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The English curiosities presented in this text demonstrate the reasons for its global importance, but also examine its origins, present, and future.

We are not simply looking to amaze you with the following English curiosities. We also want you to learn something new and become fully aware of the enormous opportunities that will open up to you if you decide to learn this language.

At Lingua Language Center, we are committed to education, and we know that everything you learn will create the connections necessary to increase your curiosity and bring you closer and closer to the language of Shakespeare.

Curiosities of the English language

Here are 50 interesting facts about English that will really amaze you.

  • The English language does not have an institution that regulates its use as the Real Academia Española does with Spanish. Instead, it is the force of usage that makes a word end up being accepted by dictionaries.
  • English is the most widely spoken second language and has the highest number of active learners in the world.
  • English is not the most widely spoken language in the world as a mother tongue. The first is Mandarin Chinese and the second is Spanish.
  • India is the second most English-speaking country in the world, second only to the United States. The second country is Pakistan and the third is Nigeria. As for England, the country from which the language spread, it is fifth on the list.
  • English is a Germanic language that had its origins in Central Europe and then was brought in its primitive form to the British Isles by the Anglos tribe.
  • Between 1350 and 1700, English ceased to be a phonetic language and the sound of its letters changed. There are many theories about the reasons for such a radical change in only 350 years, but the result can be seen in words such as name, which was pronounced naam (phonetically closer to its letters) and has since been pronounced neim.
  • 53% of the information currently stored on the Internet is written in English.
  • 61.6% of the world’s web pages are in English, and only 3.9% are in Spanish.
  • 66% of the 250 most popular YouTube channels are in English.
  • 46.4% of Facebook users communicate in English.
  • Although this is the subject of intense debate, it is estimated that taken to the extreme, English has around one million words, while Spanish – for example – has only between 90,000 and 150,000. To be clear: English has many more words than Spanish.
  • Recalling the changes in the phonetics of the language between 1350 and 1700, it should be noted that English currently has 26 letters and 44 distinct sounds.
  • Apart from synonyms and antonyms, English also has contronyms, which are words that mean one thing and also the opposite. For example, the word bound means “tied to a place or circumstance” and in other contexts means “bound for a new place or destination”.
  • An estimated 4,000 new words are added to the English language every year, and while not all of them make it into dictionaries, most of them become everyday words in speech, on the Internet, and in the media.
  • You and I are the two most commonly used words in English. The curious thing is that, although it may seem that in the end, we say the same things in all languages, the most used words in Spanish, for example, are De and La.
  • In the everyday vocabulary of English speakers, the word Happy is used three times more often than the word Sad.
  • It is estimated that 25% of the world’s population speaks at least some English.
  • The rise of the English language in the world was a consequence, in part, of the expansion of the British Empire, specifically during Queen Victoria’s rule in the 19th century.
  • Before the expansion of the British Empire, the language used for international and commercial relations was French.
  • The adjective most commonly used by English speakers is good.
  • The word set has at least 25 meanings. For example, scenery, rules, decoration…
  • The word month does not rhyme with any other English word.
  • The word lol (an acronym for laughing out loud) is equivalent in Spanish to jajaja, and was added in 2011 to the Oxford Dictionary.
  • Words such as birthplace, blushing, and torture were invented by the playwright William Shakespeare.
  • The oldest surviving English word is town.
  • The shortest English sentence is I am. It contains a subject and predicate in only three letters.
  • No number from 0 to 999 contains the letter “a” when written.
  • The letter most commonly used in English to start words is “s.”
  • Rhythm is the only English word that does not contain vowels.
  • The adjective nice meant silly two hundred years ago.
  • The book “The story of The Vivian Girls”, by American Henry Danger, is the book with the most words in English and the fifth in all languages. It has 15 million different words on its pages.
  • Most English speakers use only the same 400 words every day when speaking.
  • Of the 17,667 words Shakespeare used in all his plays, the author invented 1700.
  • The word Goddessship (goddess or divinity) is the only word that has triplicate letters in English.
  • The book “Ulysses”, by the Irishman James Joyce, is considered the most difficult literary work to read in the English language.
  • 60% of English words have silent letters.
  • Until 1200 A.D., English had grammatical genders. He no longer has them.
  • 11% of the entire English language is made up of the letter “e.”
  • The United States has no official language, only that the majority of the population speaks English.
  • English is an official language in 67 countries.
  • 90% of English texts contain a maximum of 1000 words.
  • There are 24 fully identified dialects in the United States.
  • Until a couple of centuries ago, the word butterfly was Flutterby.
  • Go is the shortest grammatically correct phrase in English.
  • Silver is another word that does not rhyme exactly with any other word.
  • Awful (terrible) meant until a century ago “something wonderful and inspiring.”
  • Great Britain etymologically means “Great land of the tattooed.”
  • Goodbye comes from a longer expression that meant “God be with you.”
  • English today has 26 letters. At the time of William Shakespeare, he was 29.
  • English is the official language of airspace. All pilots must communicate in English when flying an aircraft.

We hope these curiosities have been to your liking, and if you want to delve deeper into the language, we recommend you take English classes at Lingua Language Center. Contact us at