Learn English – Focus on Grammar

Even if you speak English, there is a wide variety of regional dialects and patterns of speech. These are diverse, useful, and dynamic ways of communication. But unfortunately, if one cannot communicate in Standard English a person may be discriminated against as uneducated, and sometimes not be able to communicate effectively. Fortunately, there are many ways to immerse you in this way of communicating. 

Grammar is a complex structure, so before you learn how to compose great pieces of English writing or speech, you need to understand the grammar building blocks leading up to more complex forms. With enough time, effort, and practice, though, you can eventually become a master of English grammar.

Learn the parts of speech:

Every word in the English language can be categorized as a specific part of speech. The parts of speech do not define what a word is. Instead, they describe how to use that word.

noun, pronoun, Articles, An adjective, verb, An adverb, conjunction, preposition, Interjections.

Explore each part of speech in greater depth:

If you want to master English grammar, you will need to study these rules in detail.

  • Nouns can be: singular or plural; proper or common; collective; count or non-count; abstract or concrete; gerunds.
  • Pronouns can be: personal, possessive, reflexive, intensive, reciprocal, indefinite, demonstrative, interrogative, or relative.
  • Adjectives can be used on their own, for the sake of making comparisons, or as superlatives.

    • Adverbs are either relative adverbs or adverbs of frequency.
    • Conjunctions are either coordinating or correlative.
    • Verbs can be: action verbs or linking verbs; main verbs or auxiliary/helping verbs
    • The articles “a” and “an” are indefinite, while the article “the” is definite.
    1. Identify the adverb in the following sentence: “The grey wolf slinks quietly into the yard.”

    • Wolf
    • Quietly
    • Grey
    • Yard

    Learn how to format a basic sentence:

    At minimum, every sentence consists of a subject and an action. A sentence that lacks either one is a sentence fragment and is considered to be improper.

    • The subject is usually a noun or pronoun, and the action is conveyed using a verb.
    • Correct example: The dog ran.
      • Note that the subject is indicated in italics and the action is indicated in bold print.
    • Incorrect example: Yesterday afternoon.
    • Expand your sentences into more complex forms after mastering this basic format.

    Maintain correct subject/verb agreement:

    Within a sentence, both the subject and verb must share the same singular/plural state. You cannot use the singular form of a verb with a plural subject; a plural subject must have a plural verb.

    • Correct example: They are at school.
    • Incorrect example: They is at school.

    When two singular subjects are connected with the word “and” (he and his brother), the subject becomes plural. When connected by “or” or “nor” (he or his brother), the subject is singular.

    How to form compound sentences:

    Compound sentences are the easiest sentence form to master after the basic sentence. Use a conjunction to join two related thoughts into one sentence rather than forming two separate sentences.

    Instead of: The dog ran. He was fast.

    Use: The dog ran and he was fast.

    Instead of: We looked for the missing book. We could not find it.

    Use: We looked for the missing book but could not find it.

    Practice using conditional phrases:

    A conditional sentence describes a situation in which one part of the sentence is true only if the other part is true. They can also be referred to as “if, then” statements, but the word “then” will not always appear when the sentence is written.

    Example: If you ask your mother, then she will take you to the store.

    • Note, however, that it would also be correct to write: If you ask your mother, she will take you to the store.
    • Both forms are still conditional.

    How to use clauses:

    Use clauses to form complex sentences. Clauses are the “building blocks” that can be used to expand a sentence past its basic form. They can either be independent or dependent.

    An independent clause has its own subject and verb. As a result, it could stand as its own sentence. Note that compound sentences, as mentioned previously, consist of independent clauses.

    • ExampleShe felt sad, but her friends cheered her up.
    • Both “she felt sad” and “her friends cheered her up” could stand as separate sentences.

    A dependent clause is one that could not stand as its own sentence.

    • Example: While he agreed with his brother, the boy would not admit to it.
    • The clause “While he agreed with his brother” would not make sense a separate sentence, so it is a dependent clause.

    Understand that this is just the beginning:

    The rules and information provided in this article will not teach you everything you need to know about English grammar. This article is intended to serve as a starting point in your studies. The actual subject of English grammar is much more complex, and you will need to devote a lot of time and effort if you really want to learn it.

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