Abstract:This paper explains the concept of “pragmatic competence” and classifies the pragmatic failure. Pragmatic failure comes about as the inability to understand what is meant by what is said. Pragmatic failure is an area of cross-cultural communication breakdown. It occurs on many occasions when the hearer comprehends the force of the speaker’s words as other than the speaker said he or she should understand. It studies and discusses three types of pragmatic failure: pragmalinguistic failure, sociopragmatic failure and pragmabehavioral failure. English is becoming a global language. In English teaching, it is necessary to pay more attention to develop students’ pragmatic competence.
Key words： pragmatic failure; pragmatic competence; cross-cultural communication; culture