With all the rules and guidelines governing the use of English grammar, it’s little wonder that so many people find the subject intimidating. 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.
Part 1 Study Grammar on the “Word” Level
1 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.
- A noun is a person, place, or thing. Example: grandma, school, pencil
- A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun within a sentence. Example: he, she, they
- Articles are special terms that proceed a noun within a sentence. The three articles are: a, an, the
- An adjective modifies or describes a noun or pronoun. Example: red, tall
- A verb is a word that describes an action or state of being. Example: be, run, sleep
- An adverb modifies or describes a verb. Adverbs can also be used to modify adjectives. Example: happily, wonderfully
- A conjunction joins two parts of a sentence together. Example: and, but
- A preposition is used in combination with a noun or pronoun to create a phrase that modifies other parts of speech, like a verb, noun, pronoun, or adjective. Example: up, down, of, from
- Interjections are words that express an emotional state. Example: wow, ouch, hey
2 Explore the rules governing each part of speech in greater depth.
Most parts of speech have additional rules governing their usage. If you want to master English grammar, you will need to study these rules in detail. Make note of the following for your studies:
- 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.
3 Know how to write numbers
Single-digit numbers (zero through nine) should be spelled out in word form, but double-digit numbers (10 and up) should be written in numerical form.
- All numbers within a sentence should either be spelled out or written numerically. Do not mix and match.
- Correct example: I bought 14 apples but my sister only bought 2 apples.
- Incorrect example: I bought 14 apples but my sister only bought two apples.
- Never start a sentence with a number written in numerical form.
- Spell out simple fractions and use hyphens with them. Example: one-half
- A mixed fraction can be written numerically. Example: 5 1/2
- Write decimals in numerical figures. Example: 0.92
- Use commas when writing numbers with four or more digits. Example: 1,234,567
- Write out the numerical figure when specifying the day of the month. Example: June 1
to be continue….