# Why it's so hard to learn English as a second language!

Consider the following poem:

From the frozen brook I withdrew my hand,
And I understand.
As yesterday I understood.
My sweat runs free while cutting wood.
Like yesterday's limbs and I feel I should
Have the need for planting grass
As I have done many times in the past.

• Each line of the poem requires either a one- or two-word "answer."
• All of the answers will have an obvious relationship, from top to bottom.
• Perhaps as a first language too:-) – Mea Culpa Nay Oct 23 '17 at 6:50
• For clarification: By "each line of the poem" do you mean each full sentence ending with a period and starting with an upper case letter? Or do you mean each literal line as in this poem has 7 "lines"? – Dr t Oct 23 '17 at 14:59
• Each line break/carriage return constitues a "line," so there are 7 lines, 7 "answers." – Chowzen Oct 23 '17 at 20:27

The poem line's meanings are as follows:

From the frozen brook I withdrew my hand,


ICY

And I understand.


I SEE

As yesterday I understood.


I SAW

My sweat runs free while cutting wood.


I SAW

Like yesterday's limbs and I feel I should


I SAWED

Have the need for planting grass


I SOD

As I have done many times in the past.


I SODDED

For someone looking to understand the different meanings of all these very very similar seeming things, which sorta sound like various tenses of the same things and yet mean things that are quite different, this would be a frustrating experience indeed!

• The first five are right, but the last two are not what I intended, care to revisit/edit these? The previous pattern should hold... – Chowzen Oct 23 '17 at 20:31
• Ding, Ding, Ding!! – Chowzen Oct 23 '17 at 20:52
• I have heard people use the answer to the 7th line as a conjugation of the verb in the 2nd line. :( – Chowzen Oct 23 '17 at 20:53
• @Chowzen ... ew. We have a couple of places 'round these parts that might help those folks. :) – Rubio Oct 23 '17 at 20:57
• The 5 -> 6 transition only really works in an American accent. – Rand al'Thor May 23 at 14:46

OK...I will take a shot at this one.

If the first line is "From the frozen brook I withdrew my hand," then I have no idea what the "answer" is for that one. Part of the reason for that is that if the brook is frozen and you hand is in it then your hand is frozen as well and you won't be able to withdraw your hand...just saying...

For the second line "And I understand" I believe the answer is:

Know -- As in "understand"

For the third line "As yesterday I understood." I believe the answer is:

Knew -- As in "understood"

For the fourth line "My sweat runs free while cutting wood." I believe the answer is:

Hew -- As in cutting wood

For the fifth line "Like yesterday's limbs and I feel I should" I believe the answer is:

Hewn (I hope that is an actual word!!) -- As in having cut wood

For the sixth line "Have the need for planting grass" I believe the answer is:

Sow (That is the planting of seeds version of the word!) -- As in planting seeds

For the seventh line "As I have done many times in the past." I believe the answer is:

Sown (And again I do hope that is a real word!! :) ) -- As in having planted seeds

• "frozen" doesn't necessarily mean "frozen solid." I could put my hand in a "Frozen Margarita" and pull it out at will... just saying... – Chowzen Oct 24 '17 at 14:44

All the phrases are related to

verbs that have an irregular past tense (or two)

Probably still missed some, but here are the ones I noticed

From the frozen brook I withdrew my hand,

freeze/frozen, withdraw/withdrew, take/took (synonym of withdraw, rhymes with brook)

And I understand.

understand/understood

As yesterday I understood.

see/saw is a synonym for understand/understood

My sweat runs free while cutting wood.

run/ran, cut/cut, saw/sawn

Like yesterday's limbs and I feel I should

shall/should (modal verbs can have tenses too, I hear/heard :-)

Have the need for planting grass