Learn English Grammar Easily With These 10 Tips
Contrary to popular belief, grammar isn’t that difficult to master, especially the English language grammar. However, some students will readily disagree, most especially, those who are familiar with a different language system. But fear not, like everything else that can be studied, there are a few tricks that could help language learners learn English grammar easily.
With that being said, here are a few tips students, or anyone, can use to help learn English grammar easily.
Build your vocabulary. Read a dictionary!
The easiest way to learn English grammar is to build vocabulary by reading. Reading is a fundamental exercise for language learners. Aside from that, it is also an important tool for building vocabulary. Every language learner should also have a dictionary. Whenever they come across an unfamiliar word, it would be easy to look up its meaning if there is a dictionary nearby. A dictionary also provides the origin and the proper pronunciation of a word, as well as some example sentences. This is why it is such an indispensable tool for all language learners.
Learn English Grammar By Engaging in Dialogue
Next thing a language student would want to do to learn English grammar quickly is to engage in dialogue. Talking to a native English speaker can help tremendously with building vocabulary, pronunciation, as well as proper sentence construction. The fun part is it does not have to be all active dialogue. Language learners can still engage in passive dialogue. That is, as a listener. Engaging in dialogue can also be achieved through watching television or movies.
Similarly, to effectively learn English grammar, language students should study verbs. It is often noted that verbs are the most important part of speech in the English language. Most sentences are centered on a verb. By definition, verbs express time through actions or conditions. Verbs also show that something exists. In short, verbs are action words that describe a state of being. The most common types of verbs are the action verbs, the linking verbs, and the helping verbs.
Action verbs are verbs that express what happens.
Linking verbs connect a word at or near the beginning of a sentence, with a word at or near the end. These verbs do not show action.
Helping verbs are also known as auxiliary verbs. These are verbs that are added to other verbs in order to form verb phrases.
Master Verb Tenses
After mastering verbs, the next thing language students should master if they are to learn English grammar, are verb tenses. Tenses show when an action was performed. There are three simple verb tenses—past, present, and future.
Verbs that show actions that have already taken place are in the past tense. These verbs usually end in –d or –ed.
- We bumped each other in the hall yesterday.
- I climbed trees when I was a kid.
- He smiled when I told him he looks like Elvis Presley.
Verbs that show actions that are currently taking place or happening at the moment are in the present tense.
- She eats with her hands.
- Lola dances ballet.
- He plays basketball.
Lastly, verbs that show actions that are yet to take place or are about to happen soon are in the future tense. These verbs usually take the form will + verb.
- They will go to church in the afternoon.
- Claudia’s friends will sing at the party later.
- We will light some fireworks in the new year.
Aside from the simple tenses, there is also the perfect tenses and the progressive tenses. Verbs in the perfect tense show an action that will have been completed before another.
Verbs that show actions that have been completed in the past but are still applicable to the subject are in the past perfect tense.
- We had bumped fists since we were children.
- I had climbed that tree since I was a child.
- Grandpa had told us about that legend before.
Verbs that show actions that started in the past and still continue in the present are in the present perfect tense.
- The flowers havej grown past the fence.
- This group has danced at many different events.
- Drew has told that joke many times already.
Verbs that show actions that are projected to be completed in the future are in the future perfect tense.
- Tomorrow, we will have went to the waterfalls by noon.
- Once we reach Germany, we will have sang in front of a thousand people.
- This time next year, I will have married the love of my life.
On the other hand, verbs in the progressive tense show a continuing action.
Verbs that indicate a continuing action that has happened sometime in the past, are in the past progressive tense.
- I was baking a pie when I received the bad news.
- Paul and Zac were driving around town all afternoon.
- The children were studying grammar the whole day.
Verbs that indicate a continuing action that is happening at the moment are in the present progressive tense.
- Daffodils are growing on the field.
- Teenagers are dancing on the street.
- Alice is skipping in the yard.
Verbs that indicate a continuing action that will be happening sometime in the future are in the future progressive tense.
- Next summer, Polly will be going to South Korea.
- I heard that a famous soprano will be singing at the event on Tuesday.
- I cannot join your hike tomorrow, I will be studying the whole day.
Learn English Grammar by Knowing the Difference Between Phrases, Clauses, and Sentences
The difference between phrases, clauses, and sentences is the most basic thing every language student must learn. It is also one of the first things being taught, once students begin to learn English grammar. Knowing the difference between phrases, clauses, and sentences is quite important, especially if it involves formal speech or writing.
A phrase is a group of words, without a subject or verb. It does not carry significant meaning.
- of mink fur
- at the back
- for fishing
- a talented artist
- from the city
A clause is a group of words with a subject and verb. A clause may or may not stand on its own as a complete sentence.
- When the dog barks
- Because cats climb
- Which is a country in South Africa
- When the saints go marching in
- Since she left
A sentence is a group of words with a subject and a verb. It expresses a complete thought.
- The kitten was busy chasing its tail.
- Alice fell down the rabbit hole.
- Li lives in the greenhouse.
- I will be home before midnight.
- Money can make you happy, but it can’t buy you, love.
Learn to Differentiate Between Active and Passive Voice
The difference between the active and passive voice is another thing language learners should pay attention to. Most students who learn English grammar admit to having a pretty hard time differentiating between the two. To help distinguish which is which, here is a short review. First of all, what is the voice? Voice is the form of the verb that shows whether the subject performs or receives the action.
If the subject performs the verb, the sentence is in the active voice.
- Sal found a map.
- The police called
- Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa.
- Dean finished a whole pie during dinner.
- Zebras and giraffes roam the African savannah.
If the verb is performed upon the subject, the sentence is in the passive voice. To turn a sentence in the active voice into the passive voice, simply transform the verb to the form be + past participle of a transitive verb.
- The map was found was Sal.
- The police will be called
- The Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
- During dinner, a whole pie was finished by Dean.
- The African savannah is roamed by zebras and giraffes.
Be Aware of Subject-Verb Agreement
One of the most crucial tips a language learner should always remember is regarding the agreement between subject and verb. It is a rule that is simple enough to remember, but also easy enough to forget. Remember, subjects and verbs must agree with each other in number.
If a subject is singular, the verb must also be singular.
- Donna is a charming lady.
- The puppy chases the kitten.
- The pen is inside the purse.
If a subject is a plural, the verb must also be plural.
- Donna and Julie are reading a book.
- The puppies chase the kitten.
- The pens are inside the purse.
Adjectives vs. Adverbs
Next on the list of tips to help language students learn English grammar is this, students should be able to distinguish between an adverb and an adjective. This confuses most students because a lot of words function as both adjective and adverb, depending on the word that they modify.
An adjective is a word that describes or explains a noun.
- beautiful girl
- hot plate
- angry rooster
- dark sky
- golden dress
On the other hand, an adverb is a word that describes or explains a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.
- dancing slowly
- singing loudly
- walking angrily
- thinking quickly
- performing badly
Learn English Grammar by Mastering the Order of Adjectives
Of course, once a student is familiar with adjectives and adverbs, the next thing the student must learn is the correct ordering of adjectives. In the English language, there is such a thing known as The Royal Order of Adjectives. Every English-speaking person is expected to follow a set of rules when using adjectives in a sentence. According to The Royal Order of Adjectives, descriptive adjectives in English follow this certain order: determiner, observation, physical description (includes size, shape, age, color), origin, material, and qualifier.
- A small round antique watch
- A silver Italian necklace
- Two lovely red China roses
- These smelly old leather hunting boots
Know the Difference Between Prepositions, Conjunctions, and Interjections.
Finally, for the last tip to effectively learn English grammar—language students should know the difference between prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Many students tend to disregard these three, but these are equally important members of the main parts of speech.
Prepositions are words that relate a noun or pronoun that appears with it to another word in the sentence.
Conjunctions are words that link words, phrases, or clauses to each other. The three main kinds of conjunctions are coordinating, correlative, and subordinating.
- Coordinating: and, but, for, nor
- Correlative: both, either, or, neither
- Subordinating: after, before, because, since
Interjections are also known as exclamations. These are words that are used to express a certain emotion.
As often said, the experience of learning another language can be different for every one. Some will find it easy, while others may feel like they’re running out of their wits. Keeping these tips in mind can really help make learning the English language, easier. So, what did you think of this list? Do you have more tips to share to other English language students? Please do share your experience with us in the comments.
How well did you understand this article? Check your level of comprehension by answering this short quiz.
In the active voice, the verb is being performed by the subject. In the sentence “Sherlock Holmes solved the mystery in barely a minute. “ The subject Sherlock Holmes is the one who solved the mystery. Whenever they come across an unfamiliar word, it would be easy to look up its meaning if there is a dictionary nearby. A dictionary also provides the origin and the proper pronunciation of a word, as well as some example sentences. This is why it is such an indispensable tool for all language learners. Conjunctions are words that link words, phrases, or clauses to each other. Words that relate a noun or pronoun to another word in the sentence are called prepositions. While words used to express emotion are known as interjections. Words used to express existence or being are called verbs. True. Some clauses can stand on their own as complete sentences. The progressive tense shows a continuing action. Simple tenses merely show if an action happened in the past, present, or future. While perfect tenses show an action that will have been completed before another action. Share your Results:
The following sentences are all written in the passive voice, EXCEPT?
Why is the dictionary such an indispensable tool for all language learners?
Which is TRUE regarding conjunctions?
All sentences are clauses, but not all clauses are sentences. True or False?
Which of the following tenses show a continuing action?
In the active voice, the verb is being performed by the subject. In the sentence “Sherlock Holmes solved the mystery in barely a minute. “ The subject Sherlock Holmes is the one who solved the mystery.
Whenever they come across an unfamiliar word, it would be easy to look up its meaning if there is a dictionary nearby. A dictionary also provides the origin and the proper pronunciation of a word, as well as some example sentences. This is why it is such an indispensable tool for all language learners.
Conjunctions are words that link words, phrases, or clauses to each other. Words that relate a noun or pronoun to another word in the sentence are called prepositions. While words used to express emotion are known as interjections. Words used to express existence or being are called verbs.
True. Some clauses can stand on their own as complete sentences.
The progressive tense shows a continuing action. Simple tenses merely show if an action happened in the past, present, or future. While perfect tenses show an action that will have been completed before another action.
Share your Results:
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