Just wondered what is considered to be the most difficult aspects of learning English grammar? (From a a non-English speaker p.o.v.)
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Just wondered what is considered to be the most difficult aspects of learning English grammar? (From a a non-English speaker p.o.v.)

In my experience of assisting EFLers, I would say it's a competition between:

1. Use of articles (more so if their L1 doesn't use them).
2. When and where to use our verb "tenses" properly.

They seem to be the questions that I get asked about the most and the ones whose answers lead to the greatest need of further explanation with plenty of examples and exceptions to any general 'rules' I can provide.

Another, minor, issue I find is explaining English's large vocabulary and apparent synonyms coming from many sources. For example, "Why do we need both 'royal' and 'regal', and when is one acceptable and the other not?" Although these are not difficult to explain, there are so many instances of them that at times it feels like English is just a list of exceptions that have to learned in a case-by-case fashion.

However, I mainly deal with EFLers who have an intermediate and above level of English, so there might be more basic/fundamental parts of English grammar that are difficult to get the hang of at the early stages.

johnF
"Ah, but my facts are never factual. (That's a nice quote for John Flynn to haunt me with forever.)"
Robin Bignall, APIHNA, 29 March 2005
(SNIPPED)
Just wondered what is considered to be the most difficult aspects of learning English grammar? (From a a non-English speaker p.o.v.)

In my experience of assisting EFLers, I would say it's a competition between: 1. Use of articles (more so if their L1 doesn't use them). 2. When and where to use our verb "tenses" properly.

Agreement level = 100%.

qt
(A non-native speaker of E)
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(SNIPPED)

In my experience of assisting EFLers, I would say it's ... 2. When and where to use our verb "tenses" properly.

Agreement level = 100%.

Yabbut. You left out: choosing the right preposition.

Bob Lieblich
This thread suits me at a T
(SNIPPED)

In my experience of assisting EFLers, I would say it's ... 2. When and where to use our verb "tenses" properly.

Agreement level = 100%.

My issues are less with articles, but I'd agree the tenses are still problematic.
I still have issues with phrases such as "John is taller than ".

"I", right? You would say John is taller tham I am. So why isn't it me? Why isn't the pronoun an object?
JOE
(SNIPPED) Agreement level = 100%.

My issues are less with articles, but I'd agree the tenses are still problematic. I still have issues with phrases ... would say John is taller tham I am. So why isn't it me? Why isn't the pronoun an object? JOE

I don't think this is much of an issue in a descriptionist sense Joe, not for native speakers. John is taller than me is acceptable in informal speech, as long as you do not use "am" a second time in the sentence.

I am taller than him meets the same criteria.
Non-native speakers stumble with these pronoun forms for good reason. Most of the rules surrounding I/me/myself are stupid.

There, I actually wrote stupid. Ha.
Joanne
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Just wondered what is considered to be the most difficult aspects of learning English grammar? (From a a non-English speaker p.o.v.)

Backwards word order, illogical word order.
Read your sentence above. You do not discover your topic until your last word. While reading, you must keep track of all modifiers, including verbs, then apply those to your topic when finally reached.
English is bassackwards.
Purl Gurl
I still have issues with phrases such as "John is ... isn't it me? Why isn't the pronoun an object? JOE

I don't think this is much of an issue in a descriptionist sense Joe, not for native speakers. John is ... pronoun forms for good reason. Most of the rules surrounding I/me/myself are stupid. There, I actually wrote stupid. Ha. Joanne

I can accept there being a gray area, if that's the case. I have observed that some usages sound wrong when they are correct and vice versa. I've also observed the use of 'myself' to be for emphasis, when strictly speaking, a reflexive verb is uncalled for. There are those who say, "talk to John or myself if you have a question." Well, I understood that only I can talk to myself. You can talk to me. JOE
(SNIPPED) Agreement level = 100%.

My issues are less with articles, but I'd agree the tenses are still problematic. I still have issues with phrases ... You would say John is taller tham I am. So why isn't it me? Why isn't the pronoun an object?

"Than" is a conjunction. It joins two clauses. With "than", the second clause can generally be truncated and still be understood. "I" is correct the correct pronoun in your example because the "am" is truncated but understood to be there. Yes, it's true that many of us use the wrong pronoun. Here's an example of why the pronoun used is important:
John loves Mary more than .
"I" or "me"?
Either is correct, but the sentence changes meaning significantly depending upon your choice.
I: John loves Mary more than I love Mary.
me: John loves Mary more than he loves me.
Bill
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