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The trick called English!

Most English language learners often ask the question: “I don’t understand. Why is [insert deceptively difficult word] pronounced [insert correct pronunciation] and not [insert incorrect pronunciation]?” or “Why does one rule apply to a word in one place and the rule is not applied to an identical word?”

Response: “The English language has many rules and exceptions to these rules.” Rather than offering clumsy explanations, we say the wonders and horrors of English just has a way of creeping up on language learners.

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