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Why English Can Be Challenging for Non-Native Speakers

Posted by Claudio on September 16, 2010 in English Language |

Below are sentences that contain words with double meanings. A native speaker knows how to properly stress the syllables in these words to convey their intended meaning, but non-native speakers often struggle when confronted with sentences like these:

  • The bandage was wound around the wound.
  • The farm was used to produce produce.
  • The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  • The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  • Since there is no time like the present he thought it was time to┬ápresent the present.
  • When shot at the dove dove through the bushes.
  • I did not object to the object.
  • The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  • A seamstress and a sewer fell down the sewer line.
  • After a number of injections my jaw got number.
  • I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  • How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend.
  • We must polish the Polish furniture.
  • A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  • They were too close to the door to close it.
  • The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  • After seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.

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