English Grammar Myths!
Let’s start top 10 English Grammar myths. When you are learning or using a language, can you imagine doing that without thinking about grammar? I guess not. This is simply because the language does depend on the grammar, from the structure’s point of view.
But as we all know, there is a constant debate about whether the communication is more important or knowing the correct grammar.
I know all the grammar mavens out there would always be in favor of learning the correct grammar, and thus comes the grammar myths. A language constantly evolves; it’s never constant.
If it has become stagnant, then it is definitely dead. So, in this course of evolving, a few myths tag along and influence the later generations of users.
We will learn the top 10 English Grammar myths here. It’s the same for every language, and English is not an exception in this case. So, it’s time to debunk a few myths.
Read on as in this post, I will be telling you about ten of these grammar myths that are there for a long time, and they influence our speech every day. Some of them are so well-known that you might probably spot them in this very article.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started with English Grammar myths!
I am starting the post with this one because, personally, I have faced a lot of criticism for using passive voice while writing. Well, guess what, this whole concept is wrong. There is no problem in using the passive voice as long as you know the definition or the correct usage.
Whenever you don’t know the person responsible for an action, you can use a passive voice. For example, if you say, ‘murders were committed, it’s absolutely fine if you don’t know who or what committed the murders.
Hence, penalizing someone the moment you see the use of passive voice or consciously avoiding the use of passive voice is not at all done.
Instead, if you value the communication part more, you can surely use passive voice if your speech demands it.
Do you often say, ‘I’m good’ whenever someone asks about your current status? Well, according to some, it’s not the correct response. But honestly, this is another myth that makes most people say otherwise.
But in reality, there is nothing wrong in saying I’m good since ‘am’ here is a linking verb. Now, as per grammatical rules, every linking verb should be modified by adjectives, and ‘good’ is an adjective. So, grammatically there is nothing wrong with this response.
Some also prefer saying, ‘I’m well’. This is another correct response which you can easily use, but some grammarians argue that ‘I’m well’ should only be used when the query is related to your health and not something general.
This one is more of a misconception rather than a myth. In reality, both are not the same, and they mean two very different ideas. ‘E.g.’ means nothing but ‘example’. You can use this before giving an example, and this can save some time as well.
This short-form can be especially effective if you are writing something where you need to present a number of examples every time you define something.
On the other hand, ‘i.e.’ can mean ‘In other words’ or ‘that is’. This can be used when you wish to clarify something you have just presented in writing with a number of supporting statements.
This is one of the most well-known myths regarding infinitives. But in reality, this is not true at all. Almost all the experienced can vouch for your use of infinitives.
Infinitives are a kind of non-finite verbs that often play the role of a verb in a sentence while remaining unchanged in respect to the tense. Most of the time, the infinitives are accompanied by ‘to’ followed by the first form of the verb.
But there is no strict rule where you cannot split an infinitive and put an adjective or adverb in between. For example, you can easily say, ‘to bravely do the work’, and no grammarian can frown upon you.
This one, I guess, is known to all. Even the school kids are also taught that they should never end a sentence with a preposition. Believe it or not, this practice dates back to the 17th century where the poets of that period argued that English should always follow the grammatical nuances of Latin.
In reality, you don’t need to be so strict with the use of a preposition at the end of the sentence. Like, if you are using the prepositions that are part of many phrasal verbs and omit the last part, then the meaning itself will remain incomplete.
The only time you need to avoid using the preposition, in the end, is if the meaning is already implied. Like, when you ask ‘where is she going to?’ the preposition here is absolutely superfluous. But if you say, ‘what are you looking at?’ It makes perfect sense.
This makes very little sense since this is not the case for each and every run-on sentence. As a matter of fact, some of the run-on sentences can be pretty short. First, you need to understand the definition here.
A run-on sentence is often characterized but multiple independent clauses put together with the help of punctuations or conjunctions. Now, that does not make all the sentences long.
For example, if you write, ‘I am bold he is meek.”
Here, you cannot see any conjugation or punctuation between the two independent clauses. So, despite being a run-on sentence, it’s actually very short.
This is absolutely wrong! There is no such rigid rule that dictates that “such as” can only be used before you start listing examples. Basically, the usage depends on the context that you are trying to convey. Thus, you can use it for other things as well apart from examples.
When you say ‘I love action movies like Rambo, Terminator, and Street-Fighter’, it absolutely makes sense.
But if you say, ‘I prefer action movies such as Rambo, Terminator, and Street-Fighter’, that is correct too. It’s the context that makes all the difference.
If the first one implies comparison, then the second sentence clearly shows your preference for the genre.
This does not make much sense either. You can easily start a sentence with a word like ‘however’ if you use a comma after that, which will change the meaning and imply the sense of ‘nevertheless’.
As a matter of fact, when you read the literature of famous writers like Shakespeare, Kipling, and others of their kind, you can see frequent use of conjunctions at the beginning of a sentence.
Another famous myth that has been taught to us since the school days! Some also argue that in case of using double negatives, they can cancel the implication and imply a positive sense. As if this is math!
Well, in reality, as long as you are using the English language, it’s perfect to use two negatives. You can see this usage in popular music or even in the early works of Shakespeare and Chaucer, where they were used to imply emphasis.
No one can deny that it is a bad word, and one must refrain from using it. But at the same time, you will also have to accept that it is an actual word!
It’s not a made-up word, but you cannot disregard it as some wrong word with absolutely no meaning. You can refer to any dictionary and know more about it!
So, there you go, ten of the most well-known English grammar myths debunked with their relevant logic. Have you managed to spot a few of them in this post? Well, never mind if you haven’t.
So what is your personal experience with these grammar myths? Do you often face challenges like learning difficulties because of them? Let us know in the comments section, and also tell us if we have missed out on any point. There are a lot of ways to learn English properly.
Feel free to share your opinion with us and keep the conversation going. It can help thousands of other readers just like you.
But till then, best of luck!