Ten tips on how to improve grammar for more effective speaking and writing
What is grammar?
Grammar refers to the way a language works, the correct way to use it, how words fit together to form sentences and paragraphs, and how a language is used.
If you are a native English speaker, the process of learning English grammar was mostly acquired naturally, and you probably started speaking long before you even heard the word “grammar”! Many people learn to communicate without studying a language. In other words, without even being aware of it, everyone picks up the basics of grammar. What you need to do now is build on the knowledge you already have and learn how to improve your grammar so you can succeed in your studies or work life.
Why should you improve your grammar?
Whether it’s an email, a handwritten card, or a cover letter, using correct grammar and the right vocabulary will ensure that your message is delivered clearly, concisely, and effectively. There’s so much to know about English grammar that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The good news is that you don’t have to know everything before you can begin to improve your grammar. Learning how to improve grammar doesn’t have to be challenging or confusing. Learn to use grammar to your advantage!
Once you decide to improve your grammar, you’ll quickly learn to:
- choose the most appropriate words for your purpose and use them correctly
- write good, clear, and interesting sentences and paragraphs
- ensure your writing reads and flows well
- decipher difficult text and understand questions better
- plan and write your answers and essays more effectively
How to improve grammar
Using the following 10 tips, anyone can learn how to improve their own grammar in order to become a better writer and speaker.
English is understood in many parts of the world; however, learning grammar can be difficult if you don’t really know how to speak English. You can improve your grammar through lots of practice, especially with a partner who is fluent in English and proficient in grammar. Your speech will reflect patterns you hear, and the rest will fall into place. Don’t ever hesitate to ask for help.
2. Make a plan
Try to get an overview of how to improve your grammar from a textbook or online resource. Note the points you need to work on, and plan to work on each in turn.
3. Identify common mistakes.
If you are not a native English speaker, find out what grammar points are often difficult for speakers of your native language. Pay extra attention to learning those particular grammar points.
4. Find some grammar exercises.
To improve your English grammar, you’ll need to practice each grammar point until it comes to you naturally. Look for a book of grammar exercises that also includes answers. Online grammar courses usually have activities, quizzes, and games that can help. Focus on just one grammar point each time you study.
5. Use a thesaurus.
A thesaurus is a reference book that lists words in groups of synonyms and related concepts. It helps you build your vocabulary and vary your use of words as you write.
6. Read and practice.
The more you read, the better your vocabulary and grammar will get. If possible, read aloud. Read everything: books, journals, magazines, and newspapers.
The “parrot method” refers to listening and repeating things as many times as possible so it becomes natural to you to say them.
8. Watch television.
This works well if you watch quality programs that you are particularly interested in.
9. Keep a journal.
Writing down your personal thoughts and feelings daily helps you learn to express yourself and allows you to see what points of grammar you need to improve.
10. Enlist the help of a tutor or practice grammar using online exercises.
There are a number of sites that offer exercises on a range of topics or that offer online grammar courses that will help you learn English grammar.
No matter which route you choose, improving your English grammar will help you communicate clearly and concisely every aspect of your daily life.