Once you’ve faces the onslaught of Grammar nerds on social networking sites or (even worse) in real life, you kind of arrive at a realization about the importance of English grammar. In school, teachers would scold us for grammatical errors because they knew how important the Language would be for us in future. But I can bet they had no idea that things will come to this. We live in a generation when grammar sense is equated to intelligence. The moment you dare make a grammatical error in front of a Grammar snob, know that they’ll never look at you the same way again. And the bad news is, the world’s full of grammar snobs nowadays.
English is a friendly language and much easier than something like French or German. It’s easy to learn, easier to use. You don’t have to work too hard to know the basic. And anyway, a grip on this particular language opens up several professional scopes. So a good grasp on English grammar can only benefit you.
Some must know rules:
This is where we commonly go wrong. But now there are spell checks to take care of our errors. However, when you’re writing for an exam or may be a formal application or something, spell check wouldn’t be there to help you out. So it’s better to employ you’re brain here a bit and learn up the spellings. This is like kindergarten stuff, how can you even imagine to learn a language when you cannot spell words properly? What’s worse is that our generation feels free to modify spellings and in fact, the language as a whole. And to call the results disastrous would be euphemism. No person in his right mind must use any sort of self-invented abbreviation in a formal ground. Also, one must be careful not to misspell words, as it only ruins the impression.
2. Parts of speech:
There are a number of parts of speech and then they have further subdivisions. Every person learning English must start with a basic idea about these. Without the, you cannot expect to proceed any further. These are the very roots and need to learnt and engraved in one’s mind.
3. Sentence construction:
A sentence uses more than one part of speech, it has a subject and a predicate, and it can be in active voice or passive voice. Learning about parts of speech will help you to detect which is which. Subject is the person or the thing which is being described while predicate is the definition. If you can add the words “by someone” at the end of a sentence: it is in passive voice, otherwise it is in active voice.
These are the much neglected but immensely important parts of sentences. Wrong punctuations can change entire meaning of a sentence, so they must be used appropriately. A funny (and rather common) example of how punctuations can change meanings of a sentence is:
“Let’s eat Grandma” and “Let’s eat, Grandma”.
Few more things to remember:
1. You cannot use an apostrophe‘s’ when a word already ends with s. A simple apostrophe should suffice. For example: That is Thomas’ hat.
2. Oxford commas are pretty useful things which clarify the meaning of a sentence. For instance: “I Love my parents, Mickey Mouse and Eminem” sounds a bit odd but an Oxford comma can save the say: “I Love my parents, Mickey Mouse, and Eminem”.
3. Learn about the correct use of me and I. “Mathew and me are going to the concert tonight” is just the wrong to go about it. It should be “Mathew and I are going to the concert tonight”.
4. Beware of homophones; they can be a spoilsport when taken too lightly. “to” and “too”, “then” and “than”, “there” and “their”, “peak” and “pick”, “lose” and “loose” are never the same.
How can a person master the English language?
Some people, especially kids might find it difficult to learn up the language by his own. Yes, if you truly wish to know more and enlighten yourself, here is what you must do:
1. To learn any language, one must read books in the same. Speaking from experience, Novels and Story books have more use than being a mode of entertainment. You unconsciously get acquainted to a lot of new words; learn innovative ways of expressing and when you follow a book of genuine quality, your sense of grammar sees an automatic improvement.
2. This comes at the second stage, but first one must begin their grammar lessons with conventional grammar books, preferably the ones suggested in schools or other similar educational institutes.
3. Teachers can be of great help too, but one needs to approach them with their doubts. If you’ve already passed out of school, never mind, you can always get yourself a private tutor for guidance.
4. If the idea of a teacher sounds too embarrassing or troublesome to you, there is an alternative but equally effective way of getting help. I personally prefer this course because it’s easily accessible and I find it very student-friendly. Online English grammar homework help is available to one and all, and anyone can use it sitting in their rooms. The best part is the kind of help offered by us are so varied that we takes care of any sort of need that the learner might have.
5. Also, one must be in regular practice to be confident about him. It’s better to not fall out of touch for a very long time.
6. Finally, the most important thing is to remember what you’ve learnt and then just go with the flow. Do you think much before you speak in your mother tongue or say, in colloquial English? No. You should have a similar attitude towards this grammatically perfect language as well. Over thinking will only get you confused.
So start brushing up your knowledge of English grammar now, and with time, it’ll come to you naturally.