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English is a vast language that has a large number of grammar rules to be followed.
Students learn English grammar at a very early age in school. With time, they become proficient in the language but also develop a tendency to ignore a few grammar rules. Proper grammar acts as a foundation of the English language and provides a structure for the language.
Apart from helping people with written and verbal communication, appropriate use of grammar ensures the message is correctly conveyed to the other person. Deviating from the structure is likely to confuse people.
While you do not have to remember all the grammar rules by heart, knowing the most important ones can give you a better grasp of the language.
Especially if you frequently write academic papers, business emails, technical content, or blog articles. You need to know which rules to follow and which ones can be ignored.
Here is a list of the 10 most essential grammar rules that will help you create engaging and grammatically correct content.
A compound sentence is a sentence that consists of two or more independent clauses joined by a conjunction. It does not include a dependent clause and thus must include a comma before the coordinating conjunction.
However, if your compound sentence does not consist of a coordinating conjunction, you can use a semicolon to separate each clause.
Ignoring punctuation in compound sentences might turn them into run-on sentences. To avoid making your compound sentences difficult for readers to understand, pay attention to the appropriate use of punctuation marks.
Here, a punctuation checker can be helpful in identifying and correcting any punctuation errors present in the text.
In grammar, tense refers to time and is manifested by the use of verbs. A verb tense tells the reader if the action is taking place in the past, the present, or the future.
While using verb tense, make sure to use it consistently throughout the text. Avoid unnecessary changes in verb tense even when changing paragraphs. This will ensure your idea is expressed clearly to the readers.
A modifier is either a word or a group of words that are used to give more information about a specific subject. It is also referred to as a descriptive phrase that often appears at the beginning of a sentence.
A modifier can also be placed right next to the subject they are modifying. For example, in the text ‘walking around the park, we spotted colorful butterflies.
Here, a modifying phrase ‘walking around the park’ is placed directly before the subject being modified.
Subject-verb agreement is used to match the subject and verb of a sentence with its tense, aspect, and mood. For example, while using a singular subject, a singular verb must be used. This often leads to confusion when the writer is talking in first-person or third-person.
Whether you are writing an academic paper, a blog article, or a business email, if you have added bullet lists in your text then, make sure it is consistent throughout the document. Many times, writers get confused with the sentence structure of bullet lists.
This can cause inconsistencies between parts of the speech. To avoid this, make sure to use similar adjectives, subject-verb agreement and tense in your list.
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A common grammatical error that several writers make is the improper use of pronouns. Pronouns are used as substitutes for nouns or noun phrases.
Pronouns are introduced after a proper noun or a common noun in a text and are used when the reader already knows the noun you are referring to. Using pronouns makes the sentences clear and reduces wordiness.
Run-on sentences are often associated with wordiness, whereas fragment errors are linked with shortness. Both these errors are caused due to the use of clauses that do not follow grammar rules.
To write a complete sentence, remember to include at least one main clause with a subject and a predicate. Moreover, use proper punctuation marks such as commas or semicolons to link the main clause with the remaining part of the sentence.
Negatives are used in a sentence to express a negative concept. A negative form can be created by inserting a negation into the verb. While the use of one negation is acceptable, using two negations can change the meaning of your sentence.
For example, ‘I will not cook food’ contains one negative, whereas ‘I will not cook any food’ contains double negatives.
Here, the former is correct, but the latter is an incorrect use of negatives. Sentences with double negatives are grammatically incorrect because double negatives cancel each other out and make a positive. Thus, its use should be avoided.
Prepositional phrases start with a preposition and play an important role in written English. A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition followed by a compliment.
This complement can be a noun phrase, a pronoun, or an adverb phrase. Some of the common examples of prepositions include, ‘in time, ‘with Tom’, ‘for him’, and ‘without trying.
Prepositions give extra information about the subject, and their use should be limited in a sentence. Using multiple prepositional phrases in a sentence can make it difficult to understand.
Transition words demonstrate relationships between two or more words and phrases. These words are commonly used at the beginning or middle of a sentence. Words such as ‘first’, ‘second’, ‘moreover’, and ‘additionally’ are transition words that are used at the start of a sentence.
Transition words such as ‘too’, ‘or’, ‘because’ and ‘especially’ can also be used in between sentences. While using transition words, remember to organize your sentences in a way that they do convey your meaning without confusing the readers.
As English grammar is an extensive topic, there are multiple other rules that writers need to pay attention to. However, understanding the above-mentioned essential rules can help you improve your writing skills.