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In simple words....

(16 Posts)
4allweknow Thu 07-Nov-19 17:15:38

Can someone please explain why when meaning you will mislay something we use lose yet when we make a selection we use choose. Loose being used for 'slack'. I just cannot get my head around this everytime have to use loose or lose. Help!

Greenfinch Thu 07-Nov-19 17:23:51

How foreigners ever get their heads around English pronunciation I will never know.

Squiffy Thu 07-Nov-19 18:00:18

Not to mention other confusions - dough, bough, cough, tough . . . . .

I sometimes wonder how we, native speakers, manage to cope, let alone foreigners.

(Just realised that foreigners breaks the 'i' before 'e' rule!!)

FarNorth Thu 07-Nov-19 18:40:46

I've always been mystified by people using 'loose' instead of 'lose', but now you've mentioned 'choose', I get it.

Sorry, the English language is massively confusing. That's all there is to it.

phoenix Thu 07-Nov-19 18:46:20

At least we don't have genders for objects!

M0nica Thu 07-Nov-19 19:43:32

It probably has to do the derivation of the two words.

I see nothing exceptionally difficult in the English language. Have you ever had a good look at French? 1) They rarely pronounce the last letter in any word. 2)They often garble or swallow whole syllables and 3)et, est, ent, aient and several other similar spelling groups are all essentially pronounced 'ay' or subtle variations.

Even the French struggle with the problems of spelling their language and have a National Dictation competition for the person who can listen to the language with it lost letters, lost syllables and many spellings of 'ay' - and get it all right.

I have been struggling to understand French for the last 30 years since we bought our holiday home and have not succeeded.

When I did a class to rub up my German which I hadn't studied for 40 years, I went in the second year class and understood every syllable of the first listening exercise because every syllable was pronounced.

phoenix Thu 07-Nov-19 20:01:16

But then there are the variations in pronunciation of similarly spelled ( spelt?) words, try this:

The farmer ploughed through the trough.

See what I mean?

Greenfinch Thu 07-Nov-19 20:13:00

Then there's bow and bow,row and row.
Then there's so and sew
as well as to,too and two.

There's also the question of where the stress goes eg content with stress on the first syllable has a different meaning to when the stress is on the second

Witzend Thu 07-Nov-19 20:16:03

A lot of the weird spellings stem from how things were pronounced long ago, e.g. Night, light, knock, where the now redundant consonants would have been pronounced.

But as a pp said, at least we don't have 3 different genders, and everything declining in 4 cases (German) or 6 (Russian). And our verbs barely conjugate at all, except for the present tense 3rd person 's'.

It might help to remember that loose rhymes with moose.
Or the (broad Scots accent) 'There's a moose (mouse) a-loose aboot this hoose.'

agnurse Thu 07-Nov-19 20:19:38

I think part of it may stem from the fact that English, while technically a Germanic language, has words derived from several different languages. Many of the words that we use in science, for example, are derived from Latin. We also have words that originate from French and even from the Vikings! If you look at sources written in middle and old English (for example, the Canterbury Tales), some of the spellings almost seem to require a degree in linguistics in order to figure out what they're trying to say. I sometimes find it easier to read works of this type aloud, because the words are sometimes spelled phonetically.

FarNorth Thu 07-Nov-19 20:40:25

I've started learning Gaelic. The textbook tells me its spelling is logical but I haven't quite got it yet. confused

J52 Thu 07-Nov-19 21:03:50

Lose is a derivative of lost. Loose a completely different word from the Norse/ Germanic, Laus, meaning freedom.

GrannySomerset Thu 07-Nov-19 22:20:16

Squiffy - I have a vague memory of “I before E except after C when the sound is EE”. But agree that English spelling is full of pitfalls and most of us have blind spots and struggle with some words.

Loislovesstewie Fri 08-Nov-19 06:42:00

I think you will find that it is to do with two reasons;
1) the words are from different sources ( language or dialect)

2) we have changed ,over time, the way the words are said. For example I think I am right in saying that plough was actually said as it was spelt , with a hard 'g'.

The problem with English is that there are a huge amount of loan words, which have over time had the sound changed but not the spelling at the same time.

BlueSapphire Mon 11-Nov-19 17:03:01

And we must get 'kn' at the beginning of a word from German as well, as they have that too, and always pronounce the 'k' as well as the 'n'. Eg: Knie is the German for knee.

Daddima Mon 11-Nov-19 17:26:54

‘ I before E you say?’