9 Confusing Sentences That Look Wrong But Are Actually 100% Right


English language can be damn well confusing sometimes. But how confusing can it really get? Well, here’s 9 mind-boggling sentences that make perfect grammatical sense. Try to get your head around these.


1. A ship-shipping ship ships shipping-ships.

A ship-shipping (compound participial adjective) ship (noun) ships (verb) shipping-ships (compound participial noun).


2. Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.

Buffalo (the city) buffalo (the animal) [that] Buffalo (the city) buffalo (the animal) buffalo (verb) buffalo (verb) Buffalo (the city) buffalo (the animal).


3. Police police Police police police police Police police.

Police is a city in Poland. Three different forms of the same word come into play above: law enforcement (the noun), the city (an adjunct noun/adjective), and the verb.


4. Can-can can-can can can can can can-can.

Can-can, the dance; can, a verb meaning “able”; and can, a second verb meaning to put in the trash, or euphemistically to outperform.


5. Will, will Will will Will Will’s will?

Will (a person), will (future tense helping verb) Will (a second person) will (bequeath) [to] Will (a third person) Will’s (the second person) will (a document)?


6. James, while John had had “had,” had had “had had”; “had had” had had a better effect on the teacher.

James, [while John had written “had,”] had written “had had”; “had had” had left a better effect on the teacher.



7. Rose rose to put rose roes on her rows of roses.

Rose, a woman.
rose, the verb meaning to get up.
rose, the flower.
rose, the colour.
roes, the fish eggs (in this case, used as fertilizer).
rows, the lines.


8. If it is it, it is it; if it is it is it, it is.

If A is B, then B is C; If the idea is [that] A is C, then the idea is [correct].


9. That that exists exists in that that that that exists exists in.

[The fact] that “that” exists occurs in a situation which this “that” exists [also] occurs in.

Forget tongue twisters, these are far more confusing!

That said, there’s also a stupidly confusing sentence in the Spanish language that when in English: “What are you saying? How do I eat? I eat, like I eat (always).”

In Spanish:

“¡Cómo! ¿Cómo como? Como, como como.

¡Cómo! ¿Que Cómo como? Pues como, como como (siempre).“

So yeah, it’s not just the English language.

Tell us what you think in the comments!

H/t: Business Insider