17 May

8 amazing new trends in the English language

Learning languages


I’ve searched high and low in an attempt to find current trends and recent changes in the English language, but have faced only articles about what has changed since the time of Shakespeare. So, I’ve decided that I’d rather present the data I’ve gathered myself throughout years of teaching by method of observation.

1) I’ve noticed the abundant use of verbs with the suffix –ize/-ise.

Here’s my favorite pick of such verbs:
  • to utilize = to use
  • to normalize = to bring back to normality
  • to stabilize = to bring back to stability
  • to philosophize = to speak philosophically about sth
  • to empathize = to share the same feelings
  • to sympathize = to feel pity and compassion
  • to (il)legalize = to make sth (il)legal
  • to authorize = to officially allow sth
  • to synergize = to work together effectively

  • to maximize = to optimize
  • to tantalize = to tease
  • to eternalize = to make forever-lasting
  • to glamorize = to make popular and glamorous
  • to capitalize on sth = to take advantage of sth
  • to finalize = to finish
  • to energize = to give sb energy
  • to jeopardize = to put at risk
  • to harmonize = to bring to harmony
  • to demonize = to stigmatize

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2) Verbs with the suffix -ify are also a dime a dozen.

  • to beautify = to make beautiful
  • to uglify = to make sth ugly
  • to diversify = to make diverse
  • to modify = to change, to alter
  • to gamify = to turn sth into a game
  • to electrify = to excite, to thrill
  • to simplify= to make sth simple

3) Another trend is nouns with the suffix –able in the plural.

  • deliverables = goods to be delivered
  • recyclables = things for recycling
  • payables = accounts to be paid
  • disposables = things that can be thrown away after using (e.g. cups, plates)
  • eatables = things to eat
  • drinkables = things to drink
  • receivables = documents to be received
  • notables = famous people
  • variables = factors that are capable of changing
  • valuables = valuable things
  • tradables = popular goods

The reasoning behind the above-mentioned tendencies is reducing the number of words in a sentence – combinations of several words get substituted by one. Besides, these suffixes are flexible and it’s easy to invent new words with their help.

4) Phrasal verbs (to let sb down) are very often used in the form of nouns (a letdown = sth disappointing), in which case the first syllable is stressed (a lEtdown).

  • a setback = a small problem that delays progress
  • a turn-off = sth that you dislike
  • a trade-off = a compromise
  • to make a comeback = to become popular again
  • a startup = a newly-appeared IT company
  • layoffs = redundancies

5) In terms of grammar, I’ve identified a growing inclination towards Future Continuous Tense and Modal verbs in the Continuous form.

E.g. At the presentation I will be speaking about rebranding. (instead of I will speak about).
Young people should be reading more nowadays. (instead of Young people should read more).

To my mind, it can be explained by the fact that Continuous forms convey the idea of immediacy and duration and, thus make our speech more vivid.

6) Having watched thousands of videos in English, I can point out that in conversational (colloquial) English it’s becoming more and more common to use ‘want’ in the sense of ‘should’. Let me illustrate by examples.

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E.g. To pass the exam, you want to practise regularly.
If you have a job interview coming up soon, you want to do research about the company and get ready properly.

7) Surprisingly enough, nowadays it’s widespread to put the adverb between the particle ‘to’ and the verb itself. It used to be considered incorrect previously.

E.g. To effectively use
To successfully implement

8) Analyzing the speech of native speakers, you can notice the inclination towards using nouns in collocation with the verbs to come / to go / to take / to make, etc. instead of similar verbs.

  • to go for a walk / to go for a stroll = to walk / to stroll
  • to go for a swim = to swim
  • to go for a drink = to drink
  • to take a ride = to ride
  • to take a nap = to nap / to sleep
  • to take a look = to look
  • to have a chat / a talk = to chat / to talk
  • to give it a go/ to give it a shot / to give it a try = to try
  • Give it a thought! = Think about it!
  • Give it a re-think! = Reconsider it!

Next time you watch or read authentic materials such as magazines or talk shows, etc. try to spot these trends in the English language. Slowly but surely, English is changing and it’s a good idea to keep your finger on its vibrant pulse.
Tags:tendenciestrendschanges in Englishgrammarvocabularylearning English
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