No language has 'rules' and English is no exception. People describe grammar as a set of rules. But I think grammar is only a guideline that helps you understand and learn a language. It is not mandatory that you learn the grammar and composition of a language to learn the language.
If you don't agree with me, just recall how you learned your mother tongue. But grammar does help you grasp a foreign language faster. So learning the standard English grammar rules will make it easier for you to learn English.
Note that this article focuses on enlisting only the basic rules and regulations of the English language, which are used in everyday life. Take a look at the following sections, and start applying them in your communication skills too.
Sentences, Clauses, and Phrases
A sentence is the most basic entity of any language. It is made up of a subject and a predicate. The subject is the person or thing that is the point of focus of what you are expressing through the sentence. The predicate is the rest of the sentence that says something about the subject or its action. For example: Jack runs on the beach.
Jack is the subject and the rest is predicate.
A clause is an incomplete sentence that contains a subject and a predicate. In other words, it is a part of a complete sentence. For example: The boy is going to school, and he is going to eat there.
Here we have two clauses, one before the comma, and one after it.
A phrase is a group of words. It does not have a subject or predicate. For example: During the night, I watched a movie.
Here 'during the night' is a phrase.
Parts of Speech
The words used in English are categorized into eight parts of speech. The same words may fall under different categories depending upon the way they are used. The eight parts of speech are the noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, proposition, conjunction, and interjection.
It is the name of any person, object, or place. Further there are various types of nouns used in grammar, such as proper nouns and common nouns.
A pronoun is a word that is used instead of a noun. He, she,
are examples of pronouns.
A verb is a word that shows some sort of action. There are types of verbs too. One important type is helping verbs.
An adjective is a word that gives you additional information about the noun.
An adverb is a word that provides some more information about the verb.
A preposition is a word that shows the relation between two nouns, pronouns, etc.
A conjunction is a word that connects two words, sentences, etc.
Interjection is a word that shows exclamation, and it is commonly followed by an exclamation mark.
Articles are these three simple words―a
, and the
. They are sometimes categorized as a part of speech. The reason I have mentioned them separately is that they are very important, and so is their correct usage.
All the words at the starting of a sentence are not the only ones that are supposed to be written in capital letters. You have to capitalize all the proper nouns, such as names of people and places. Also, all sorts of titles and acronyms should be written in capital letters. If you are quoting a sentence, its first word should be capitalized.
This is an important rule of grammar, because one misplaced comma can change the meaning of the entire sentence. The use of the comma is made to indicate a pause in the statement, whereas the use of the semicolon is made to separate words or sentences of opposite meaning. Use of the colon indicates the beginning of a list or series. Hyphen shows connected words or two separate syllables of a single word.
Tenses mean the time that is being spoken or written about. There are three major tenses―past, present, and future. Depending upon the tense the verbs used in the sentences change their form. The tenses may also be used in a mixed way. That is, using two or all three tenses in one sentence. There are different forms of tenses, like simple present, present continuous, simple past, etc.
You should note that this was only a brief overview of the rules of grammar, and to master the language, you will have to study numerous rules in depth, which are never-ending.