Grammar police (Photo: the_munificent_sasquatch)By C Jenkinson
Good English grammar is not just for those writing essays or studying for degrees. If you take the trouble to really learn English grammar it will increase your chances when it comes to applying for most jobs, for courses or indeed for many of the goals you may have set yourself.
Some people think that they just don't have the head for grammar, but in fact it is something anyone can learn. Once you have taken the time to master the basics you'll find it becomes a lot easier, and it really does pay off long-term. So what simple steps can you take to improve your grammar?
Learn The Basics
There are certain fundamental rules to grammar which, once learned, will make things a lot easier for you. Things like parts of speech, types of clauses, phrases and basic sentence elements will all be included in this.
It can take a little time and patience to really memorise and understand these, but once you have them you will have them for life. It can help to buy a style manual for reference, such as The Oxford Manual of Style.
Use The Internet
There is an entire online community dedicated to encouraging people to learn English grammar so make use of it! On forums or discussion sites you will find plenty of people willing to give you some pointers or tell you where you are going wrong. Check out some of the grammar blogs and forums there are available.
Set Yourself Tasks
You should be applying what you have learned all the time by practicing writing emails, blogs, essays, short stories - whatever you want - and then going back through them with a style guide to correct them. It helps if you set yourself a certain amount of goals or tasks each week, and read a lot as well. The more you read and write, the better your grasp of grammar will become.
Take A Course
Whilst some people will be able to learn English grammar on their own, many find they need a little more structure behind their study. Taking a short course can be a good way to get some expert guidance from experienced tutors and give you the boost you need. Many courses can be tailored to your own specific needs or abilities so you won't find you are going over old ground.
Learn Another Language
Studying another language makes you think a lot more about grammar and forces you to consider how another language might differ from English. It will make you think about English grammar in a different way and ultimate improve your understanding of it.
Chris Jenkinson is an internet marketing consultant working and writing for Better English: A Better Future an online programme to learn English grammar online.
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