor. Some slang favorites include :“Lit” which means fun or awesome and “Gucci” means great or good, not the designer label. “Fam” is short for family, but is used for the ones you trust dearly. Similar to “Fam”, we have “Bruh” which is another word for bro but it means one you trust dearly, in the same sense as “fam”. Lastly, I present “tea” which is a drink of dried, crushed leaves to the rest of the world. In English, it actually refers to gossip. As shown above, the English language can get very confusing. Whether you are a non-native fluent speaker, are learning it for the first time, or are a native speaker, there could always be a trick that English could pull on you. These examples are just the beginning. English has many weird, quirky, and peculiar aspects to it, you just have to play around with the language and see what works best for you in time.