One of the most important languages today is English. Reading and speaking in English is among the essentials now. It is even considered the official language for all international communications.
The benefits of speaking English are plenty. But speaking English in the correct form is necessary to unleash its full potential. That is why students are taught a combination of both English literature and English grammar.
Grammar can be considered as the rules defining the structure of a language. ‘Rules’ is a more strict word to use, but it gives the right idea about grammar’s role. It defines how the correct form of a language should be.
While most languages have defined their grammar, many don’t. Grammar shows the ways in which words can be put together into sentences. It is basically the theory of any language.
English has its own well-defined grammar, which includes sentences, tenses, type of voice, punctuations and other important rules of the language.
The importance of grammar in English
- English grammar lays the groundwork that anyone can refer to any time for doubt solving.
- Knowing proper grammar helps in perfecting English writing and speaking. It brings a lot of confidence in your communication.
- You must have seen Grammar Nazis once in a while. They are the people who hate grammar mistakes and feel a high urge to correct the speaker’s sentences.
- If you have a good grasp of grammar, you can be saved from constant judging of the Grammar Nazis.
- Knowing grammar to learn a language is not mandatory. For instance, a child does not learn grammar first before speaking his or her native language.
- You cannot use slang language everywhere. The Slang form of language is usually anti-grammar. Having good grammar helps you to speak proper English where slangs may seem disrespectful and tasteless.
Five essential grammar rules for every student
English can be a confusing language many times. So, knowing the structure of English helps. Among many rules of English grammar, these are some important yet neglected rules that every student should know-
The rule of Their-There-They’re
This is a very common mistake that even the native English speakers make. This basic rule is taught in childhood in schools, yet it is one of the confusing parts of English. Students often make mistakes in the spellings and use of an apostrophe.
It is rather simple
- ‘There’ is used to denote position or place. For instance- “I am going there” denotes a place by ‘there’. It can also be used as a pronoun such as “There are some sweets remaining”.
- ‘Their’ is the possessive form for the pronoun ‘They’. It shows possession of something by a group. A simple example is “It is their book”.
- ‘They’re’ is like any other contraction of the word using an apostrophe. The pronunciation matches the other two but the meaning is different. ‘They’re’ stand for ‘They are’. For instance- “They’re going tomorrow”.
- The same concept stands for you and you’re. This is another trending mistake among English speakers.
- This is just one example of words called homophones. The English language is full of such confusing words that need to be used carefully.
Use of articles
Knowing when to use ‘a’, ‘an’ or ‘the’ before a noun is important. Knowing when there will be no article is another important thing. This is the basic rule that everyone goes wrong in once in a while.
Especially while using “the” article. Use “the” when you are referring to a unique object, a specific thing, before a comparative degree, etc. There are numerous rules for the use of this article. Numerous exceptions are there too.
It is essential knowledge to be proficient in English writing and speaking.
Punctuations are an important part of written speech. They also guide the reader in reading a piece of writing. Knowing where to put the right punctuation is very important for readability of text.
A paragraph with no punctuation will make no sense. And a paragraph with wrong punctuation can deliver wrong ideas. A fun example is – “Let’s eat grandpa” is not the same as “Let’s eat, grandpa”.
It is important to note how the use of a comma changed the whole meaning. This stands for all the punctuation marks. A student should know where to use a comma, full stop, semicolon, exclamation mark, and so on.
Verbs and subjects have an agreement or relation. The idea is to change the verb form based on singularity or plurality of the subject. If the subject is singular, use a singular verb in the sentence.
If an object is a plural, use a plural verb. A singular verb has ‘s’ in the end. A plural verb does not. The main trick to use a correct form of the verb is to identify the main subject first. A subject is not always closely situated to the verb.
In complex sentences, verbs and subjects are far apart with several other subject options in between. Understand the focus of the sentence. That’s where you will find the subject. Then decide the verb’s form.
For example, – The president, along with other ministers, was supporting the law. Here the subject is ‘president’ and not ‘ministers’. Hence, the singular verb ‘was’ is used.
Prepositions are an important part of speech to show the position of an object in relation to other objects. A student must know when to use prepositions like on, in, into at, over, under, below, beside, etc.
These are basic yet very confusing. There are preposition pairs that often create a dilemma. Like ‘since-for’, ‘in-into’, ‘over-above’ and ‘under-below’. There are tons of rules for different prepositions with different exceptions.
You will know most of these with enough writing and speaking practice. For instance- Since is used when a particular start date is given. For is used when a time period is given.