Life Is Very Difficult

May honest folk proper.

Can we say we are all studying English?(425 words)

While I believe myself to be a student of English, sometimes I find it hard to tell whether I can say what I study is English or not. There are several reasons for this puzzlement. The first reason is that English teachers, or better, those who call themselves teachers of English talk about the same subject differently. For example, there was a teacher who, in explaining the usage of the adjective danger, told that we could say, "it is dangerous that you go swimming in the river." This usage of it is judged to be ungrammatical in a renowned grammar book in Japanese. This example may be an extreme one, but it is enough to raise the question of whether we are studying the same language. Another reason for the doubt is the fact that there are various kinds of English. There are, as you know, American English and British English, to say the least of it. For example, the conjunction "in case" has a somewhat different meaning between the two. If an American says "in case the baby begins to cry," it means "if the baby begins to cry." In contrast, if a British says so, it means "in order to prevent the baby from crying." This difference means a lot. But the books on English usually ignore this kind of difference, so that we often don't know what English we are learning. The last reason is concerned about the experience of studying the language.  The Internet abounds with people who claim to have learned the language and to qualify as an advisor of it. They often give you advice about how to study it or tell you stories about how they have studied it. Some advise beginners to practice extensive reading, while others try to keep them from it. Some read a book and found it so helpful that they cannot help recommending it, while others dismiss it as full of nonsense. If we are studying the same thing, how come their experiences differ so much from each other? All in all, it is possible that we call various things by the name English and that we express various activities with the verb study. A corollary of this possibility is that there can be no point in taking English tests, for they are based on the assumption that we are studying the same thing and that those who choose the correct answer do so by the same process. I will not show off my scores on these tests any longer on the Internet.