Grammar

Most people hate grammar

Most people hate grammar. However, we cannot escape from using proper grammar. In order to have your message understood, you must follow grammar rules.

To make matters more difficult, English has a lot of exceptions, making it one of the hardest languages to learn. Even with all these exceptions, if we do not learn the rules and follow them, communication would soon break down, and we would not be able to communicate with other people.

We have all had conversations with those that have poor grammar. It is difficult to understand what they are trying to say. We have to ask lots of questions before we truly understand the meaning of the conversation. Here at English SL, we will explain the most difficult grammar rules. We will provide a summary of the grammar rule, the improper way to use it and several examples of the rule in action.

Be Aware of Grammar

These Six Tips Will Help You Improve Your Grammar

Before you speak or write, be aware of what you want to say. Ask yourself if the sentence or thought is clear and that it makes sense. Ask yourself, "how is this similar to the grammar rules in your language?" Consider how English expresses an idea differently than your language.

English uses the present perfect to express a period of time that started in the past and continues in the present.

>I have had this watch for 10 years.

Many other languages use the present tense to express the same idea. By noticing the similarities and differences, your knowledge of grammar will happen more quickly.

Read, Read, Read

Read a lot of well written English books. Most native speakers that have excellent grammar skills learned them through reading. Reading is an effective way of learning grammar rules because are actively performing a lot of tasks including:

>Imagining a scene in your head
>Understanding clearly what the writer is trying to say
>Agreeing or disagreeing with the writer

As you read, your mind begins automatically picking up on the grammatical structure so choose your reading material carefully. If you read literature with poor grammar, your skills will suffer instead of improving.

Books are not the only source of well-written reading materials. Consider magazines and online sources. This need not cost much either. Many classical books are available free online or through an online bookstore like iTunes, which has several thousand free books in its library.

Please see our lesson on selecting good sources of well-written literature.

Where to Focus Your Time

Spend time on the aspects of grammar that is most difficult for you. There are several software packages that can analyze your grammar to show you where you need help. Microsoft Word does have some grammar tools, but it is limited.