The English language has been evolving for ages. Some changes are made to the language every year; new words are introduced and added to the dictionary, pronunciations, and spellings of certain words are changed, and grammar rules are modified too if needed. As we already know English is a global language because it is spoken the most by people belonging to different nations, we also need to understand why there is a need to learn English grammar and why it is important.
It is essential to learn grammar because it is the soul of the English language. The sentence structure of the English language is completely based on its grammar. Without grammar, there can be no sentence structure and thus, no language. Let’s learn and understand some of the most usable grammar rules that can help you hone your communication, speaking, and writing skills.
Grammar Rule 1: Singular and Plural Noun
We sometimes get confused about how and when to use nouns as singular or plural because some irregular plurals do not add ‘s’ to a particular word and some plurals are the same as the singular of certain words. Some examples are mentioned below:
- Singular nouns that end with “ss, ch, sh, or x” add “es” to their plural form
I have three watches. (Watch – Watches)
He is hiding in the bushes. (Bush – Bushes)
There are three chocolate boxes in the fridge. (Box – Boxes)
I have bought some dresses for you. (Dress – Dresses)
- Singular words that end with “y” and have a consonant before “y”, the “y” is removed and their plural forms end with “-ies”.
I look after their babies when they aren’t home. (Baby – Babies)
She has visited many cities recently. (City – Cities)
- Singular words that end with “f” or “fe” are changed to “-ves”
I have three knives in the kitchen for cutting vegetables. (Knife – Knives)
Some trees shed their leaves. (Leaf – Leaves)
In ancient times, a king used to have many wives. (Wife – Wives)
However, there are some exceptions. For example,
We have three reputed chefs as our partners. (Chef – Chefs)
Their beliefs are different from ours. (Belief – Beliefs)
- Singular words that have the same plural form as their singular form
I spotted five moose in the forest. (Moose – Moose)
She has three pet fish. (Fish – Fish)
I have already watched these two series. (Series – Series)
- Some irregular plural nouns do not have any particular rule. A few of these irregular nouns with their plural forms are mentioned below:
I have two children. (Child – Children)
Women are strong enough to take a stand for themselves. (Woman – Women)
I can stand on my own two feet. (Foot – Feet)
Grammar Rule 2: Use of Articles
Articles are one of the essential concepts that need to be understood clearly to learn English. If you use them incorrectly, it will drastically change the meaning of the sentence.
We use both “a” and “an” to refer to a singular noun. If a word starts with a vowel sound, we use “an” and if it starts with a consonant sound we use “a”. The following examples are mentioned below:
- I have a pen.
- We can gift her a dress.
- She made a greeting card for me.
In the above examples, the article “a” has been used before singular words that start with a consonant sound.
- She has an umbrella.
- He is an MBA.
- He is an honest man.
In the above examples, the article “an” has been used before singular words that start with a vowel sound.
As far as the article “the” is concerned, I’ll explain the concept with an example.
I like to read a book when I am free.
I read the book when I was free.
According to the above example, you use “the” when you talk about a specific object or thing, like in this example, you’re talking about a particular book that you read, whereas you use “a” when you talk about any object or thing in a general manner, like when you say, “a book” you’re talking about books in a general way; there is no specific book that you like to read.
Grammar Rule 3: Use of Homophones
The use of homophones in the English language is quite crucial. A little bit of spelling mistake can badly affect the meaning of a sentence.
Homophobes are words that have the same pronunciation but have different spellings and meanings. A few examples are mentioned below:
- “Flour” and “Flower”
Flour means a kind of powder obtained by grinding different types of grains.
Flower is a part of a plant.
- “Plain” and “Plane”
Plain means something that is simple or ordinary
Plane means a flat surface.
- “It’s” and “Its”
It’s is only the contraction of “It has” or “It is”.
Its means belonging or related to something that has already been mentioned before
Grammar Rule 4: Use of this, that, these, and those as determiners
After learning about singular and plural things, one needs to learn how to use the determiners “this”, “that”, “these”, and “those” with these singular and plural words to frame a meaningful sentence. Suppose you ask someone where they bought this shoes from, you will make the other person confused because “shoes” is the plural form of “shoe”, so grammatically, these will be used with shoes. Therefore, the correct sentence would be:
Where did you buy these shoes from?
In the same way, this, that, and those are used as determiners.
This and That are used with singular countable and uncountable nouns. The following are the examples:
Do this exercise twice a day. (this with singular countable noun)
He gave me this advice. (this with singular uncountable noun)
Bring that bag here. (that with singular countable noun)
I am not interested in listening to that kind of music. (that with singular uncountable noun)
These and Those are used with plural nouns. Some examples are given below:
I have to paint these walls.
She should buy these products.
I can get those books at a discount.
I’ll probably find those items at the nearby shop.
(these/those with plural nouns)
You may find learning English grammar a daunting task, but it will become a piece of cake for you when you understand the concepts of English grammar carefully and clearly. Be confident even if you make mistakes because practice makes you perfect.