English is the most widely spoken language in the world. This has influenced our education system and jobs to be at par with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, those who are poor at this language could lose many opportunities, irrespective of how good they are in their field of interest. A rich vocabulary is useless when one doesn’t know that language’s grammar. This is why learning grammar is most important when you are learning a language. Grammar rules of different languages vary and this makes it difficult for people to grasp the changes between a language that they already know and English grammar. Sentence construction and appropriate word usage are the two main arms of English grammar. Sentence construction includes rules of punctuation, subject and predicate, etc. while appropriate word usage includes the use of nouns, verbs, common nouns, adverbs, articles, conjunctions, etc. Although reading a grammar book can be uninteresting, one must try to learn as many examples as possible for every rule of English grammar. It is difficult to learn grammar without the help of an expert. No language can be learnt perfectly only by reading about it; one must be exposed to the new language as frequently as possible, by talking to people, watching movies and reading articles written in that language. Here are some tips to improve your English grammar skills.
Enrolling For English Grammar Class
This is the easiest way to learn because an experienced person will be teaching all the rules of grammar and at the same time, you will be forced to talk to them in the same language, so your grammar will improve. When someone points out grammatical mistakes, you must accept them with an open mind, instead of taking it negatively. Reading books on grammar is very useful but reading with an instructor will be twice as advantageous as the student can clear all his doubts then and there itself.
Conversing In English
Although a person may have learned the rules of grammar, constantly talking in English is the only way to learn new things and improve fluency, thus reducing the chances of committing grammatical errors.
Thinking In English
While the body and mind is engaged in the act of speaking, the information that the person wants to convey will be translated from thoughts to words in the person’s brain. Most people think in their native language and then directly translate that thought into English. Arrangement of subject and predicate in a sentence written in native language is sometimes opposite to its translation in English. This is why people with poor grammatical skills make this mistake often. Once a person gets used to thinking in English, he/she won’t find any difficulty in conversing in either English or his/her native language.
One of the best ways to improve your English grammar and point out your mistakes while conversing in English is to listen to yourself. Speak and record yourself, and play back your recording. While listening, you’ll be able to identify your mistakes. Note down your errors and ask a native English speaker to do the same. Compare the two lists and check out your weak points where you need to work on.
It’s better to inculcate the habit of reading from a young age but it’s never too late to start. Reading books by good authors is bound to improve the reader’s grammar. When a person is reading, the same process of speaking happens in reverse; the visual data is broken down, understood and the meaning is stored in your brain. As one reads more books, the rules that bind words into sentences will be subconsciously registered in the brain and these same rules will be applied when the brain translates thoughts into words. Apart from books and novels, also pick up business articles, magazines, and recipes to observe the different ways in which grammar is used in various kinds of writing.
Watching English Movies
Watching English movies has its own advantages and disadvantages over reading books. It is easier to learn the pronunciation of new words while watching movies and understand how certain syllables and words are stressed more than the other. Some of the disadvantages are that people speak English differently around the world; however, it is easier to learn a neutral accent than an acquired one. Some dialects of English are so different that people who speak proper English may find it difficult to understand that dialect. Watching such movies may confuse those who watch with the intent of learning grammar.
Taking Grammar Quizzes
The most ideal way to learn and make use of grammar in day-to-day English conversation is by taking up one specific grammar challenge at a time. Pick up an English grammar book or take an online grammar quiz to test your learning and identify your mistakes. It is advised that you cater to one grammatical error and master that point before proceeding to the next problem. Use the grammar point in your conversation throughout the day, applying it in different sentences that make proper use of that point.
Translating Into English
Penning down your own thoughts is relatively easy, thereby avoiding complicated grammar. And so is speaking out your own ideas. However, when you take up translating a message or article, you need to work upon everything that is given to you, irrespective of the difficulty level of the grammar used. But, you do not have to plunge into translating complex material; start off with simple advertisements and gradually progress towards newspapers and magazine articles. For a better practice, you can even translate dialogues in movies and plays, from your native language.
Avoid Using Colloquial Words
Such words are only corrupted forms of the language and learning to speak that way may not be of any more use than speaking in English around your neighborhood. Those who intend to learn proper English must refrain from speaking in slang or colloquial language to prevent it from becoming a habit.
Interest and regular practice is the key to learning anything new. English grammar is certainly vast but one can easily learn as much required for regular usage.