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Caoimhe
Jan 15th, 2003, 03:26 PM
Reasons Why English Language Is So Hard To Learn


1. The bandage was wound around the wound.

2. The farm was used to produce produce.

3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4. We must polish the Polish furniture.

5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10. I did not object to the object.

11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13. They were too close to the door to close it.

14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into the sewer.

16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18. After a number of injections my jaw got number.

19. Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.

20. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

21. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?


PS- Why doesn’t Buick rhyme with Quick?

Colin B
Jan 15th, 2003, 06:11 PM
At least we:

Don't assign genders to inanimate objects (by far the main reason I gave up trying to learn German, French and Spanish).

Usually understand what you mean anyway (unlike the French who pretend not to understand what you're saying if you make the slightest mistake).

Julie
Jan 15th, 2003, 06:49 PM
Oh you wouldnt believe the day ive had with peopel preofessing their excellence at english even though its the biggest pile of crap you could imagine. I am sooo gonna use your post dear to make a point - thankyou thankyou :)

Dirty Sanchez
Jan 15th, 2003, 07:32 PM
I hate it how some languages have words that change depending on which Gender your speaking to. It's very hard to get! Apart from that I love learning German! I'm very poor at it but it's my best 2nd language!

Dirty Sanchez
Jan 15th, 2003, 07:38 PM
I hate it how some languages have words that change depending on which Gender your speaking to. It's very hard to get! Apart from that I love learning German! I'm very poor at it but it's my best 2nd language!

Fieke
Jan 16th, 2003, 12:00 AM
I guess a lot of people learning English have already seen this, as it is in a lot of text books, but I thought I'd post it anyway...


Why is English so hard?
The English Lesson
author unknown

We'll begin with box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice,

But 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 pen?

The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.
And I speak of a foot, and you show me your feet,
But I give a boot...would a pair be beet?

If one is a tooth, and a whole set is teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be beeth?
If the singular is this, and the plural is these,
Why shouldn't the plural of kiss be kese?

Then one may be that, and three be those,
Yet the plural of hat would never be hose.
We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,

But though we say mother, we never say methren.
The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim.
So our English, I think you will agree,
Is the trickiest language you ever did see.

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you
On hiccough, thorough, slough, and through?

Well done! And now you wish, perhaps
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.

And dead; it's said like bed, not bead;
For goodness sake, don't call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat,
(they rhyme with suite and straight and debt)

A moth is not a moth in mother.
Nor both in bother, broth in brother.
And here is not a match for there.
And dear and fear for bear and pear.

And then there's dose and rose and lose--
Just look them up--and goose and choose.
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword.

And do and go, then thwart and cart.
Come, come, I've hardly made a start.


A dreadful language? Man alive,
I'd learned to speak it when I was five,

And yet to write it, the more I sigh,
I'll not learn how 'til the day I die.

Gonzo Hates Me!
Jan 16th, 2003, 01:45 AM
Originally posted by Colin B
At least we:

Don't assign genders to inanimate objects (by far the main reason I gave up trying to learn German, French and Spanish).

Usually understand what you mean anyway (unlike the French who pretend not to understand what you're saying if you make the slightest mistake).

Hahaha!!!!!!!!

Messenger
Jan 16th, 2003, 02:00 AM
Pronounciation inconsistency.

kes
Jan 16th, 2003, 10:55 AM
lol @this thread.
I do so feel sorry for anyone who has English as their second language - It really does make NO sense at times - lol.

for example:-

trough
through
thought
though
thorough
rough
bough

argggghhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! :)

Caoimhe
Jan 16th, 2003, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by kes
lol @this thread.
I do so feel sorry for anyone who has English as their second language - It really does make NO sense at times - lol.

for example:-

trough
through
thought
though
thorough
rough
bough

argggghhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! :)


lol I was gona post this today.

Tom-Tom
Jan 16th, 2003, 11:07 AM
Although i'm bilingual in English and Greek (MUCH smugness :D ;) ) i imagine that greek is very hard to learn, since everything has a gender! :rolleyes:

Giuliano
Jan 16th, 2003, 12:09 PM
What about french and the dreaded problem of:
-vair
-ver
-verre
-vers
-vert

all pronounced the exact same way but with different meanings :eek:.

The same could be said about:
-cent
-sang
-sans
-sent

Light-skinned Girl
Jan 17th, 2003, 07:49 AM
*OUGH*

Bough
Through
Enough
Cough

;)

i-girl
Jan 17th, 2003, 08:07 AM
I think English is a very sensible, and relatively easy to learn, language. I see the trouble new comers to Israel go through to learn the language... Hebrew is one of those languages that if you weren't born into, you will never really speak properly. also, the two other languages I've learned besides english, French and Japanese, seem much harder to learn. Just my thoughts:).

gentenaire
Jan 17th, 2003, 08:30 AM
I agree, i-girl. English isn't that hard to learn at all. All languages have inconsistencies, exceptions, etc.
I must confess I'm often surprised at the English spelling of native speakers! Especially when it comes to 'to-too', 'they're, their, there', etc. The meaning is different, it can't be that hard, can it? It's not like our d-t-dt spelling laws.

English can be confusing to Dutch speakers because some things are similar while others aren't.

For example:

The Dutch word for baby is baby. The plural in Dutch is baby's, not babies. In English, there's no 's if it's a plural. The plural of Darcy is Darcys, in Dutch we'd say Darcy's. Yet for names that don't end in a vowel, there's no 's. Actually, making a plural in Dutch is usually done by adding -en.

maya
Jan 17th, 2003, 08:34 AM
Is there a language that is easy to learn?

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 09:46 AM
i-girl, Beggin' Beguine -

English a very sensible and relatively easy to learn language??? I could not disagree more, ladies. I'm convinced you both tend to think so because we're so immersed in it in our daily lifes that it has almost (ALMOST) become like our native language. We hear it on television more often than not; 99 % or more of the movies we see are in English; the whole computer-world + internet is English speaking (writing); a lot of magazines and books are only available in English (and they're everywhere) --- it is the world language of today, like French was some 200 years ago (and probably ppl thought French easy in those days), like Latin was some 500 (?) years ago (and every educated person could speak it & write it!). (EDIT: in the Western world, that is.)

English is NOT easy. And it sure isn't easy to pronounce. I know loads of people who think they speak it quite well, but they don't (like I don't, sadly enough). Unlike Dutch, German, the Scandinavian languages (with the exception of Finnish - but that's not a language, that's a disease j/k :p ) and most of the Latin languages, there is no logic whatsoever... like Caoimhe and Fieke demonstrated quite thoroughly. In those other languages vowels and diphthongs are almost always pronounced the same way (and if they aren't, they mostly follow clear rules). Not so in English. A simple "a" in English can be pronounced in so many different ways that it's a wonder they still use other vowels! Think about it!

i-girl, I'm convinced there are languages which are harder to learn (partly because we are not as familiar with them, though; and partly because they differ much more from our own native tongue) - but there are certainly languages which are much easier to learn too! I think there is a Thai on wtaworld - maybe he/she could back me up when I say that Thai, for instance, is quite a logical language... except for 1 MAJOR problem: the different tones! Appart from those tones (low, falling, normal, high and rising :eek: ) - and apart from the fact that they use a totally different set of characters (like Hebrew does, too) - it's a very logically structured language, with no weird, difficult to learn conjugations (once you know a verb in Thai you can't misspel or mispronounce it; it always stays the same - "I did" would be something like "I do in the past" etc.), and vowels which are always pronounced the same way...

Oh dear, this post is way too long --- again!

It's just - I totally love languages. I do love English too: it may well be the most versatile of all...


Ermm - just my opinion :) :o

gentenaire
Jan 17th, 2003, 09:59 AM
I still think English is much easier than French or Dutch.

No gender, is it Le or La
verbs are easy to conjugate:
I think
you think
he thinks
we think
you think
they think
So there's no annoying DT rule as in Dutch.

You don't have to analyse a sentence gramatically to get the spelling right. 'with Avoir, find the COD, if it comes after the verb it's conjugated, otherwise it's not (or is the other way around? It's been too long since I've had to learn French)'

A combination of two words is often still two words in English, so no discussion about whether you should put an -n- or an -s- in between or a -, if a ¨is necessary or not, etc.

I do think there are other languages that are easier to learn. Verbs aren't conjugated in Japanese so that's easy. What makes Japanese hard is that there's hardly a link with our own language. Once you know one Roman language, it's easier to learn the others. I don't speak Italian or Spanish, but I can often guess the meaning of sentences because I understand French.
German is relatively easy to understand for Dutch speaking people but that spelling :eek: :eek:

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 10:32 AM
I agree with most of what you've said - but that pronounciation!! That's a major throwback imo. And I mean MAJOR.

The German spelling may be daunting, but at least it is very consistent. "K" is always "k" - never "c". They always make clear choices... :)

I don't know much about Japanese. (Hai! Arigato. Domo. Iee! Tine-san. Sepoekoe :sad: ) But if it is as logical as Thai, and if it has no tones (and it hasn't, has it?) then hooray for Japanese!

The difficulty is not only that we in the west have no references or links to eastern languages, but also that their written language is so totally different... :eek:

gentenaire
Jan 17th, 2003, 10:57 AM
But with a pronunciation, once you know how it's pronounced you'll keep pronouncing it the correct way. It's not something you easily forget. Spelling OTOH and grammar rules are much tougher for me.
I often struggle with tenses in English. I don't always know when to use the past tense and when present perfect is better i.e. I saw - I've seen. I know there are rules for this, but I keep forgetting them;)
Another thing I struggle with: is it 'in' or 'at' school? In, at, on, to, etc. I often don't know which one is best.

Josh
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:09 AM
Ik begrijp niet waarom er zoveel dt-fouten worden gemaakt. Het gebruik van dt is niet eens een aparte regel, het is net een toepassing van de regel dat een werkwoord in de derde persoon enkelvoud een t krijgt en als de stam van dat werkwoord nu net op een d eindigt, dan krijg je dt. Simpel en consistent toch?

Josh
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:12 AM
I didn't find English that hard to learn but I suppose it depends on how close your native language is related to English and how much English you hear on radio and TV.

i-girl
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:12 AM
Josh is speaking flemish in an english speaking thread! I think he should be banned:angel: .

Josh
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:13 AM
Admin prerogative dear...

You should learn Dutch if you wanna know what I wrote. :p

i-girl
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:16 AM
you're right, Lynx, about english being easier for us because we're so exposed to it. I was thinking that myself as I was writing my post, but still, it seems like an easier languge to learn than, say, French. I'm sure there are easier languages to learn. people say spanish and Italian are very easy, but I wouldn't know.

i-girl
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:17 AM
nope, Chinese is the next language I'll learn. that's the language of the new millenium(sp) baby!

Josh
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:21 AM
French is the toughest Romance language to learn because it has evolved so differently from the other ones (Spanish, Italian, Portugese, Romanian), that are fairly easy to learn.

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by Beggin' Beguine
But with a pronounciation, once you know how it's pronounced you'll keep pronouncing it the correct way. It's not something you easily forget. Spelling OTOH and grammar rules are much tougher for me.
I often struggle with tenses in English. I don't always know when to use the past tense and when present perfect is better i.e. I saw - I've seen. I know there are rules for this, but I keep forgetting them;)
Another thing I struggle with: is it 'in' or 'at' school? In, at, on, to, etc. I often don't know which one is best. Same here :sad:. In Wimbledon? At Wimbledon? I think it's in the place, but at the tournament. --> in the school (the building), but at school (the, ah, learning experience).

And something else I have trouble with: that/which/who. The people who? The people that? The people which? - Did I ever know?

Re pronounciation: I keep telling some people I know that "steak" is NOT pronounced like (as??) "steam" (nor like "stead") but like "fake" - but they keep pronouncing it like "freak".
I know for a fact that my pronounciation is awful - I have trouble with pronouncing " now/know/no " like it should... :rolleyes:

Josh
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:27 AM
BTW it should be "pronunciation" instead of "pronounciation". ;)

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by i-girl
nope, Chinese is the next language I'll learn. that's the language of the new millenium(sp) baby! Chinese :eek: !!
As far as I know there are tons of different dialects in Chinese, aren't there? Only the written language is the same everywhere...

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by Josh
BTW it should be "pronunciation" instead of "pronounciation". ;) Just looked it up - you're right of course (so logical!). And how should pronunciation be pronounced, I wonder! :D

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by Josh
Ik begrijp niet waarom er zoveel dt-fouten worden gemaakt. Het gebruik van dt is niet eens een aparte regel, het is net een toepassing van de regel dat een werkwoord in de derde persoon enkelvoud een t krijgt en als de stam van dat werkwoord nu net op een d eindigt, dan krijg je dt. Simpel en consistent toch? En in de tweede persoon enkelvoud! TENZIJ "je" of "jij" volgt op het werkwoord: "je wordt", maar "word je". ;)

Josh
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:37 AM
Inderdaad...da's nu toch niet zo moeilijk hé?

Josh
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:39 AM
En dat geldt (;)) voor alle werkwoorden btw, dus niet enkel diegene die een stam op -d hebben. Vb. : Je woont --- Woon je.
Dus er is zeker niet zoiets als een "dt-regel". ;)

Maajken
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:43 AM
"ghotiugh" is pronounced like "fish"

Anyone else know this thingy? ;)

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:43 AM
Valt wel mee, vind ik ook... maar veel mensen schrijven min of meer op het gehoor.

What Tine said: "there/their/they're" - I noticed I have problems with those too. Not because I don't know which is which, but because I'm sort of hearing what I want to say... and writing it down like I hear it - and they all sound the same! :o

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by Superschacht Maeike
"ghotiugh" is pronounced like "fish"

Anyone else know this thingy? ;) What??!!?? :eek:

Josh
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:46 AM
gh = f sound in "tough"; o = i sound in "women"; ti = sh sound in "station", and ugh is silent in "dough".

;)

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:49 AM
Ahh hahaha!! lol lol lol
Nope - never heard of it; very funny! :D :D :D

gentenaire
Jan 17th, 2003, 11:57 AM
Als ge over DT fouten nadenkt, maakt ge ze niet. Het is als ge heel snel aan het schrijven bent dat die er wel eens durven tussenkruipen. Meestal zie ik het op het moment dat ik op 'submit reply' druk;)
Als 'er gebeurt' op het einde van een zin komt, kan het gebeuren dat ge onbewust gebeurd schrijft.

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 12:02 PM
Rap rap op "Edit" drukken - 'k heb gemerkt dat dan meestal niet eens "Last edited..." verschijnt. :)

gentenaire
Jan 17th, 2003, 12:06 PM
dat doe ik altijd, Mark, maar die gasten op de FC zijn supersnel en hebben dat dan al lang gezien! Of het board gaat dan net zo traag dat het uuuuuuren duurt tegen dat ik dat kan editen.

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 12:20 PM
Ah - in den FC! 't Verbaast me dat ze daar op 'n foutje kijken! :p

I always think that everybody else is much MUCH faster in posting than I am. I tend to avoid threads where a lot of posters are quickfire-posting: I just can't keep up!!

gentenaire
Jan 17th, 2003, 12:48 PM
In den FC heb ik de naam intelligent *kuch kuch* te zijn (en ook zeer bescheiden natuurlijk;) ), dus als ik een dt-fout maak zien ze dat als zeer ongewoon voor iemand van mijn standing ;) ;)

Bezz
Jan 17th, 2003, 01:04 PM
Non-native english speakers are not the only ones to struggle with english grammer. I have to think when i write thier, there they're and i was born and live in England. You think speaking English would be easy for me also, but my mum is always correcting me becuase no matter how many times i am told i "wrote" something, when i say it it always comes out as i "writ" something - dont know why it just seems to make more sense.
I do think English is an easy langauge to learn cos i have studied french german and Russian and i hate the fact i have to change endings to words and in some cases completley change the word, it makes no sense.
Russian is by far the worst language i have had to learn they have 6 cases which means the word has 6 different forms. Trying to work out when you use all of them drives you insane cos the explanations of why you change them never seem to be enough. As always there are exceptions to the rules and some words dont change (but you dont find that out until you have attempted to change the word and the teacher says you dont have to, but can't adequatley explain why!!!!, the only answer is " they just don't").

Anybody that can speak fluently in two or more languages and understand all the grammer has my admiration. Although i do hate the fact they can do it!

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 02:21 PM
To speak fluently in other languages than your own is more a question of talent than knowledge or training, I think. Speech patterns are formed at the age of, err - what was it? four? something like that; it's very difficult to really really master another language at a later age. I envy people that are so gifted... :jealous:

Bezza - I suppose you're tempted to say "writ" because the past participle is "written"?
Glad to hear native English speakers struggle with English grammar too btw; I'll feel less embarassed next time I make a blunder... :)

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by Beggin' Beguine
In den FC heb ik de naam intelligent *kuch kuch* te zijn (en ook zeer bescheiden natuurlijk;) ), dus als ik een dt-fout maak zien ze dat als zeer ongewoon voor iemand van mijn standing ;) ;) Hoe komen ze daar nu bij? :confused: :D ;)

Maar ik denk niet dat dt-fouten maken iets met intelligentie te maken heeft, hoor. Of schrijffouten in het algemeen.

gentenaire
Jan 17th, 2003, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by Lynx
To speak fluently in other languages than your own is more a question of talent than knowledge or training, I think. Speech patterns are formed at the age of, err - what was it? four? something like that; it's very difficult to really really master another language at a later age. I envy people that are so gifted... :jealous:


I agree, just like you have people who're very good at math, you have people with a natural feeling for languages, something I don't have unfortunately.

I think it's important to realise that languages aren't always logical, that you cannot approach it in a mathematical manner (which is why, IMO, the Japanese are horrible at English).

One of the things that's very hard to do in another language than your own is being funny! You really need to master a language, before you can get the typical humour in that language. It's often so subtle that you cannot get it unless you speak the language extremely well.

Lynx
Jan 17th, 2003, 03:35 PM
True. Something very funny can be totally ruined if the wording is but slightly off.
It's harder to argue in another language too. Maybe because an argument is always so much more effective if you can use a certain amount of humor to convey it...

(Think what we could do to sleuteljochie if we could only use our own language!! :devil: )

Colin B
Jan 18th, 2003, 12:29 AM
I am often impressed by the English used by non-english speaking people on this board. It's often better than that used by the English speakers (myself included)!

What I'd like to know is; are you able to spot the subtle differences between English and American-English? (For example: Tine wrote the word "math" in her post whereas in Britain we would say "maths")

BTW, two things I really liked about learning German was the way they follow their rules consistently ("ei" is always pronounced "i", "ie" always "ee" etc.) and the fact that they actually say the whole word rather than mumbling half of it!
I spent years at school learning all the endings to French words, only to find they don't speak them anyway!

Lynx
Jan 18th, 2003, 03:40 AM
Our English may seem "better" sometimes because, being less confident, we're probably more careful...

I can't speak for the others, of course; but I do know about some differences between English and American. (Didn't know about "math/maths" though.) Seems to me that they're not that important, not unlike the little differences between Dutch and Flemish.
When I'm writing in English, I just use what comes to mind first. Since I read a lot of English as well American books, what comes to mind first can be either... I fear I'm always mixing everything up!


About German: it's the same with Dutch, Scandinavian languages, most Latin languages and the Eastern languages I know about: the pronunciation is very consistent. It's true that the endings in French are very often not voiced ("partie" = "parties" = "partis" = "parti" ), but vowels and diphthongs are always pronounced the same way.


Hey, Joy - you learned FOUR other languages? :worship: I'm impressed. Besides Dutch I only speak French and English; I do understand German but I don't speak nor write it very well, and I understand some Italian... if they're speaking v e r y ... s l o w l y.

gentenaire
Jan 18th, 2003, 08:53 AM
I didn't know about math/maths either. I try to use the British spelling so I guess I should have said maths. I know about color-colour, program-programme, etc. (though I wonder, in British spelling, when talking about a computer program(me) do you still write it as programme?)

At school we were supposed to use the British spelling, but if for some reason we wanted to use American spelling, we could.
We were not allowed to mix them up, not write colour in one sentence and flavor in another.

(edited because one sentence apparently got eaten)

Holmespinlove
Jan 20th, 2003, 06:26 PM
ENGLISH:
I am confused!! well half of me want to agree with the side of you guys that say that English is hard and weird, while part says that spanish is kinda rough when you have to assign the noun gy gener and the the verb is another story.
But Being half english and half Spanish, i have double the confusion. i still can not get down with this english thing, being made up of a ton of other languages, maybe the inventer wanted a universal language that in every sentence some one would at least know a word or too regardless of your culture.....

SPANISH:
¡Soy confuso!! la mitad bien de mí desea convenir con el lado de usted a los individuos que dicen que el inglés es duro y extraño, mientras que la parte dice que el español es un poco áspero cuando usted tiene que asignar al sustantivo el gener gy y el verbo es otra historia. Pero siendo a medias inglés y a medias español, tengo doble la confusión. todavía no puedo conseguir abajo con esta cosa inglesa, siendo compuesto de una tonelada de otras idiomas, el inventor deseó quizá una lengua universal que en cada oración alguna por lo menos sabría una palabra o también sin importar su cultura

it is not for me to say but i would rather have spanish any day over english but do not tell me mom that!! or seré un pollo muerto en el pote a freír

Juan Pique`

Lynx
Jan 21st, 2003, 06:36 AM
I don't know Spanish... But does that last sentence means what I think it means: "Or I'm a dead chicken in a coocking pot" ?? :D

Joy :wavey: Didn't see your last post here up till now.
I had Latin (and some ancient Greek) in HS too... but I forgot almost everything about it. ("Amo puellam" - aha!)

Et qu'est-ce-que tu pense de ma nouvelle signature? :p

Caoimhe
Jan 21st, 2003, 11:22 AM
lol

Caoimhe
Jan 21st, 2003, 11:50 AM
Originally posted by i-girl
you're right, Lynx, about english being easier for us because we're so exposed to it. I was thinking that myself as I was writing my post, but still, it seems like an easier languge to learn than, say, French. I'm sure there are easier languages to learn. people say spanish and Italian are very easy, but I wouldn't know.

I found Spanish the easiest language to learn.
But then I loved it!

Lynx
Jan 21st, 2003, 06:39 PM
And "puella" = girl!! Eheheh! :D

(We were twelve, and we giggled about things like that! Ah, to be that young again...:sad: )