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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 Ways to Boost Your Grammar Skills

Learning English relies on mastering a complex series of definitions, principles, and rules about how everything fits together. As is the case in other languages; grammar represents the rules used to craft meaningful passages. Teachers use a variety of approaches to drive home grammatical rules, including repetitious exercises designed to cement students' understanding of English grammar. Some English language educators, on the other hand, maintain a more passive position regarding grammar, believing that other principles are more important to learning the language.

Whether you are a stickler for grammatical details, or an English language student committed to mastering words and phrases ahead of the grammar that guides them, it is important to recognize the importance of syntax, semantics and other grammatical features of the language. Use these proven approaches to guide your grammar skills to the next level:

Read English Language Books

Depending on your current level of understanding, reading books written in English may furnish your most comprehensive exposure to grammar. Even when you're not focused specifically on grammar, reading brings proper structure and other grammatical rules to the surface, as you read. And when language lessons relate to certain aspects of grammar, written material provides references, where you can see how authors applied grammar correctly.

Practice Creating Sentences and Paragraphs using Grammar Rules

While grammar plays a role in conveying your intended meaning, it is not the only force at play getting your message across. Early-on learning the language, English language students struggle to use the right words and phrases, rather than striving to join their ideas in grammatically correct ways. To boost grammar skills, successful English language students flip their approaches, at times, in order to consciously think about grammar as they express themselves.

To better understand relationships between words, phrases and grammar, think of learning language as learning to type, for example. In most cases, without any keyboarding skills, you'll still be able to get your message across. But with a concerted effort, you'll eventually learn to use the keyboard as intended, without looking at the keys. In much the same way, vocabulary and a cursory understanding of how words and phrases work within a language provide enough tools for you to communicate. However, when you consciously apply grammar to your approach, it refines your expression, allowing you to share ideas more effectively.

Study Punctuation

Grammar is a general term, encompassing several aspects of how various nuances operate within the language. Punctuation yields clues for those learning English, adding formal reinforcement to principles at play in spoken and written language.

Exceptions to Grammar Rules

While some grammatical concepts remain consistent throughout the English language, others are subject to exceptions, which can be daunting for those learning grammar. The best approach is to apply rules you learn along the way, without holding yourself accountable for all of the grammatical exceptions within the language. Mastering English is an ongoing pursuit of perfection - even for native speakers, so exceptions need not be committed to memory in the early stages of learning the language.

Set Realistic Goals

In some cases, learning English is tied to specific needs and responsibilities requiring you to use the language. Setting realistic goals helps you learn the language efficiently, in order to accommodate the ways you'll frequently use it. Specialized jargon and technical terms, for example, would not generally be included in your language lessons. If special vocabulary is required in your employment setting or in other parts of your life, account for them as you learn the language, setting realistic benchmarks for mastering the grammatical rules your situation requires.

Learning grammar is only one aspect of mastering English, so it shouldn't consume your effort to become proficient using the language. Setting goals and exposing yourself to diverse examples are sure-fire ways to boost your understanding of English Grammar.

This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @

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