Grammar Revolution- Understanding the Rules & Usage of English Grammar
English is not difficult to learn if you know the correct rules and usage of it. Grammar is mostly about the correct placement of words in a sentence whereas usage involves using the proper word. Many of us struggle with grammar and are skeptical of learning outcomes through online lesson formats.
To learn English online is now more common than before thanks to the rapid rate of digitalization in today’s globalized markets, at a pace accelerated unprecedently by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Online spoken English classes are now more evolved in terms of their course curriculum, online lesson delivery with a more customized approach to addressing individual students needs as well in the form of one-on-one online English classes.
As an online English speaking course in India, we believe the best way to learn Grammar usage is by way of conversational style of English learning. Conversing with online English tutors and trying different English grammar functions in contextual sentences will be a better learning exercise provided you first know the basics of these in terms of definitions, rules etc.
With proper grammar, the relationship between the words becomes clear, and the communication becomes easy.
Important Grammar rules that everyone must know!
Understanding how most of our students consider English grammar an insurmountable big black hole, we have covered several articles on the topic in the past. Right from basic English grammar learning tips to English Grammar tenses and English Grammar functions, these articles should help you with simple tips to get going.
In this article, we will be discussing about smart tips a fluent English speaker must know. From writing to speaking English, there are a few grammar rules that are important to know.
Rule No. 1: A sentence should start with a capital letter and end with a period/full stop, a question mark, or an exclamation mark. For Example- Did you eat? (Interrogative Sentence) or I had taken my meal. (Imperative Sentence)
Rule No. 2: A complete sentence must have a subject and a predicate
The subject refers to the person, place, or thing which the sentence is about whereas the predicate describes the subject and what the subject is doing. For Example- I wrote a letter. In this sentence, the subject is “I” and the predicate is “wrote a letter”.
Rule No. 3: A twist in the imperative sentences
This is a type of sentence in which the speaker instructs or commands the person to whom they are speaking. In these kinds of sentences, only the predicate is required.
For Example- “Stay here”! This is a complete sentence, with a predicate, and no subject.
In an imperative sentence, the subject is implied, because it is the person being instructed. The sentence could be rewritten as, “You must stay here”!
The subject “you” in Example 4 is implied in Example 3, so it isn’t necessary to include.
Rule No. 4: A complete sentence must include a noun and a verb
A noun is the name of a person, place, thing, or idea and a verb is an action word. For Example- The animal went into the forest. In this sentence, the noun is “animal” and the verb is “went”.
Rule No. 5: Adjectives are put before the noun they describe, or after the noun, if separated by a verb.
Adjectives are called describing words. It describes a noun and a pronoun. When the adjective is in the subject part of the sentence, it is put before the noun. For Example- Sheila needs a black pencil. In this sentence, the subject is “Sheila”, and it includes both the noun “pencil” and the adjective “black”, which describes it.
But when the adjective is the predicate part of the sentence, it may go after the noun. For Example- My mother is angry. In this example, the subject is “My mother”, and the predicate is “is angry”. The predicate consists of the verb “is” and the adjective “angry”.
Rule No. 6: When two singular subjects are connected by or- use a singular verb. The same is true for either/or and neither/nor. Examples-
- My brother or sister is coming tonight.
- Either bread or muffin is fine.
Rule No. 7: Singular subject always goes with a singular verb and a plural subject needs a plural verb. Examples are as follows-
- My friend lives in Bombay.
- Julie and Mob work in London.
Rule No. 8: Use the indefinite article a with words beginning with a consonant sound. Use the indefinite article ‘an’ with words beginning with a vowel sound. For Example- a cat, a university (pronounced as you-ni-ver-si-ty), an umbrella, an honorable man (pronounced as on-o-ra-ble)
Rule No. 9: The direct object is the noun being acted on by the verb.
The noun which performs the verb is the subject of the verb. But many verbs have objects as well as subjects.
For Example- “The squirrel ate nuts”. In this sentence, the direct object of the verb “ate” is “nuts”. The “nuts” are the noun which “the squirrel” (the subject) is eating. Without the seeds, the squirrel would not be eating anything. In other words, the squirrel here is “acting on” the nuts.
Rule No. 10: The indirect object is the noun which receives the direct object
Some verbs may have direct objects and indirect objects. The indirect object is often connected by words such as “to”, “at”, or “towards”. For Example- “The squirrel gave the nuts to me.” This example has a subject, direct object, and indirect object. The subject is “the squirrel”, which is the noun performing the verb “gave”. The direct object is “nuts”, which is the object which the bird is “giving”. Without the seeds, the bird would be giving nothing. The indirect object is “me”, connected to the direct object by the word “to”.
Also note that it is not always necessary for the words to be in the above order. In fact, this sentence can be formed without the word “to” and still have the same meaning. For Example- “The squirrel gave me the nuts.” Although the order of the words has changed, “nuts” is still the direct object of the verb “gave”, and “me” is still the indirect object.
Rule No 11: Adverbs function like prepositions
Adverbs are descriptive words which gives an answer to the question “how?” They often end in the suffix “-ly”. The adverb “rapidly” can be moved to the beginning, middle, or end. For Example- Rapidly, the bird ate seeds. OR The bird rapidly ate seeds. OR The bird ate seeds rapidly. All these sentences mean the same thing.
Rule No. 12: Use Simple Present for Habitual Actions, Present Progressive for Current Action, Past Perfect for the Unfinished Past, Present Perfect Progressive for Unfinished Action of the Past
Simple Present can be used for any habitual actions. For Example- I go to market daily. Present Progressive is for anything that is happening right now. For Example- I am going to the market now. However, the present perfect is used when people talk about things that have already happened but consider the time in which they occurred to be unfinished.
The helping verb for the present perfect is the present tense conjugation of "to have". For Example- I have eaten more than three meals today. Present Perfect Progressive is used when the action, and time, is considered unfinished. For Example- I have been drinking coffee all day.
Understanding and consistently following the basic English Grammar rules will help you speak and write English correctly and with least hesitation.