Grammar provides the rules in use of the language for people involved so that they can understand each other easily, and a language without grammar is like a pillar unsupported by concrete and likely to collapse at any time. Learning a new language is multifaceted as there are too many aspects to deal with. Among these obstacles, mastering grammar is often referred to as the most daunting task for language learners because of its massive repository of rules to learn by rote. But you need to know that none of us is hopeless at grammar, as we have been surrounded by that of our native language since our very first days of life. If there is something worth taking into account as regards our ability to learn grammar, it is just our lack of practice that perpetuates our imperfections. So what steps should be taken to improve the situation?
(The following steps are arranged in ascending order of importance)
1.Dig deep into the rules governing parts of the speech
One of the most common mistakes that contribute to people’s inability to use grammar properly is their superficial understanding of the function of parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, adverbs, conjunctions, interjections, prepositions). For example, they may know that “a”, “an” and “the” are articles but are unable to distinguish between the contexts where they should be used. At this point, they should be looked up and carefully written down for later revision, which is a must so that you can memorize them better. You can also juxtapose more pairs of words, such as “used to”-“would” and “between”-“among” to better your observation and analytical skills.
2. Practice making grammatically correct sentences.
This step includes three smaller ones:
- Learn to make basic sentences proficiently
At minimum, every sentence consists of two parts: a subject and a verb. A sentence without each of these parts is a fragment sentence and is deemed incomplete. You can start by forming three-word sentences (She loves bananas) or longer ones (I always go to school on time), provided that they guarantee accuracy. Then, you can make several attempts to incorporate adverbial clauses, comparative or superlative adjectives in your sentences to increase the difficulty.
- Make sure the verbs are commensurate with the nouns
Maintaining agreements between subjects and verbs is the bare minimum for the betterment of grammar. This may be quite hard for starters because there are quite a lot auxiliary verbs for them to remember. They also have difficulty with grammatical conjugation (giving the different forms of a verb, as they vary according to number, tense, etc.); however, with some practice, the above matters are a piece of cake). Besides, pay special attention to such collective nouns as “school”, “pack” or “family” which are treated as singular nouns and therefore require a singular verb.
- Challenge yourself with complicated types of sentences
When you have picked up the basics of making sentences, it is time to move on to compound sentences, complex sentences, or conditionals, which will enrich your English in general. Before try making such sentences, go over the rules as regards the use of conjunctions, tenses, etc. over and over again to make sure you understand how and when they are used. Also, you need to have a thorough grasp of the function of punctuation, which may appear in any kind of sentence.
3.Practice writing paragraphs and essays.
- Paragraphs do wonders for the inexperienced as they are quite easy to write, and you have a chance to work on grammar. A basic paragraph is divided into three main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion, and a good one should stick to the structures as well as has sufficient use of types of sentences.
- When you feel satisfied enough with your paragraph, try your hands at writing essays. Essays are a little more difficult because they are made up of several paragraphs. They often discuss socio-economic issues and require coherence and cohesion, which forces you to use liking words sensibly so that there are connections among the paragraphs.
4.Practice, practice, practice.
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is practice.”. And here is how you can be extraordinary:
- Do grammar exercises: You do not even need to buy grammar books as with only a click of the mouse, millions of results will be within sight. What you need to do is choose exercises that you need, and when you make a mistake, highlight it so that you will not do the same anymore.
- Do a lot of reading: You do not necessarily read detective stories or books about economics, just read whatever you like because grammar is wherever words appear. The more you read, the more familiar you become with the way grammar is used in sentences, paragraphs, and essays. Thanks to this, you can relax while knowledge still sinks in, which helps you feel enthusiastic about learning rather than consider it a duty or an obligation.
- Use online websites to aid you: Look for websites that assess your writing for free, notably Cambridge English Write&Improve (https://writeandimprove.com/). You can choose your level (beginner, intermediate or advanced) and then the topics to write about. If you opt for the beginner level, you are required to write narratives under the form of an email, a postcard, etc. Meanwhile, intermediate learners can choose to write a report or a story, and advanced students are delegated to write argumentative, opinion, etc. essays. Within each topic, there are suggestions as to what you should do in your piece of writing, and there is a task timer to keep you from losing track of time. After you are finished, you will receive feedback on your level ranging from A1 to C2 as well as your grammatical mistakes, which will benefit you in the long run. You can also search for other highly recommended writing websites so that your writing ability can be pushed to the limits, thus improving your grammar.
Above are selective methods for improving your grammar step by step. Remember not to shuffle the order, or else you will not get the anticipated result. Practice little by little, and do not move to the next method unless you have not perfectly completed the previous ones, and your conspicuous progress is just a matter of time.