English Grammar Guide
Understanding English Grammar: A Quick Guide
Grammar can be super-fun once you get a good grip on it. You can see grammar as a signpost in the world of English language. It guides you in finding your way around using the sentences right, improving your communication and writing skills, and makes reading more interesting than ever.
Grammar acts as a foundation for every language. You can even see grammar as a series of rules that help you polish your reading, writing, and communication skills.
What is Grammar?
So, what exactly is grammar? You can see it as an important tool that helps you arrange the words of the English language in a way that makes your sentences understood by people. While it takes a good amount of time and research to master all the rules of grammar, you can still perform great if you can grasp the very basic elements of grammar.
In this article, we will cover all the basics of English grammar that will equip you with the tools to use the language better than ever. Once you get an overall idea of how exactly English grammar works, you can effortlessly convert all your thought into language in a way that everybody fully understands what you write or say. Grammar is a roadmap to making proper sentences. You can use it on two levels:
Grammar on Word Level
Word-level grammar covers the basic parts of speech of the English language. Parts of speech include arranging words into different word classes so that the reader or hearer understands what exactly you’re trying to convey through your sentences. Here’s everything that word-level grammar includes:
Also known as “action words”, verbs are used to denote a specific action. In other words, verbs show the act of “doing” something. For instance, words like play, eat, run, write, etc indicate an action.
Example – Susan plays tennis.
Simply put, nouns include person, place, and thing. Just like verbs are “actions”, nouns are “things”. Examples include:
Person – woman, man, professor, Jessica, Alan
Place – city, country, office, Iceland
Think – furniture, monkey, music, apple
Pronouns are words that can be used in place of a noun. In other words, you can use a pronoun in the place of a noun. Words like she, he, themselves, our, etc are a few examples of pronouns. Here’s how a pronoun looks in a sentence – “I love Elena’s art. She is great at her work.”
An adjective is a word that describes a noun. Here are few examples (note: adjectives are in bold)
A beige notebook
A blue car
A fascinating tale
A preposition is used BEFORE a particular noun phrase. It also has an important role in connecting this noun phrase to the sentence. Examples (preposition in bold) include:
The cat is under the chair.
The book is on the table.
He’s sitting by the river.
A determiner is a word that comes at the BEGINNING of a noun phrase. Examples include words like an, the, some, this, etc.
A word that describes a verb or tells us more about it is known as an adverb. Here are a few examples (note that the adverbs are in bold and verbs are in italics).
She sings beautifully.
Tom loves dancing.
Conjunction Is a word that connects one part of a sentence to the other. The word “and” is known to be the most common conjunction. Other examples include but, for, so, or, yet, nor, etc. Here’s how conjunction is used in a sentence:
Jack and Jill went up the hill.
He was late for the class.
You can call interjections the emoticons of a sentence, meaning these words supply a sentence with emotion even though they are not connected with it. Examples include:
Ouch! That hurts.
Umm, I don’t know what to do about this situation.
Grammar on Sentence Level
As discussed, grammar helps you make your sentence sound complete and coherent. Here are the sentence-level grammar elements:
A sentence itself forms a part of grammar. It includes:
Subject – It is what a sentence talks about, meaning it acts as the very topic of a sentence.
Predicate – it includes what is said about a specific subject.
For example, in a sentence like “he likes dancing”, “he” is the subject and “likes dancing” is the predicate.
The different types of sentences include:
Declarative – Sentence that tells something, like a statement.
Interrogative – Sentence that asks something.
Imperative – Sentence that tells the hearer/reader to do something.
Exclamative – Sentence that shows surprise.
Sentence structure helps you understand how to form sentences better. The four kinds of sentence structures include – simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex.
Once you start making progress with your grammar, you can take an in-depth look into sentence structures. It includes linking, intransitive, and transitive verbs that will help you construct a sentence better.
Direct and Reported Speech
If you want to describe something, there are two approaches to it:
Direct Speech – when you use somebody’s exact words. For example, “He said, ‘I don’t really care about football.’”
Reported Speech – when you say someone’s words without quoting them. For example, “She said that she loved pop music.”
The “grammatical category” of a sentence includes:
Number (singular or plural)
Gender (feminine, masculine, neutral)
Case (objective, subjective, possessive)
Tense (past, present)
Person (first, second, or third person)
Other elements like voice, degree, mood, and aspect.
Final Thoughts on English Grammar
Understanding and mastering grammar is great. However, it requires a good amount of practice and practical usage. Once you get the basic idea of everything that grammar includes, make sure that you apply it as frequently as possible. This is because practicing something over and over again makes you more skilled at it. Now that you’re equipped with an overall idea of English grammar, make it a point to use these rules in your speech and writing as much as you can. Once you master the very basics, you can quickly dive into the more advanced rules of grammar.