What are the 8 most important characteristics of English language?


Learning the characteristics of a foreign language depends on many things. In the globalized world we are living now, everyone needs interaction. One way to interact with each other is to communicate. There are 195 countries in the world today, as seven thousand languages are spoken all over the world.

Now in order to communicate, we need to learn an international language. English is considered an international language. It is only because it has some main characteristics that people prefer to speak English. The features of a language are the main factors that attracts people and language learners in learning and using the language. In this article, the most important characteristics of the English language. 

English language is one of the most common languages all around the world. It is observed as an international language which people can use to communicate and connect with another internationally. Therefore, learning it and becoming proficient in this language is what many people desire.

Learning a new language requires acknowledging its characteristics in order to understand it much better. The characteristics of a language refers to its various features and qualities which makes it exceptional and one-of-a-kind. When realizing the characteristics of the target language, learners can become determined to learn and they also develop an interest in the language they desire to learn.

Regarding the English language, first of all, English language is common and widespread because of its unique characteristics. Secondly, language learners choose to learn this language only because of its exclusive characteristics.

In this article, the four main characteristics of the English language is stated. Each characteristics is explained briefly. This article can be really useful for English language learners and English teachers. Moreover, the reason why it can be useful to know about the English language characteristics is clarified.

The characteristics of the English language

characteristicsAs more people tend to learn English language, they also tend to find the best ways to acquire this language much faster and easier. One of the ways to easily learn a language, is to get familiar with its characteristics. As language learners get familiar with the characteristics of the English language, they can understand it much better. In addition, many language learners face discouragements while learning a language. But, if they get familiar with the language’s characteristics before deciding to learn it, they will not face difficulties during the learning process.

Language learners should be aware of the characteristics of the language they are learning because of several reasons. First, it is vital that language learners learn every aspect of their target language. Every detail helps them to get connected with the language they are learning. They should know the various sides and features of the language they are learning in order to become skillful at each characteristic.

The features and the characteristics of the language inspires the learners to know and learn about the language. They find the reasons and statements behind every aspect of the language, and therefore, they have an easier time connecting with a foreign language. Also, developing a knowledge about the characteristics of a language makes the language learners to sound more proficient.

Regarding the English language, which is one of the most common languages in the world, learning its characteristics will develop the learner’s interest immensely. That is because the characteristics of the English language are so attractive that they intrigue the learners to keep up with their learning process.

All in all, recognizing the features and the characteristics of anything, makes it more familiar for us. Learning a skill, as a new language, is no exception. Knowing its characteristics helps us to connect with it and learn its different aspects without frustration. English language characteristics are the main reasons making it a popular language all around the world. In the following, four of the interesting characteristics of the English language are mentioned and explained briefly.

The four main characteristics of English language are mentioned below:

Easy to learn

The first and the most important English language characteristics is that English is easy to learn. Considering the alphabet, English consists of 26 letters. Having few letters in the alphabet makes it easier for the non-natives to make words and check them in the dictionary. Therefore, speaking English would be easier compared to other languages.

Many people desire to become bilingual in order to benefit from its advantages, which are more job opportunities, higher salary, better communication and easier traveling. Therefore, they seek to learn a language easily and quickly. In addition, many parents desire to raise their children as bilingual kids to help them take their first steps to become successful.

Learning a new language is a challenging task itself. Therefore, choosing an easy language to learn makes the language learning process much easier. That is why, many language learners seek to learn a language which is easy to understand and learn.

The English language is among the easiest languages to learn. That is because of two main reasons. First of all, the English alphabet is simple. The English alphabet is formed by 26 Latin alphabet letters. They are straightforward, universal and comprehensive.  Unlike many other languages, each letter is pronounced as it is.

Second reason why English is easy to learn is that the pronunciation is quite simpler than the other common languages in the world. The sounds and pronunciations are quite simple for foreigners to comprehend. Other common languages around the world, like French or Spanish, include difficult and challenging pronunciations which may discourage language learners.

In conclusion, because of the different elements, the English language is among the simplest languages to learn. Its basic alphabet, spelling, and pronunciation are the most important characteristics of the English language. These features of the characteristics of the English language, is the main reason why many language learners desire to learn English as a second language.

Relatively uninflected

The second English language characteristics is that English is relatively uninflected, whereas most languages are inflected. During thousand years English words has been slowly simplified which is another one of the characteristics for learners to learn this language.


Another one of English language characteristics is the flexibility of function. To make it clear words distinguish as nouns or verbs informs are now both use as nouns and verbs, for example, it can be said booking a place or placing a book. Sometimes traditional pronouns, adjectives, or adverbs can function as nouns; adjectives and adverbs as verbs; and nouns, pronouns, and adverbs as adjectives.

In fact any words may be changed in its function, for example, prepositions become nouns such as ins and outs. Therefore, it makes English easier to learn for non-natives. Being able to use the words in any form.

Adopted vocabulary

The last  characteristic is the openness of vocabulary which means this language (English) can easily adopt words from other languages. Words are adopted sometimes without change or sometimes with slight change in pronunciation. In fact, up to now word from 350 languages have entered English. This has an effect on the pronunciation. One might notice that there are some times two or three different forms of pronunciations for a word. All of this shows that speaking English compare to other languages will be easier because of different forms of pronunciations.


When talking about the characteristics of the English language, receptiveness is the most outstanding characteristic. Receptiveness is the amazing feature of the English language. The English language has adapted and accepted words from many languages. Most of the English words have been adapted with Asian, European, African, Indian, Chinese and many other languages. In addition, the roots of many words in English are formed by classic languages such as Latin, Greek and Sanskrit.

All in all, the fact that many words in English are adopted from other languages in the world, makes it easier for language learners to connect with this language and therefore, learn it much easier.

Simplicity of Inflexion

Another one of characteristics of the English language, which has made it a worldwide language, is the simplicity of inflection. Inflexion means the extra letters that are added to the root form of a word in order to create new words. They are usually added to words in order to create different tenses of verbs, adjectives or adverbs.

In comparison with other languages, there are two simple types of inflexion in the English language. Its nouns and verbs only have traces of inflexion, which are fairly easy to learn and remember. This fact may be seen in many languages, but it is one of the strong characteristics of the English language.

Fixed word order

Furthermore, among the characteristics of the English language, its fixed word order in sentences is quite significant. This means that the word order, in most of the English sentences, remains the same. The word order SVO (Subject/Verb/Object) is always the same in English sentences (clauses). The subject is always before the verb, and the object is always after the verb.

This is one of the characteristics that exist in other languages as well, however, the English language is known for this feature. This feature is one of the items that is included in the first characteristic mentioned in this article. A stable word order definitely makes it easier for the language learners to form comprehensive sentences.

Articles (a/an/the)

Moreover, many English language learners face difficulties when occurring this characteristic of the English language. Articles are not used in many languages and therefore, students who are not familiar with the use of articles may have some troubles using it. Among the characteristics of the English language, which make learning English easier for foreign learners, English articles may be a trouble for them.

Articles are used to describe whether a noun is specific or general. This indicates the fact that there are two kinds of articles in the English language. The definite and indefinite articles are the two types of articles in English. The definite article is the word “the”. “The” is used to declare that a noun is specific. By using “the” before a noun we declare that the noun is particular.


  • Are you going to the ball next weekend?

(This sentence declares the ball is particular and not a random, unknown and general ball)

Moreover, the indefinite articles in English are “a/an”. These articles are used to define a noun which is general and unspecific, unlike “the”. The indefinite articles are two kinds. “a” is used before a noun that begins with a consonant and “an” is used before a noun that begins with a vowel. Overall, the indefinite kind of articles in English are used to refer to a general, vague and uncertain noun.


  • I heard a man talked behind me as I was walking fast.
    (As it is clear, the man mentioned in this sentence is unknown and unspecific.)

As a conclusion, this characteristic among the mentioned characteristics of the English language, is unfamiliar and unknown for many foreign language learners. That is the main reason why they might find it challenging to recognize the correct articles to use in their sentences. As mentioned earlier in this article, getting to know the characteristics of a particular thing makes it easier to connect with it and understand it. Therefore, if language learners learn more about the English articles and their characteristics, they will have an easier time understanding it.

Sound and spelling

As the last most important characteristics of the English language, the contrast between spellings and their sounds is noticeable. Most of the characteristics that were mentioned above were fairly easy. These mentioned characteristics refer to the first feature mentioned in this article, “easy to learn”. But the fact that the sounds and spellings differ from each other in English is one of the characteristics of the English language that makes it quite difficult for learners. There are certain spellings in English which sound different than they are spelled. These particular spellings are:

  • ough: thought, although, rough,
  • Different spellings but same sound: ate, eight; hear, here; their, there
  • Silent letters: know, could, hour
  • Same spelling but pronounced differently: read (present tense), read (past tense)



In short, learning a foreign language depends on different things. All languages have some characteristics. Being easy, uninflected, flexibility, and openness of vocabulary are the main characteristics of English language which makes this language easy to learn.

In the recent time in most countries around the world there are different classes for languages, but the most populated classes are the English classes. Most books whether academic or non-academic are written in English. All of these are the answer to the question why people prefer to learn English.

To conclude this article, the English language characteristics are very fascinating and appealing for language learners. The characteristics of this language have made this language one of the most wide-spread languages in the world. Therefore, acknowledging the mentioned characteristics of the English language can make it easier for the learners to connect with this beneficial language.


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