When it comes to the English language, there are some amazing facts that you may not be aware of. Did you know that English is the most widely spoken language in the world? Or that there are over one 170,000 words currently in use in the English language? Here are some more amazing facts about English that you may not know.
Amazing English Facts
1. Around 1.5 billion people speak English worldwide. This makes it the most widely spoken language in the world.
2. Over 400 million people count English as their native language.
3. English is spoken in 118 countries worldwide.
4. It is the official language in 59 countries.
5. The English language can trace its origins back to what is now northwest Germany, southern Denmark and the Netherlands.
6. The second edition of the Oxford English dictionary contains 171,476 words that are in current use. This is along with 47,156 obsolete words.
7. The English dictionary has around 4,000 words added to it every year.
8. English is the language of the internet. Over 60% of the content on the web is in English.
9. “E” is the most common letter in English. This also makes it the most common vowel.
10. The word “rhythm” is the longest English word without a vowel (a, e, i, o or u).
11. The most common consonants in English are the letters “r”, “s”, and “t”.
12. More English words begin with the letter “s” than any other letter.
13, The most commonly used word in English conversations is “I”.
14. “I am” is the shortest sentence in the English language.
15. Up until 2015, only two English words in current use ended in “-gry”. These were hungry and angry. How do you describe someone’s state if they are angry because of hunger? Hangry! The Oxford English dictionary added the word “Hangry” in 2015.
16. A “pangram” is a sentence which contains all 26 letters of the alphabet. “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is an example of a pangram. This sentence is often used to test keyboards. By the way, have you seen this video? It actually happened!
17. Speaking of keyboards, the @ symbol is usually called “the at symbol” in English.
18. “Uncopyrightable” is the longest English word that contains no letter more than once.
19. The word “alphabet” originates from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet. Alpha and bēta.
20. The letter combination “ough” can be pronounced in 9 different ways. Try it out for yourself with this sentence: “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.”
21. The longest English word is Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. This is a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silicate or quartz dust.
22. The original name for butterfly was flutterby.
23. If you turn the words “swims” upside down, it still reads “swims”.
Feeling amazed or just feeling upside down!? English is an amazing language with a rich history. It’s no wonder that so many people want to learn it! And, with over 1 billion people thought to be learning English worldwide, the English language statistics speak for themselves.