Proper English Grammar


Proper English GrammarMany students are determined to learn proper English grammar. But what is that? And is it fixed or ever changing?

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What does "proper" grammar mean?

There is a lot of debate about what proper grammar is.

English, unlike Latin for example, is a living language and it is constantly evolving.

For example the word "email" used to be a noun but now it is also used as a verb. "To email someone" is now in common use.

Not only is the English language changing over time, but it is also different in different parts of the world.

The most notable grammar differences are between British English and American English, and Canadian English sits somewhere between the two!

"Proper" grammar is usually thought of as the standard grammar used by educated people in an English-speaking country.

Grammar used on the street may be very different, and although it may be useful to understand "street" English, it is not usually taught to students.

Why is proper grammar important?

If you are learning as a hobby, or to use while you are traveling then it shouldn't be the first thing on your mind to have perfect grammar. But you do need to make sure people can understand you so it is definitely important to learn the basic tense structures, word order and conditional tenses correctly if you can.

If you are learning English for work purposes, then proper grammar becomes more important. It could give a negative impression to colleagues, clients or suppliers if you use incorrect grammar. Or even worse, it could lead to misunderstandings and mistakes.

Of course if you are studying English to pass an exam, then proper grammar becomes most important. Most English exams test your knowledge of grammar to some extent – some more than others.

How can you learn proper grammar?

The best way to learn proper grammar is to find a good class with a high grammar content in the lessons.

Some English lessons focus more on communication skills, so ask the teacher how much grammar is included if this is important to you.

If you have covered a grammar point in your class that you do not understand, it is important that you tell your teacher.

If he or she doesn't know that you don't understand it, they will probably move on to something more difficult and you will become even more confused!

If you don't understand it, then it is probable that there is someone else in the class who doesn't understand it either.

There are many websites available that explain grammar and have exercises you can do to practice.

There are also some excellent self-study grammar books available, such as "English Grammar In Use."

Whether you learn in a class or on your own it is important to practice the grammar you learn.

Don't be afraid to try to use more complicated things that you learn in class. If you don't try then you will never know if you are using the proper English grammar or not.

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