Is this “myth” true?

Is it true that people who are bad at math, are good at English, and those who are bad at English, are good at math?

It’s true for me. While I was B to C average in English (never really excelled at it, but wasn’t bad either), I failed at math. I never understood it. The majority I grew up with always saw it as a puzzle. I never saw it as that… and I’m… not terrible at puzzles. :sweat_smile: Riddles, sure. But I like puzzles. And math isn’t a puzzle. It’s like looking at an alien language from some advanced society. :rofl:


I’m good at math, it’s mostly just memorization, the only problem I have is rushing and making minor mistakes.

I’m good at English, but papers are hard for me to write because I like to do things fast.

Oh, great, I get to brag. Lmao

My ACT scores where high in every field. I got that presidential certificate for my scores in math in the 10 grade. I am now currently writing. I’m also ridiculously musically talented and am a general crafter (such as hand-stitching). And I draw pretty decently. I also test out as a genius.

And I grew up with people who were competent in many fields, mostly family.

I haven’t met a field in which I didn’t have some natural ability.

I even manage to sound wise on occasion.

So, I see absolutely NOTHING that forces people to go in one camp or the other.

Now, writing something worth reading takes some emotional maturity and math takes ready recall of knowledge, which means I was better at math when young and am better at writing now. Nothing stays still.

And when you naturally favor one, you tend to stick with that one thing, nuturing it, making it better with time and effort.

What happens when you’ve got someone like me, is that when things come to you as natural as breathing, you flit through doing it like a diva, but the moment you have to WORK for something? You’re likely to go, “enh, good enough”.

It also means that even if you try, you’re still pulled so many directions that you don’t often get as good as someone who focuses on on their one or two talents.

This is where the myth of being good at one or the other comes in: you can only feed so many talents, and if you’re not feeding both, you’re not going to be both.

That’s the overwhelming majority of people.

It’s a much smaller portion of people who are myopically talented or who are incapable due to mental capacity.


I was good at both, but I’m also mathematical in my approach to language. I view English (spoken and written) as very formulaic. When I taught English as a Second Language, I came up with these “formulas” for the verbs. I would drill those formulas into the students. It was quite intense. And not the most exciting thing ever. But…once those kids knew those formulas, every one of the students would say it was the most helpful thing they learned. Kids who spoke no English whatsoever on Day One could write better paragraphs than many of their English-speaking peers by the end of the school year. One of the English teachers even started using them for HER English class that consisted primarily of native speakers.


Hmm for me I found both learning in English and Math classes to be equally difficult and easy? I’m decent at the application, but I really struggle to understand why it has to be applied that way versus another.

In English, I could copy and use structures and rhetoric in class in appropriate context, but I could never explain why I had to use it the way I did and I struggled with arguing things. In math, I could solve equations by copying what the professor did, but again I couldn’t explain why I had to solve it that way.

But anyway, I don’t really think being good at English and being good at math coincide as much as people think. I feel like it’s more about differences in learning styles and the way you understand what you’re being shown, as well as what you’re motivated and have the bandwidth to put extra work into learning like J.L.O has said.


False for some people, but definitely true for me.
I loathe math and I am terrible at it.

Sadly, English is lacking too. Especially when I got into my college years.
Ah, man! I feel dumber each passing year or something.

1 Like

I loved diagramming sentences and all that stuff, so I worked at it and became good at grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. If I’d liked math I would have worked at it too, but math was always so boring to me. I think anyone can become an expert at anything they’re willing to work at, no matter how terrible they are starting out, but we only work at what we love. ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯


I definitely was the kid who had an A in English but C-F in Math. But I also didn’t find math interesting so I didn’t really try. Then I ended up with an A in chemistry as I actually found that interesting and to this day I think that was the easiest class I’ve ever taken.


I feel like I was decent at both but I was a little better with math until I had one English teacher who pushed me into the advanced level classes we had.

I remember she sat with everyone one on one at the end of the semester to talk about their marks and where they’d go next year. The way our system was set up was that in grade 9 everyone took the same level of English and then from 10 on you could choose to go into a standard, advanced, or selective class. She said that my strengths weren’t in English, but that I could definitely do the advanced level. My marks wouldn’t be as high but I’d learn more

And that turned out to be pretty much true. I feel like sticking with the advanced class went a long way towards giving me stronger skills there … especially considering we had a teacher who was actually interested in teaching and not someone who only wanted to run the drama program and didn’t want to teach at all like the other two levels got


I was good at math. Math isn’t an alien language. It’s logic, that’s all.

English isn’t even my native language so not sure how to answer that.

I was pretty average in everything else back in school days. (With minimal effort too because I just didn’t care enough :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)
I was average in math too until I had a teacher that opened something in my mind. It just clicked. And from then on, I found myself the only one in math class with my hand up.

What you were like in school doesn’t mean much to your real aptitude. The teacher you have, the environment, even your peers. All of that adds up.

1 Like

That was definitely me too lol I tackled everything with the idea of “okay, how can finish this with the absolute minimum amount of work so I can get back to doing things I’m actually interested in”


Yeah. And my grades were better than both my older brothers so by comparison, I was doing great. It’s just that the bar was low. :sweat_smile:

Mid-thirties I went back to college for that piece of paper. Finished with 4.0 out of 4.0. Attitude definitely makes a difference.

I don’t think grades are necessarily the best way to judge your aptitude in a certain subject, since grades depend on so many other factors (such as skills in taking tests, teaching methods, and attitude toward school).

But regardless of that, I feel like I definitely have more of a leaning toward language skills (English is not my first language, but the fact that I can converse in it quite decently at this point is perhaps proof my brain is wired toward language skills) and while I did decently at math in school (not American school so I have no grades that compare) it did take me much longer to comprehend that subject.

1 Like

i’m kinda ok at both, but i’m better at english more

i mean usually people don’t double up in math in freshman year but i did and now i am in calc

1 Like

Chemistry has enough math to bog down those who are incapable. Interest plays a ton into this.

1 Like

Yeah I could miss a couple days in a row and be able to come back and understand how to do what they learned by the end of the that class. But if I missed math I would be confused as hell.

But for the most part I was either drawing, writing, listening to music, daydreaming or talking to friends. Actually in both classes I did this along with English as well. I think the only difference is due to my writing I had been studying English more than my peers and the Chemistry part I honestly have no idea I just found it insanely easy.

Physics had trig and calculus in it, but it was more than the math. And Chemistry had more in common with accounting, balancing both sides of the equation out. Calculus, I passed dit without memorizing Trig, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that for anyone else.

1 Like

Same thoughts :stuck_out_tongue: I even wrote a poem about hating math and said something along those lines XD

When I see math, my brain says “Nope, we’re not doing that” and completely shuts off :stuck_out_tongue: I’m better with words and trying to understand their meaning and it’s more straightforward to me than math. I get words. I don’t get numbers. It’s so abstract and like…why? :woman_shrugging: And because I don’t get it, it’s not fun.

My partner, on the other hand, is my complete opposite and never did well in any reading, or language type classes, but did well in math and science.

In my case, the myth holds true :stuck_out_tongue:

I could be wrong, but I think mathematical thinking uses a different part of your brain… (science people, is this true or did I just make it up?)

1 Like

I don’t know if that’s the myth that was debunked or if I’m only thinking about the 15% of brain myth.

In any case, people have different way of thinking. Neither is “wrong,” just different and that’s what makes life interesting.
Frustrating sometimes, but interesting.

1 Like

In the first year of university during advanced exam, I told my professor apologetically, that I just don’t have math abilities. He looked at me, and told me, “you know, I don’t think there is such a thing as ‘math ability’.” I ended up pretty much memorizing the textbook, aced the regularly timed exam, and went through the rest of undergrad and grad school not being afraid of math.