In my paper I try to give a precise definition of the term ’pragmatic competence’ and I describe how this term has evolved. I define the term ’pragmatic failure’ and I elaborate on its judgement, its causes, and its types. I describe the Hungarian – English contrastive researches. I list the most frequent pragmatic mistakes made by Hungarian students while speaking English. I present the findings of my research that I carried out among the students of the College of Szolnok in October 2014. Finally I discuss whether pragmatic competence can be taught, and if yes, for what purpose.