Solving English problems needn't be such an onerous (difficult, burdensome, oppressive) task. See, you
already learned a new word and you've only read the first sentence so far. ;-)
The following exercise is meant to be fun, like a game of bingo, AND
serious, as grammar is serious.
See if you can read through the list below without making any mistakes or getting tongue tied. Be careful,
though, because even I had some difficulties with it the first time through.
Read it out loud -- and then challenge someone else to do it.
Remember, English problems, like all problems, can be overcome with the right attitude and a little hard work.
I've provided a pronunciation guide (1-10) after the list to help you know the correct way to pronounce the words
1) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
2) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
3) They were too close to the door to close it.
4) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
5) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
6) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
7) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
8) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
9) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
10) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
1. 1st accent on second syllable 2nd accent on first syllable
1st invalid (adj) = not acceptable legally 2nd invalid (n) = person sick or disabled
2. 1st row pronounced like; how, now, cow 2nd row pronounced like; low, sow, trow
1st row (v) = fight 2nd row (v) = use oars to propel boat
3. 1st s pronounced like; s. 2nd s pronounced like; z.
1st close (adv) = near 2nd close (v) = shut
4. 1st pronounced like; was, fuzz, cuz 2nd pronounced like; woes, throws, blows
1st does (v) = verb do (I do, he does...) 2nd does (n) = plural form of female deer
5. 1st pronounced like; thrower, blower 2nd pronounced like; brewer, truer
1st sewer (n) = one who sews 2nd sewer (n) = place of liquid and solid waste
6. 1st pronounced like; cow, how, now 2nd pronounced like; throw, grow.
1st sow (n) = female pig 2nd sow (v) = plant a field or crop
7. 1st pronounced like; rescind 2nd pronounced like; grind, behind, kind
1st wind (n) = moving air 2nd wind (v) = to wrap around; gather
8. 1st tear pronounced like; bear, wear, care 2nd tear pronounced like; hear, ear,
1st tear (n/v) = gash or cut 2nd tear (n) = water-like substance from eyes
9. 1st accent on second syllable 2nd accent on first syllable
1st subject (v) = to make participate 2nd subject (n) = person taking part in experiment
10. 1st pronounced like; decimate, consecrate, demonstrate 2nd pronounced like; limit
it, doesn't fit
1st intimate (v) = say, express, make known 2nd intimate (adj) = close, personal, special
Granted, you typically don't run into the above kinds of English problems but you may on occasion. This site is
here to help you clear up any difficulties you may have.
For information concerning English problems click on the