Learning English grammar can be difficult. Both native English speakers and non-English speakers have said that English is the hardest language to learn in the world. For some people it comes easy; for others it doesn’t. Below are three ways to help you learn English grammar for personal or business use. There are no shortcuts, but if you follow suggestions like these, you will find that English can be fun as well as functional.
The first step to learning English grammar is to know the parts of speech. These require careful attention at first. There are eight in all: nouns, verbs, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Of the eight, you will often find at least two if not more in every sentence. Practice making sentences that combine parts of speech to build complexity into your speaking and writing style. Study each noun’s meaning and see how it works. You should know how to identify each type in a sentence, and understand what it does. This is very important because the whole English language is centered on these parts of speech. Failing to understand even one of these may lead to your exposure as someone who does not understand the language very well. The adverb may be the hardest to identify and use. It is often mistaken for an adjective, but an adverb can modify another adverb or an adjective as well. Memorizing rules like these can make a big difference in your English studies. Check out the basic rules in a simple grammar text, available at most bookstores and libraries.
The second step to learning English grammar is to know when to use punctuation between the parts of speech. This is probably the hardest task. Many people get confused about where to put a comma or how to use quotation marks. There is a list of rules that will greatly ease the difficulty of grammar and punctuation usage. These can be found in many grammar texts, most published by academic publishers, though some commercial presses sponsor grammar handbooks as well.
Browse the rules of usage with punctuation. You should also memorize the definitions of each of the punctuation marks. For example, what is a virgule? How are brackets used? If possible, try to find a style guide, which outlines specialized usage and conventions. Many organizations, like the Modern Language Association, provide their own style guides, and members who write for such organizations should follow these.
The third and final step to mastering English grammar is to be able to identify nouns, which is perhaps the most important part of English speech. There are eight types of nouns: subject, direct object, indirect object, appositive, objective compliment, direct address, object of a preposition, and the predicate nominative. It helps to memorize the definitions for these to avoid using the wrong type. If you are unable to identify one when you see it, go back and review your grammar guide or text and do some practice exercises.
The English language, and especially its grammar, can be very challenging. Study often requires a lot of time. If you stick to it, ask questions of a teacher or mentor, and keep practicing grammar exercises, you eventually will speak and write like a pro.
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