1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Chinese
  4. >
  5. So that's where my English gr…


So that's where my English grammar errors come from!

As a very young child, I knew Chinese, but abandoned it (mostly) to focus on English (the national language where I live.)

Recently, Duolingo added Chinese so I decided to recover my lurking Chinese after many decades. The sounds came back easily (as they never really left.)

What I find interesting, is the grammar of Chinese is very simple. This probably explains where my English grammatical errors come from (which are exposed when I'm writing quickly/carelessly).

Such as:

  • "you" instead of "your"
  • verb tense mismatches (past vs. present)
  • verb agreement
  • And when speaking: his/her (although I might have gotten that from my parents.)
June 30, 2018



English is a very easy language to speak badly - and still get your meaning across. I tutor young children to read English and they are mostly native speakers of other languages - Spanish, Arabic, Somali, Dari, etc. The most difficult thing is to get them to read the "little words" completely and correctly. They slur over all the pronouns, articles, prepositions and other "nuisance" words to get to the nouns and verbs - which they don't bother to conjugate for person, number or tense. People who come from inflected languages have a hard time understanding that English relies very heavily on getting these annoying particles right. I am trying to learn French now so I feel their pain!

BTW: I agree with FluffyDasher that the English in your post is as good as (maybe better than) that which I would expect from a native speaker.


I agree, and here is why...

Being a native English speaker my whole life growing up in America, the land of stubborn English speakers, I though English was amazing. When I started French in High School it was very difficult for me to understand the grammar of the language. I found that English was very weird. We have for and four, and to and too and two, and hundreds of more words that have several antonyms making the language very confusing. Upon starting Chinese and discovering some of the grammar rules I found it so much easier.


French also has an impractical orthography.


I think that, from reading your post, your English is very good. I honestly would confuse you for a native speaker if I didn't know better. English can be a confusing language. I'm a native English speaker and I used to have the issue where I couldn't type out the word "restaurant" without pausing and wondering "is it restaurant or restaraunt?"

Geeze, even to this day, I still have the issues with a few other words for some reason. ;p

Good luck on Chinese!


While I'm basically a native speaker, I did struggle a lot in elementary, high school and college. With many years of practice, I've gotten better (and I dare say, a lot better than many coming out of the US school system nowadays.)

It's just I have these weird nits in my language...

Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.