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ESL forum > Games, activities and teaching ideas > ENGLISH IS FUNNY!    




Hello everybody! Something to relax....and laugh!

An ode English plurals

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren’t invented in England .
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing,
grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?
Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and
get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a
humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English

should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and
play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and
in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother’s not Mop?Tongue


22 Nov 2011      

maryse peyé

22 Nov 2011     



22 Nov 2011     

Lina Ladybird

Yap, that´s what I always tell my students - DON´T RELY ON ANYTHING WHEN IT COMES TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR RULES!! Even though English is initially not as difficult to learn as many other languages, the fact that you cannot "rely" on anything and have to check everything before you can take things for granted, sometimes makes studying it and using it correctly more difficult than you think!! I usually tell my students that the more they "dive into the language", the more difficult it gets, and the more advanced ones do believe me indeed - if you want to know why, you just have to read the poem posted above again! ;-))


23 Nov 2011     



23 Nov 2011     

United States

I highly recommend Richard Lederer ´s books on the subject of English foibles, especially Crazy English. This poem might actually be from that book; I don ´t remember.

23 Nov 2011     



23 Nov 2011     


Thumbs Up

23 Nov 2011     

Mariethe House

Thank you! It ´s great! I particularly like the last one!Big smile

23 Nov 2011     


GREAT!!!!! :)

Probably my experience originates from similar problems: I was teaching how to fill in forms for visas and other purposes and my students (adults) were filling in the usual categories:

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Sex: DAILY ..... came the answer... :))))))))))))))))))))))

23 Nov 2011     


Hahahaha, wonderful!
I ´m just teaching plurals these days, so it ´s perfect..... or not, ´cause they ´re always telling me (adult students): Teacher, English is crazy!

23 Nov 2011     

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