How to Learn English Grammar Basics? Example & Uses

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How to Learn English Grammar Basics? Example & Uses

The study of grammar is essential if you wish to master the English language. But learning grammar is not easy, and English grammar may seem like a challenge to most of the people out there, especially if it is not their mother tongue.

So, in this post, we will be talking about the step-by-step process of learning grammar. To master anything, one must employ a systematic approach, and that’s what leads them to success. English grammar is no exception in this case.

Let’s get started.

Steps to Learn English Grammar Basics

Believe it or not but studying English grammar basics can be a challenge for even native speakers. When we learn to speak in our mother tongue, we do so by exercising our listening power. We retain the expressions we hear quite often and form a pattern in our brain. That’s how we learn to speak the language without even knowing its grammatical nuances.

  • It is only later when we learn the grammar behind the language, that our grasp becomes clear.
  • However, this is not the same for a non-native speaker. Since they never heard or learned the language naturally by their ears, the grammatical nuances make the language appear complex to them, leaving them utterly frustrated.
how learn English grammar basics easy
How learn English grammar basics easy

But with a systematic approach to learning grammar and language, one can surely master the language, even without being a native speaker.

Step 1: Learn the Parts of Speech

The goal of the language is to communicate, and grammar builds the foundation of the language. Without foundation, the language will cease to exist, and knowing about the foundation will allow you to communicate even more efficiently.

So, some of the first building blocks of this foundation are the parts of speech in the English language. Regardless of whatever grammatical practice you might indulge in doing, it cannot function without the parts of speech.

Just like the name suggests, they are the various parts of the speech we give every day, the building blocks behind every sentence we frame.

english grammar basics parts of speech
English grammar basics parts of speech

In the English language, there are eight parts of speech. They are;

  • Noun
  • Pronoun
  • Adjective
  • Verb
  • Adverb
  • Preposition
  • Conjunction
  • Interjection

Every word that you use in the English language can be categorized into any of these eight categories. Let’s look briefly at what they are exactly.

  • Noun:

The noun refers to the name of any person, place, living things, or inanimate things. There are different types of nouns, like proper nouns, common nouns, countable nouns, and uncountable nouns. While proper nouns refer to the names of particular people or places, common nouns refer to general things.

  • Pronouns:

Pronouns can be used instead of nouns, and there are a number of different pronouns present in the English language. Like, we have Personal pronouns, Possessive pronouns, Reflexive pronouns, Reciprocal pronouns, Relative pronouns, Demonstrative and Interrogative Pronouns. One must study examples of all these types to use them.

  • Adjective:

An adjective is used to describe the noun, whether it has a quality or something else.

  • Verb:

Verbs are the words that denote action carried out by the speaker or the noun of the sentence.

  • Adverb:

An adverb can describe an adjective, a verb, and also another adverb. There are different types of adverbs as well that one has to study.

  • Conjunction:

Conjunctions are like joining words that help join two sentences.

  • Preposition:

Prepositions are the words that come before the noun or a pronoun. They usually show the position and direction in any sentence. Like for example, he is coming back from school.

  • Interjection:

When we express our emotions, we use interjections. These are some of the words that precisely indicate our feelings. Like, Wow! Hurray!

Step 2: Learn the Use of Articles

The next step in the process is having a clear understanding of the use of articles. Articles are nothing but a special kind of adjectives that also help define a noun. It indicates whether the noun is definite or indefinite.

In English, we have three articles in total and two different types.

  • Indefinite articles are indicated by ‘A’ and “An”.
  • A definite article is “The”.

Just like the name suggests, a definite article will be used when the noun is unique or used in a definite sense.

Example:

  • The Statue of Liberty.
  • The boy with the black cap is coming this way.

Indefinite articles, on the other hand, are used when the noun is not unique or is not used in a definite sense.

Example:

  • A boy.
  • An orange.
  • A boy is eating an orange.

Please note that the placement of vowel before a word determines the use of “a” or “an”; however, there are other rules as well, which indicates the usage of the indefinite articles. One must study all these rules to use them appropriately.

Understanding the use of the article is very important since they need to be used in every sentence that you might frame.

Step 3: Learning the Different Tenses

In the third step, you need to learn about the different forms of tense used in the English language. Now, broadly speaking, the tense can be divided into three categories; Past Tense, Present Tense, and Future Tense, respectively.

But each of these types can be divided into four more categories. These sub-categories of tenses help us to form our sentences every day. Without knowing which one to use in what scenario, our speech will be wrong and absolutely ineffective.

Let’s look at the different tenses briefly:

As mentioned earlier, broadly, there are three tenses, and each of them can be categorized into four types. Hence,

Present Tense consists;

  • Simple Present Tense
  • Present Continuous Tense
  • Present Perfect Tense
  • Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Similarly, Past Tense consists of;

  • Simple Past Tense
  • Past Continuous Tense
  • Past Perfect Tense
  • Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Similarly, Future Tense consists of;

  • Simple Future Tense
  • Future Continuous Tense
  • Future Perfect Tense
  • Future Perfect Continuous Tense

Each of these tenses represents various senses of our speech. One must thoroughly study them to understand the nuances, the syntax, and definitely, the application of each of these tenses.

For example, if you wish to say something that happens often and do a particular activity every day, you will have to use Simple Present or Present Indefinite Tense.

Also, if we are to refer to an action that is already completed and some time has passed as well. Then that will be an in the past, and the tense necessary will Simple Past Tense.

Example:

  • He goes to school every day. (Simple Present)
  • He ate the cake alone. (Simple Past)

Similarly, if we are to indicate a particular action that is currently taking place at Present, we will have to use Present Continuous Tense. At the same time, if we wish to express this same sense for an action that was happening in the past, we will use Past Continuous Tense.

Example:

  • I am eating my lunch now. (Present Continuous)
  • They were playing football yesterday. (Past continuous)

Present Perfect Tense refers to any action that has already been completed, yet the effect is still relevant at present. On the other hand, if two actions have taken place in the past and one has happened before the other, then for the first action, we need to use Past Perfect Tense, and for the second, we will be using Simple Past Tense.

Example:

  • I have completed my homework before dinner time. (Present Perfect Tense)
  • Before we reached John’s house, he had already left. (Past Perfect Tense & Simple Past Tense)

To refer to any incident that has started in the past but is continuing in the present, we will use Present Perfect Continuous tense.

Example:

  • It has been raining since morning.

To refer to our plans for the future or any incident that might take place in the future, we need to use Simple Future Tense.

Example:

  • I will go to Delhi Next Month.

To indicate any action that will take place in the future and will be continued, for the time being, we will use Future Continuous Tense.

Example:

  • I will be teaching at the University from March next year.

These are some of the most frequently used tenses in our day-to-day conversations. Make sure that you study them all along with their correct syntax. Without the right tense, we cannot form our speech.

Step 4: Learn the Different Types of Sentences

Next up, you need to identify the types of sentences present in the English language. Of course, not all the time; you will come across simple sentences. But even if you do, you will not be able to identify that, if you don’t know what exactly is a simple sentence.

That’s precisely why you need to know about the three major types of sentences; Simple sentences, Complex sentences, and Compound sentences.

Of course, there are other types of sentences based on their use and expression like Interrogative Sentence, Imperative Sentences, Optative Sentences, but every sentence that we use will fall under one of the three main categories. So what are they exactly?

Simple Sentence

A simple sentence is made of one finite verb and is capable of expressing a sense, idea, or information independently.

Example:

  • The lion is a carnivorous animal.

Complex Sentence:

A complex sentence consists of two parts, where one will be the principal clause, and the other will be a subordinate clause. Together they will give a particular piece of information.

Example:

  • John is my friend who is a great guitar player.

Compound Sentence:

A compound sentence will consist of two simple sentences, or independent clauses joined together by a conjunction.

Example:

  •  Jonathan is a meritorious student, but he is the laziest kid in the class.

Understanding the different types of sentences is imperative to express our idea during the speech appropriately.

Step 5: Learn About the Verbs

Verbs in the context of English grammar is truly a vast topic. However, if you wish to use the language correctly, you need to know all the verbs.

There are several categories of verbs in the English language, but for starters, you need to know the two broad categories and also the different conjugation of verbs based on the tense.

The two broad categories of verbs are Main or Principal Verbs and Auxiliary Verbs. These are the ones used in all different types of tenses, and they form most of the sentences.

Of course, there are other categories as well, like Finite verb, Infinite Verb, Transitive Verbs, Intransitive Verbs, Modal verbs, etc.

So what is the main verb and what is an auxiliary verb?

The main verb is the one that indicates the action done by the subject in the sentence, while the auxiliary verb qualifies the main verb and denotes the tense of the sentence.

Example:

  •  The children are playing in the rain.

Here, “Playing” is the main verb, and “are” is the auxiliary verb.

The conjugation of verbs changes with tense, like apart from the modal verbs, almost all verbs have five forms based on the tenses.

Make sure you memorize the conjugation to use the correct tense.

Step 6: Learn the Clause

Broadly speaking, clauses can be categorized into two types; Principal Clause and Subordinate Clause.

But based on their functionality, they can be divided into other categories as well. Like, if a clause functions as a noun, then we call it a nominal clause. If it acts like an adjective, then adjective clause, relative clause, and so on.

However, first, you need to understand the difference between the main clause and a subordinate clause.

The main clause here can stand alone and make complete sense without the help of any other clause.

The subordinate clause is always dependent on the main clause to express the true meaning of the sentence. Each of these tenses represents various senses of our speech

Example:

  • Eric, who is actually my step-brother, is a wonderful musician.

Here, “Eric is a wonderful musician” can be called the principal clause as the subordinate clause “Who is actually my step-brother” is dependent on it.

One must also learn about the difference between a phrase and a clause. An independent clause can sit alone and still make sense, while a phrase is just a group of words that will only make sense when used in the right context.

Step 7: Learn Prepositions

There are so many prepositions in English grammar along with rules. We have to learn all rules, examples, to learn English grammar basics.

Prepositions means,

  • On
  • In
  • At
  • After
  • before
  • Into, etc.

There are so many rules for prepositions, like rules for preposition on, rules for preposition in, preposition list, preposition of place, etc. that should be known to learn English grammar.

Step 8: Learn Vocabulary

When you will communicate with someone, you have to increase the stock of words as well as vocabulary. Now, there are plenty of ways, you can improve your vocabulary.

You can learn few interesting English grammar basics to learn new words, like,

There are so many sites for English grammar practice which can be done.

Step 9: Learn English by Writing & Reading 

Once we learn all basics of English grammar, it is required to apply it in practical life. How you apply these English grammar skills in practical life?

It is simple and easy to learn English by reading and writing.

Step 10: Improve English Grammar by Spoken English

After writing and reading, it is required to practice by speaking. The final way to practice English grammar is by spoken English. Do practice regularly with various grammatical usage, rules, examples, and apply in personal life.

It will be very easy to learn,

  • Talk to friends
  • Talk to family members
  • Talk to teachers

Make sure, you are applying all grammatical rules in spoken English.

Step 11: Avoid Common Errors in English Grammar

There are few common errors in English grammar, which should avoid all the time to correct English. How to do it?

  • Learn common English grammar mistakes
  • Record and listen and try to find out the mistakes and
  • Practice practice practice

Conclusion

So, there you have it, six steps to approach English grammar. However, please be advised that this list is by no means exhaustive. These are just the first six systematic steps that you can follow to get started with learning English grammar if you are learning it as a foreign language.

There are other aspects of grammar as well, which you can learn by in-depth study, reading, and conversing with others.

If you have any additional queries regarding this topic, please feel free to post them in the comments section.

Further Study

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