Before you start learning English, it is important to learn the basic rules of the language. A strong knowledge of grammar will go a long way in developing a solid foundation of the language. Here is a list of 5 most important grammar rules to learn by heart before you start mastering the language:
1. Subject-Verb Agreement
It is important to identify the right subject and verb to frame error-free sentences.
The basic rule is that a singular subject is followed by a singular verb and plural subject takes on the plural verb.
For instance, The list of names is kept on the desk.
Here, “list” is the subject with a singular verb “is”.
2. Correct use of Articles
The English language has two articles- ‘A/An’ and ‘The’. To explain, ‘The’ is definite article and is used to refer to specific nouns while ‘A/An’ is an indefinite article used to refer to the non-specific nouns.
For instance, when we say “Let’s read the book”, we are referring to a specific book. But, when we say “Let’s read a book”, it refers to any random book.
The usage of ‘A/An’ depends on the sound of the word. ‘A’ is used if the next word begins with a consonant (such as a boy, a dog). ‘A’ is also used for words that begin with consonant sounds (a University).
‘An’ is used if the word begins with a vowel (an elephant, an idiot).
3. Fewer Vs. Less
The rule is simple: use “fewer” with countable things and “less” with uncountable things. For example, “I should eat fewer candies”, “drink less tea”.
4. Active and Passive Voice
Use active voice when the subject is performing any action. For example, “Lisa finished her work”. Use passive voice when the subject is acted upon by the verb. For instance “Work was finished by Lisa.”
These are just a few glimpses of the correct usage of English grammar although the complications keep on increasing as you start to delve deeper. If you are a student of English, then you ideally need a good tutor/mentor to gain a strong foothold in this language. Reading English newspapers & magazines regularly is a great habit which can benefit a lot.
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