Someone once said, “I try to keep an open mind about everything except grammar, spelling and punctuation”….”Good grammar for easy English” is the shield of protection as one ventures to combat the warriors of English namely the nouns and the verbs and their extended family – the parts of speech. Good grammar is the backbone of any written composition. Random thoughts are penned down to master pieces with the help of grammar. Grammar refines one’s thoughts, to actions. Abstract nouns metamorphoses to verbs only with grammar as its aide and without this important element, that is the basic fundamental structure of any given language, the language is incomplete, thus one cannot master the language without mastering it’s grammar. Grammar has fortified the language that it is impenetrable for anyone to conquer the language without a word war with grammar – its sentry.
Adjectives are the sugar and adverbs the salt
After all that glorification about grammar being mandatory, why is it that grammar is important? Why one should learn grammar? The answer is quite simple, language is meant for communication and thus without correct grammar one can often be misinterpreted, it’s like lost in translation. Henry James once said ‘Adjectives are the sugar of literature and adverbs the salt’. Thus language acquires the characteristic flavour with the grammar employed. Punctuations are the masons of English language and without them either one ends up with a very long sentence or just a short one – rather unintended one. Like,
Punctuations can make and break a sentence
Lets eat grandpa… this is sentence suggests a feast of undesirable kind and with the punctuation, the physician that repairs the sentence, it can be corrected as ‘Lets eat, grandpa..this sentence suggests a homey meal with a loved and not the loved one being the meal himself. Punctuations can make and break a sentence. Punctuations guarantee the sentence a new avatar every single time it’s used.
Go slow, work in progress… here the sentence suggests to cut down your speed..
Go, slow work in progress..here the sentence is sarcastic description of work done by certain people.
Thus punctuations are the keel of the grammar boat.
It is a big preposition to study the preposition. Prepositions can complicate one’s life after all it links the nouns to the rest of the sentence and so it’s all about ‘nouns’, the person who is alive and kicking in the sentence, without the preposition to link, the noun might stay single forever and die in solitude.
How to master grammar:-
Grammar’s been the worst nightmare for many but fortunately it’s quite easy to master, if we follow certain steps diligently and cautiously. English is a very precarious language if not used properly the unintended meaning might jeopardize one’s existence, it might end in a catastrophe. To wield the reigns of this untamed stallion, one must follow these certain tips.
Read, read, read more
First and foremost to score more and write flawless compositions, one has to have this prior knowledge, a sound vocabulary, knowledge of the usages in English language; we have come to a catch 22 situation now, as to master grammar one should be adept in all these how would one master the said components, a learner who is not a native speaker of English, the answer lies in ‘reading’, comprehensive reading. Reading books and any printed material of value is an easy way to increase one’s diction and when a non-native speaker reads an English novel, he/she will pick up the said usages of the language, the style, the adjectives of the language and how one can be expressive employing the said language.
Learning grammar starts with acquiring a sound knowledge of words with correct spellings
While in the process of familiarizing oneself with English grammar, one must be quite well versed in ‘Correct Spellings’, it is the precursor for learning. One must first learn to write without spelling errors. Just one misplaced letter gives in for a colossal change of meaning, ‘Desert’- an arid region, ‘Dessert’- a delectable treat, but the difference being just one letter. Thus the precursor, a prerequisite for learning grammar starts with acquiring a sound knowledge of words with correct spellings, acquiring sound knowledge of words comes with reading a lot of books.
Now that we have read a lot, how to express that using correct grammar; first and foremost one will have to learn the verb conjugation in English. The basic form of the verb, past and the past participle. The difference between regular verbs and irregular verbs, verb conjugation seems to be worst nightmare of a non-native speaker. It is quite interesting to come across such words as ‘cutted’, ‘putted’, people trying to conjugate verbs and ending up with words that does not exist. Tomaster grammar learning verb conjugation is a must.
To express oneself one should learn adjectives, parts of speech
The language devoid of ornamentation is parched. Adjectives are the adornments and to express oneself one should learn the adjectives of English and all the parts of speech. Learning the parts of speech puts the learner in a perspective and to a certain extent it is liking crossing the bridge and you are half way across the bridge, and one reach the other bank with the ‘Tense’.
Herein the verbs come in handy. One should learn all the verb tenses, as they say, the past, the present and the future walked in, it was tense!! Learning verb tenses is very important to use English language. Tenses are like Mathematics, there are formulae that represents each tense familiarizing oneself with these, fixing it in the context and learning and understanding is the best way to learn verb tenses.
Tenses have been mastered now ‘Articles’ come in the picture. The Learner will have to learn the rules of using the definite and indefinite articles. It is very easy to use the articles, if one wants to be very particular about something to pinpoint and to be very precise we use ‘THE’, thus it is called the definite article. ‘A’ used in front of consonant sounds and ‘AN’ in front of vowel sounds.
Now, let’s zero down to the subject. One has to know the subject and the predicate of English language. What is the subject? What is the Object? And verb we are quite familiar with it, ‘action words’. One has to know that the basic skeleton of an English sentence is ‘S+V+O’. Which is Subject + Verb + Object. Just fill in the variable and lo and behold we have the English sentence. Thus we have constructed the English sentence.
There are many such quirky and tricky grammatical components, as ‘Gerunds’ , ‘Participles’ and ‘Infinitives’. Conjunctions – It is quite important if one has to use English grammar in its correct sense. They are the linkers, connectors. The sentence takes different forms with these ‘Conjunctions’.
The sentence is simple without them and a complex one with a subordinating conjunction and a compound if one finds a coordinating conjunction.To understand the different kinds of sentences one has to know the conjunctions in English language.
If one has a basic idea about all the above said elements mastering grammar is not very hard, if not easy. A philosopher once said ‘half of good philosophy is good grammar for easy English’ –Aloysius Martinich.
Author: Ms. Aarthi