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Correct Grammar Usage

Grammar is something we have learned since our childhood. As we grow up, we learn the advanced concepts in grammar. However, it has been observed that many people have the poor understanding of grammar, which reflects from their spoken as well as written English language. Writing correct grammar sentences can be achieved by continuous practice and good teaching. In the next paragraph, let us discuss the importance of correct grammar and punctuation.

Importance of Correct Grammar Usage

By using correct English grammar and punctuation, the people who read our written content would be able to understand it immediately. It would become rather difficult to understand the meaning of phrases and sentences written in a grammatically incorrect way. Correct grammar sentences are those in which there are no spelling mistakes and the writer has taken care to use the right tense. Using commas, inverted commas, hyphens, full stops, colons, semicolons, etc. at the right place is necessary to term a sentence as a 'grammatically correct one'. One can avoid making any kind of grammatical errors, only if we know the rules of grammar thoroughly. Correct grammar usage is essential for all forms of literature. The use of parallel construction for lists, compound elements and comparisons is highly recommended. You should make sure that the sentences being used are complete and not ended abruptly. A sentence should ideally contain a subject and a verb which is actually a word suggesting an action. One should strictly avoid stereotyping, as it is against grammar rules. The use of gender specific words should be avoided while referring to different occupations and instead, we must use universal terms which are neutral in gender. For example, instead of saying officer, we can simply say police official. Making the correct choice of words by taking into consideration the situation is vital in learning correct grammar and punctuation. In the next paragraph, let us discuss how to teach correct grammar and punctuation.

Examples of Correct Grammar Usage

Understanding the difference between correct and incorrect usage of grammar is very essential for all those wishing to learn the language. Given below are the examples of right and wrong ways of writing sentences:

Example 1
Incorrect way: John where were you yesterday.
Correct way: "John, where were you yesterday?"

This example illustrates how inverted commas and commas should be used while writing sentences in a grammatically correct way. When we write dialog in which one person says something to another person, the content is started off using inverted commas and they are ended once the sentence completes. If a question is asked, then giving a question mark at the end is imperative. While we orally say the above sentence, a pause is taken after the word John and that's where the comma has been placed.

Example 2
Incorrect way: where are you going?
Correct way: "Where are you going?"

The above examples illustrates that the first letter of a sentence should be in title case or a capital letter. So, here the letter 'W' must be capital.

Example 3

Incorrect way: He has kept the book in the table.
Correct way: He has kept the book on the table.

Prepositions are one of the most important parts of speech in the English language. A precise use of prepositions is a must for the sentences to make sense. In the above example, the preposition on is more correct and relevant.

Example 4

Incorrect way: Sam is a good boy. Sam does his homework everyday.
Correct way: Sam is a good boy. He does his homework everyday.

Nouns are the names of persons, places, animals or things. Nouns are of many types-common nouns, proper nouns, collective nouns and abstract nouns. So, here Sam is a proper noun. The word which is used instead of a noun is known as a pronoun. The pronouns in English literature can help to avoid the monotonous repetition of nouns. The word He is being used as a pronoun in the above example.

Example 5
Incorrect way: He worked hard. He could not succeed.
Correct way: He worked hard but could not succeed.

Conjunctions are the words which join two independent sentences or phrases. So, in the above sentence, the word but is acting as a conjunction. Conjunctions can be of two types - coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions. The major coordinating conjunctions are and, but, for, on, so, nor, or and yet. Coordinating conjunctions are also known as simple conjunctions. Thus, the above sentence has a coordinating conjunction. The conjunctions which join the subordinate clause with the main clause are known as subordinate conjunctions. Examples of some common subordinate conjunctions are after, as, lest, although, when, wherever, while, etc.

Example 6
Incorrect way: Hurrah We won the game.
Correct way: Hurrah! We won the game!

In the above sentence, the word Hurrah is an interjection. Interjections are those words which are used for sudden expression of joy, sorrow or any sort of emotions. Hence, they must be followed by an exclamation mark '!'.

Figures of Speech

While we study about the correct grammar use, we should also have a detailed knowledge of figures of speech and voices (active and passive) in English. Alliteration, antithesis, inversion, repetition, simile, metaphor, personification and euphemism are some of the prominent figures of speech. Figures of speech can increase the quality of the content. However, one must know where to use a particular figure of speech. For example, simile can be used for making direct comparison between two things, whereas metaphor is used for indirect or implied comparison. Antithesis can be used to express contradictory ideas. Personification can be used in poetry, where non living objects are given human qualities. Euphemism is used when we have to convey something in mild or soft words instead of harsh words.

Active and Passive Voices

The usage of active and passive voices depends on the situation and context. In active voice, the subject in the sentence is at the beginning, while the object is at the end. In the passive voice, the subjects goes at the end of the sentence, while the object comes at the beginning. These can be explained with the help of examples as follows:

Active voice: He missed the train
Passive voice: The train was missed by him.

Proper use of tenses is essential to give the desirable meaning to sentences. Let us study this with the help of following examples:

Present tense: He is singing a song.
Past tense: He sang a song.
Future tense: He will sing a song.

Teaching Correct Grammar and Punctuation

Teaching correct grammar and punctuation can be a big challenge, as how fast the students would learn will depend on the individual grasping power of the students. Teachers should start teaching grammar, right from the basics for proper and quick understanding. Nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions and conjunctions are the concepts and definitions which should be taught initially. This is due to the fact that learning of further advanced concepts depends on the understanding of the above definitions. The learning of tenses, phrases and figures of speech would follow later.

In order to teach writing correct grammar sentences, teachers can hold regular grammar classes and conduct examinations to check the performance of students. The latest development in teaching correct grammar use are the grammar learning software which check spellings in the written content. Making the students aware of the common mistakes in English grammar is of prime importance in the teaching process. Generally, redundancy is the most common grammatical mistake, which students commit. Expressing the same thing again and again is known as redundancy. By giving personal attention, these mistakes can be avoided.

Correct grammar and punctuation can help students secure good grades in their examinations. At the same time, they can also increase their command over the language, which will be useful in the long run. Read More

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