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How to Improve English Grammar?

how to Improve English Grammar – 1 (1)

The ability to speak English fluently l opens many doors to unseen opportunities. Being a universal language and the world’s third most-spoken language, English is accepted amongst different ethnicities to communicate and connect.

Even in some colleges and universities, English is used as a medium to give lectures as there are students from across the globe. Hence, it becomes mandatory to have a good command over the language.  This means that one should know the proper usage of grammar while speaking and writing because only when the grammar part is correct the sentences make sense. In this article, we will learn how to improve spoken English grammar.

For a native English speaker, speaking grammatically correct sentences is not difficult as they can recognise the minute nuances of the language and apply it instantly while speaking. However, for a non-native speaker, it’s a little challenging, especially in the beginning, as they need to learn this language from the core. Grammar plays an important role in the formation of sentences as it helps in laying the groundwork for effective communication. Any meaningful sentences with grammatical errors can affect the clarity of an intended message.

In grammar, there are eight parts of speech: Verb, Adjective, Noun, Conjunction, Pronoun, Adverb, Preposition, and Interjection. Even a simple error, such as the wrong usage of the comma (,) or exclamation mark (!) can bring a huge difference in the meaning of the sentence.

Grammar makes writing content more readable and interesting. Let us take a brief on our grammar knowledge and learn how to improve it.

1. What is a verb?

A verb is an action word that is used to describe an activity, state, or occurrence of a subject. They are the main parts of a sentence or phrase, that tell a story about an incident taking place. Without the use of a verb, it is very difficult to convey real thoughts in a sentence.

In simple terms, verbs are ‘doing’ words or action-verbs, that explains an action taking place at a particular moment. Example: Ran, eat, play, walk, drive, study, jump etc. are some of the ‘action’ words. You’ll also find non-action verbs like love, need, agree, feel, contains, and like.

Examples:

  1. Raina went to the market.

  2. You write neatly in your notebook.

  3. I often go to the cinema.

2. What is an adjective?

An adjective is a word that is used to describe the attribute/ quality of a noun or pronoun. It helps in making a sentence more meaningful and interesting. Words like sweet, small, red, blue, and technical are descriptive and examples of adjectives. Adjectives also help to identify or quantify individual people and unique things. Some sentences can even contain multiple adjectives. Such as-

  1. The cute boy won the trophy. (1 adjective)

  2. The cute and tall boy won the trophy. (2 adjectives)

  3. The cute, tall and smart boy won the trophy. (3 adjectives)

There are 7 types of Adjectives. Namely- Descriptive, Quantitative, Demonstrative, Possessive, Interrogative, Distributive and Articles

Adjectives have 3 degrees. They are-

  1. Positive adjective

  2. Comparative adjective

  3. Superlative adjective

3. What is a Noun?

A noun is a word used as the name of a person, animal, place, thing, emotion.  It is an important part of a speech that is widely used in written and spoken English.

Examples: respect, faith, apple, seashore, peanut, motorcycle

  1. Riya will come today.

  2. He is riding a horse.

  3. He lives in India.

  4. I ordered a book yesterday.

  5. Never go against the law.

Types of Nouns: Nouns can be categorised into – a. Common Noun and Proper Noun

                                                                                         b. Countable and Uncountable Noun

 

4. What is a Conjunction?

A conjunction is a part of speech that is used to connect words, phrases, clauses, or sentences.  There are only a few common conjunctions, yet these words perform many functions: They present explanations, ideas, exceptions, consequences, and contrasts. Here is a list of conjunctions commonly used:

  • And

  • As

  • Because

  • But

  • For

  • Just as

  • Or

  • Neither

  • Nor

  • Not only

  • So

5. What is a Pronoun?

A pronoun is defined as a word or phrase that is used as a substitute for a noun or noun phrase. Pronouns are short words and are the building blocks of a sentence. Common pronouns are he, she, you, me, I, we, us, them, that. A pronoun can act as a subject, direct object, indirect object, object of the preposition, and take the place of any person, place, animal or thing.

Using pronouns helps the flow of sentences and makes them more interesting

  • He

  • It

  • You

  • I

  • They

  • We

  • Who

  • Him

  • Them

  • Whoever

  • Anyone

  • Something

  • Nobody

Pronoun examples in the following sentences are in bold for easy identification.

  1. Priti loves watching movies. -> She loves watching movies, especially if they are comedies.

  2. Will Shabbir be going to the circus with Sarah? -> Will he be going there with her?

6. What is an Adverb?

A word or phrase that adds to the meaning of an adjective, verb, or another adverb or a word group, while conveying the relation of a place, time, circumstance, manner, cause, degree, etc. is known as an Adverb. Specifically, adverbs provide a description of how, where, when, in what manner and to what extent something is done or happens. So we can say that adverbs majorly tell us about the quality of a person, place, objects, animal, activity, environment etc.

Example: He is singing a song.

                 He is singing a song loudly.

There are 4 types of Adverbs.

  1. Adverbs of Manner

  2. Adverbs of PLace

  3. Adverbs of Time

  4. Adverbs of Frequency

7. What is a Preposition?

Words that are used to link nouns, pronouns, or phrases to other words in the same sentence to connect the people, objects, time and locations, are known as prepositions. These are mainly short words, which are usually placed in front of nouns.

Prepositions are majorly of six types:

  • Prepositions of time,

  • Prepositions of place,

  • Prepositions of direction,

  • Prepositions of agent,

  • Prepositions of instruments,

  • Prepositional phrases

Prepositions of Time

They are used to help indicate when something happened, happens or will happen.

Given below are some examples of prepositions of time.

For example:

  • I was born on September 4th, 1980

  • I was waiting near the station exactly at 7 pm

  • I was born two minutes before my twin sister

  • She returned home after 10 years.

Prepositions of Place

Examples of prepositions of place are given in the following sentences:

  • The cat is sitting on the basket

  • The dogs are in the kennel.

  • We can meet at the crossroads.

Prepositions of Movement

When a thing or person moves from one place to another, prepositions of movement are used to describe. Examples of prepositions of movement are given in the following sentences in bold-

  • He has gone on vacation to his grandpa’s home

  • She went to the market last Tuesday

  • I will go to bed when I am tired.

  • They can go to the park only if they finish their homework

USES OF PREPOSITIONS WITH -

  1. Nouns

  2. Verbs

  3. Adjectives

1. Prepositions with Nouns

When a preposition is paired with a noun it can tell you where an object is or the means by which something is accomplished. You can easily spot a preposition as it typically follows the noun or pronoun that they modify.

  • He had knowledge of driving.

  • Eighteen is the age at which you are allowed to vote

  • He  made another attempt at the IBPS exam

2. Prepositions with Verbs

  • They began with a quick warm-up.

Verb + of:

  • I dream of owning a car someday

  • Have you heard of Jawaharlal?

  • The bread consists of dough, raisins and a little honey.

Verb + in:

  • Do you believe in miracles?

  • She lives in Australia.

  • The heavy rains resulted in a flood-like situation

Verb + at

  1. We arrived at our destination pretty early

  2. She excels at crosswords puzzle

  3. Will he smile at her?

Verb + on:

  • They should concentrate on each other.

  • Tom insisted on joining my company.

  • Sheila experimented on cooking yesterday.

Verb + from:

  • The poor child suffers from terrible migraine.

  • Dad retired from the army in the 1980s.

  • To avoid punishment, he is going to refrain from talking back to the teacher.

3. Prepositions with Adjectives

Prepositions with adjectives can give further context to the action, emotion or thing the adjective is describing. Like verbs and nouns, adjectives can be followed by: to, about, In, for, with, to and by.

  • Rita is happily married to Abraham.

  • Reily is crazy about going to the park.

  • I am interested in politics.

  • He will be delighted with Raina’s results.

  • The entire room was astonished by the election results.

8. What is Interjection?

Interjections are words that express emotions or feelings of a person. Words like ‘wow’ and ‘ouch’, are used to convey emotion in an abrupt or exclamatory way. Such words can be used alone or even be placed before or after a sentence. Interjections are mostly used in fiction or artistic writing; they’re very rare in academic or formal writing.

Below are some of the examples of interjections and their usage in a sentence:

  • Ahem – The sound of someone clearing their throat in an attempt to get attention, convey disapproval or express embarrassment.

Use: I’m all right at gears but I’m not very good at, ahem, asserting myself in traffic.

  • Eww – Conveys dislike or disgust.

Use: Eww! That’s rude!

  • Hmm – Can mean you’re thinking or hesitating.

Use: Hmm… We’ll talk about it at home.

  • Oops – An exclamation people use when they do something unknowingly.

Use: Oops, I don’t think Harry is going to like that t-shirt.

Grammar is a subject that can stress many students out, as it can be quite confusing and complicated. To help improve the English Grammar, follow the steps given -below.

1. Read and Write – Reading will be always the first option for improving English grammar. When we read, we reinforce correct grammar in our mind. So, reading can really help in correcting not only grammar but also our writing, from sentence fluency to vocabulary.

2. Get a grammar manual – It is always wise to keep a grammar manual for reference while writing. In this way, we can quickly cross-check to fix any grammatical question while writing an answer. There are a lot of grammar books available in the market. Get the best ones for quick and easy reference.

3. Practice – Grammar can be very tricky sometimes. So, practising it every day can make you familiar with terms that you find difficult to write and speak. Try referring to the internet for exercises to practice. If you are a beginner, set a few hours aside every day to take up an English practice test and brush up your grammar skills.

4. Read-out loud – Sometimes reading-out loud in front of others is the best way to evaluate whether or not we have used correct grammar. Since spotting our own mistakes is difficult, reading it out to someone who has good knowledge of English grammar, can help.

Every language has its own grammatical pattern. English being a global language, is essential to be learnt. We must ensure that we understand the grammar rules well, as this language is very useful in everyday life to bring a clarity of meaning and intent in every sentence we speak.

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