Your Easy Guide to Good Grammar
In the United States, March 4 is the little-known holiday of National Grammar Day. Although you may not have heard of it before today, it's a great opportunity to brush up on grammar skills and remind yourselves of some of the tricky rules of English!
When thinking about grammar, it helps a lot to remember many of the terms and definitions to really help you break down your sentences and decide which parts belong where. Remind yourself of some important definitions and sentence structures to improve the way you think about grammar.
- Superlative adjectives
- Adverbs: what are they and how can you use them?
- What is a prepositional phrase?
- How to use the –ing form in English
- How to use the infinitive verb in English
Setting up your sentences
Once you’ve mastered the parts of the sentence, it’s important to make sure you’re constructing your sentence correctly and putting your ideas together logically.
- When do you use capital letters in English?
- How to use punctuation correctly, part 1
- How to use punctuation correctly, part 2
Know your tenses
Now that you know what you want to say and how to write the sentence, make sure that you’re being precise with your tenses! English has a variety of slightly different tenses depending on what you what exactly you to emphasize. Although you’ll be understood if you don’t use the exact right form, the more you master tenses the closer you sound to a native!
- Past tenses to talk about vacation
- Looking back with the simple past and present perfect
- How to use the simple future tense
Easy words to confuse
English has one of the languages with the most words in the world. There are lots of words that sound very similar but mean different things. Other times, there are words that mean essentially the same thing but only one is appropriate in a particular usage. The sign of a good speaker is knowing the subtle differences. Refresh your memory with these useful tools!
- Advice vs. advise
- Breathe vs. breath
- Ensure vs. insure vs. assure
- Less vs. fewer
- Collecting collocations: speak like a native!
Everyone makes mistakes
You should always strive to make improvements, but don’t get frustrated if you continue to make mistakes. Every error is just another opportunity to learn. Even native speakers make mistakes! Check out some grammar mistakes that have made their way into popular culture.
We hope these tips have been helpful to you. Happy Grammar Day! Consider heading to Kaplan's US schools to experience the day yourself if you want to see even further improvement, or check out our other language schools all over the world!