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In the test for the best grammar checker , Scribbr found 19 out of 20 errors.
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The Scribbr Grammar Checker fixes grammatical errors like:
- Sentence fragments & run-on sentences
- Subject-verb agreement errors
- Issues with parallelism
Spell-check on steroids
Spelling may seem straightforward, but basic spell-checks often don’t recognize many specialist terms you might use in your writing, incorrectly marking them as mistakes.
Scribbr has a large dictionary of recognized words, so you can feel confident every word is 100% correct.
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Our Grammar Checker takes away all your punctuation worries. Avoid common mistakes with:
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Avoid word choice errors
Should you use “affect” or “effect” ? Is it “then” or “than” ? Did you mean “there,” “their,” or “they’re” ?
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A Grammar Checker for all English variants
There are important differences between the versions of English used in different parts of the world, including UK and US English . Our grammar checker supports a variety of major English dialects:
- Canadian English
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Frequently asked questions
The Scribbr Grammar Checker is a tailor-made AI-powered tool that can correct basic language, grammar, style, and spelling errors. We run it so that our editors are free to focus on what they do best: making sure that your paper is free of more nuanced mistakes and providing you with helpful feedback and writing tips.
The Scribbr Grammar Checker is a pro at correcting basic mistakes – and a human editor will still be carefully reviewing your full text – so you can rest assured that your paper is in very good hands!
When you receive back a document that has been reviewed by the Scribbr Grammar Checker, you’ll see two sets of tracked changes in it: one set from the grammar checker and one set from your editor. That way, you can easily tell who made what changes in your paper.
Not sure how tracked changes work in Word or how to review your edited file? Read our handy guide to learn more.
We tested ten of the most popular free grammar checkers to see how many errors they could fix in our sample text and deducted points for any new errors introduced. We also evaluated the tools’ usability.
When compared all the other grammar checkers we tested for this comparison and Scribbr performed exceptionally well. It was successful in detecting and correcting 19 of the 20 errors. See the full review here .
If our grammar checker flags an error that is not actually an error, you have several options:
1. Ignore the error: Most grammar checkers allow users to skip or ignore suggestions they do not agree with or find irrelevant. If you are confident that the flagged “error” is not an issue, you can bypass the suggestion and move on to the next one.
2. Review the context: Take a moment to thoroughly review the context surrounding the flagged error. Sometimes, the initial correct usage might still create confusion or ambiguity within the specific context, and reconsidering the phrasing could improve overall clarity.
Yes, this grammar checker covers the following mistakes:
1. Grammar: Correction of grammatical errors such as subject-verb agreement, tense usage, and sentence structure
2. Spelling: identification and correction of spelling errors, including typos and commonly confused words.
3. Punctuation: Detection and rectification of punctuation errors, including incorrect use of commas, periods, colons, and other punctuation.
4. Word choice errors: Catch words that sound similar but aren’t, like their vs. they’re and your vs. you’re.
Yes. There’s no sign up or payment required to use the grammar checker.
Yes. The grammar checker fixes any text, no matter what the medium is.
The Scribbr grammar checker finds more errors than many other tools and is particularly user-friendly:
- Winner: In our test comparison, the Scribbr grammar checker found 19 out of 20 errors, putting it in first place.
- No registration required: You don’t need an account to use the grammar checker.
- No limits: There is no character or word limit.
- Ad-free: There is no advertising on Scribbr to distract from the tool.
For more details, feel free to read our test of the best English grammar checkers.
Grammar & Usage
Every letter is silent, sometimes: a-z list of examples, 7 pairs of commonly confused words, is this cat 'uninterested' or 'disinterested', commonly confused, punctuation.
- Spelling & Pronunciation
Is 'irregardless' a real word, until, till, 'til, or 'till, more commonly misspelled words, commonly misspelled words, a guide to em dashes, en dashes, and hyphens, absent letters that are heard anyway, how to use accents and diacritical marks, on 'biweekly' and 'bimonthly', is it 'forty' or 'fourty', how to use 'lay' and 'lie', ‘cannot’ vs. ‘can not’: is there a difference, is it 'day today' or 'day-to-day', rack vs. wrack, the history of 'ampersand', all about ellipses ..., should that word have a hyphen, comma splices: what they are and how to correct them (or not), why do we use apostrophes to show possession, spelling & pronunciation, how to pronounce the trickiest menu items, the many plurals of 'octopus', revealing what rhymes with 'orange', 7 uncommonly doubled letters, how to remember the spelling of 'definitely', 8 grammar terms you used to know, but forgot, fun, funner, funnest, is it 'graduated' or 'was graduated from', can you use 'comprised of', is singular 'they' a better choice.
Try the free Microsoft Editor grammar checker to improve your writing, catch mistakes, and use best practices to write like a pro.
What is a grammar checker and how do you use it?
Grammar checking is making sure you use the correct words and punctuation in your writing and that it’s clear, concise, and inclusive.
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Learn how to use a free online grammar checker
See how to check your grammar for clarity, conciseness, vocabulary, punctuation, formality, inclusiveness, and similarity to online sources.
Get help with grammar basics
An online grammar checker highlights issues like sentence fragments, missing words and punctuation, capitalization, and commonly confused words.
See how to write with clarity
A grammar checker identifies phrases where you can use simpler wording, switch to active voice instead of passive voice, and avoid jargon.
Keep it concise
Hold your reader’s attention by deleting unnecessary words.
Choose the right words for the situation
An online grammar checker will point out clichés, vague or unnecessary words, weak verbs, informal language, and slang you might want to avoid.
Write for every audience
Use a grammar checker to make sure your writing is free of bias and makes everyone feel represented.
Make sure your writing is original
Check your document for similarity to online sources and properly cite other people’s work.
Make your resume stand out
Check the grammar in your resume with Microsoft Editor and avoid vague words and writing in the first person.
Read more about grammar checking
Properly use grammar to be more professional in documents, email, and online.
Use Microsoft Editor in your documents, email, and online
Rules with Commas, Periods, and More
Use data to write better emails
Five ways to be more professional over email
Learn more about microsoft editor.
Frequently asked questions, what is grammar checking.
A grammar check is a making sure your writing is grammatically correct: using active voice, being concise and specific, using punctuation correctly, making sure you use the right verb tense, and following other language rules.
What does a grammar checker do?
A grammar checker scans your writing for common errors and highlights them so you can fix them.
What are the advantages of online grammar checking?
Online grammar checking helps you make your writing the best no matter what website you’re using: LinkedIn, Gmail, Facebook, or Word or Outlook online. A grammar checker browser extension like Microsoft Editor makes it easy.
Why use grammar checking software?
Grammar checking software has many benefits. It helps you improve your language skills, makes your writing easier to understand, saves time proofreading, and catches typos and other common mistakes.
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“Just Check My Grammar”
What this handout is about.
When you ask students writing in English as an additional language what they would like to work on, they will often say that they’d like you to check their grammar. “Checking the grammar” can feel uncomfortably close to proofreading and editing students’ papers for them—which writing coaches know is strictly out of bounds. Unfortunately, multilingual writers have been unfairly denied access to language feedback because of the very strong prohibition against editing, but the good news is that we can still be very helpful without compromising our principles.
This page provides a bit of important historical context for the discussion and offers strategies for responding to the grammar-checking request in ways that respect the pedagogical philosophies of the writing center and the instructional needs of students writing in a foreign language. The list of strategies is followed by excerpts of coaching sessions, with annotations that illustrate how some of the strategies work in real conversations between writing coaches and multilingual writers.
1984: The triple whammy for multilingual writers
In 1984, several of the most influential texts in writing center history were published. You will probably recognize the first two because the vocabulary and the philosophy are still driving forces in today’s writing centers:
- Reigstad & McAndrew: Division of the writing process into “higher order” and “lower order” concerns, establishing a value-laden sequence of content and organization before grammar and punctuation.
- North: Staunch declaration that writing centers were not centers for mechanical remediation and error correction. “In a writing center, the object is to make sure that writers, and not necessarily their texts, are what get changed by instruction…our job is to produce better writers, not better writing” (p. 69).
- Friedlander: Assertion that writing centers meet the needs of foreign students by focusing on mechanical remediation and error correction. The content of students’ essays should be discussed only as much as necessary for accurate error correction.
The writing process was divided, the writing center’s territory was firmly staked, and the perceived needs of multilingual writers were placed squarely outside the parameters of the writing center’s mission, pedagogical philosophy, and standard procedure. No wonder we’ve struggled so much!
In fairness to the scholars above, they meant to emphasize that writers should concentrate on developing their ideas before they worried about comma splices, and to emphasize that truly good writing involved the long-term development of a complex set of skills. These ideas are still so powerfully present in writing centers today because they are so very true. Unfortunately, they had the unintended effect of marginalizing discussions of sentence structure, word choice, punctuation, and grammatical errors until very late in the writing process.
In truth, ideas can not be separated from the language used to express them. Multilingual writers are advanced language learners who are working toward the command of a sophisticated range of vocabulary, sentence structures, discipline-specific expressions, idioms, etc. Multilingual writers are also developing writers, so they do need the same kind of process-oriented and “higher order” feedback that monolingual writers need. Quite often, though, their ability to develop the content of their essays is limited by a lack of vocabulary or by difficulty with complex sentence structures. As coaches, you can support the development of writing skills by talking about language at any point in the writing process where it might be helpful.
It’s good to discourage premature concern with nit-picky editing decisions, but it’s great to encourage exploration of the right language for expressing a great idea. Be flexible and be comfortable with the fluid, back and forth movement between discussing the ideas and the language.
What do you do when students say, “Just check my grammar”?
- Respond positively . (“Sure, we can take a look at the language stuff…”). Lectures about how we teach proofreading strategies or how we don’t really do grammar in the writing center put students on the defensive when they have a legitimate need for feedback on their language use. Just say yes, and move on to the next step.
- Elicit other concerns . (“What else would you like to talk about today? Are you still working on the content?”). Students will often identify quite a range of concerns with simple prompting at the beginning of the session, especially after they’ve been reassured that you’ll help them identify problems with a language they’re still learning.
- Ask for an overview . (“Tell me about what you’re working on and where you are in the process.”). Explaining their writing project (the assignment and the text so far) gives students the chance to produce “comprehensible output”—a chance to use the English language to express their thoughts clearly and to make themselves understood. We know that language learners are able to understand a lot more than they are able to spontaneously produce in a foreign language, and it’s really hard work to express complex thoughts sufficiently in a language that’s not your own. By asking questions, by listening carefully, and by asking follow-up questions, you can help students work through the process of communicating clearly in English, and you can give yourself a mental framework of the project that will be helpful when language questions arise in specific parts of the text.
- Read the entire draft . You may find grammatical errors on the first or second page, but keep reading. You’ll get a sense of the student’s complete argument, and you’ll have time to recognize more serious errors that may occur later in the paper.
- Stop only for extreme issues . Sometimes a sentence may be so malformed that the idea is completely obscured. You can make a note to come back to that point later, but if you do decide to stop, ask a broad question and then listen carefully (“Can you tell me more about this idea?”). Try to be attuned especially to places where the student’s language use is truly interfering with your ability to understand what they’re trying to say. Clarifying these expressions takes priority over minor errors that don’t really interfere with your understanding.
- Recast the student’s explanation more grammatically . (“Let me see if I understand you correctly. You’re saying that…”). If you understood and explained correctly, the student can hear the thought expressed in grammatical English and can make note of it—they can add it to their English language repertoire. However, if your recasting (your paraphrased explanation) doesn’t match the student’s intended meaning, or if you can reasonably offer two different interpretations of the text, you can examine the passage more closely to figure out why it was unclear. Then you can work together on correcting whatever is confusing about the student’s original expressions. This back and forth process is called “negotiation of meaning” (“Is this what you mean?” “No, I mean this.” “Oh, okay. We say it like this.” “Oh, okay. Thanks.”)
- Provide “linguistic input” —language that students read and hear. This “input” might be bits of English that are new to them (like a new word or idiomatic expression), or it might be familiar bits of English being used in ways they’ve never heard before. You are not usurping control if you make language suggestions that convey the student’s ideas. If you’ve listened carefully enough that you know what they’re trying to express, help them out.
- Use resources . Even if you know the grammar, introduce students to language resources they can use independently at other times.
- Document the puzzles . If you encounter particularly interesting or confusing samples of language use, keep a copy to share with your colleagues and mentors. It may serve as a useful training sample, so you’re serving the community well.
What if students really mean, “Just check my grammar”?
There does come a time writers are ready to concentrate strictly on their grammar. They’re satisfied with everything else, and as writers, you know that’s a happy place to be. Normally we teach proofreading strategies to native speakers at this stage. We can do this with multilingual writers too, but we also have to adjust our strategies to accommodate their status as language learners. These suggestions are meant to help you with that adjustment.
There’s a strong misconception that there will be “patterns of error”—certain types of errors that occur repeatedly in the text. Sometimes that does happen, but more frequently, there will only be one or two instances of twenty five different kinds of error. That’s okay. You can still exploit the educational value of an error, having confidence that students will try to apply what they learn to their subsequent writing.
Two things to note: First, even though the strategies listed below concentrate more on straight proofreading and grammar checking, remember that you can also use all of the strategies listed above for correcting the grammar by clarifying the intended meaning. Second, when you do find an error, you can ask, “How do you normally proofread for this kind of mistake?” or say to the student, “Let’s try to find a few more examples of this structure, just to double-check them.” Look for correct and incorrect examples because we need our successes reinforced too! It’s a great opportunity to assess the student’s proofreading skills and do some strategy building.
Think of these strategies as being listed in the order they should be used in, but feel comfortable to experiment with the order, depending on the student, the writing project, and your own judgment. Play with them to see how each strategy helps enhance the students’ learning experience.
- Ask students to identify specific feedback targets (“Show me what you’re not sure about.”). You can ask a variety of questions: why they’re not sure about that sentence, if they can think of other ways to express the thought, what rules they know about the particular grammar structure, if they checked a reference book, if they can show you the page so you can look at the rules together, etc. In other words, you can learn a lot about the students’ thought processes that will be helpful in working with each of them. One caution : be sensitive to how much time you’re spending on these questions. It can be frustrating to students if every single error is interrogated at length, as you can imagine. Idioms and prepositions are great candidates for a coach’s quick corrections because they’re so idiosyncratic. Structures that follow a set of rules more systematically, like verb tense or gerunds vs. participles, are good candidates for more questioning. (Locate the grammar references in the Writing Center if you didn’t understand “gerunds vs. participles”!)
- Ask where they struggled to make language choices . Sometimes they really do believe they’ve written everything in correct English, so they can’t point to a sentence they think might be incorrect. If you ask them to show you where they had to work at it, you have a chance to interrogate their decision-making process (“Why was this a hard choice? How else were you thinking of saying it? What made you choose this way?”) and to either congratulate them and reinforce a correct choice, or to correct them and perhaps teach them a trick for making the right choice next time (a mnemonic device, a great page in your favorite reference book, etc.).
- Identify “high gravity” errors –errors that truly interfered with your comprehension. Work with the student to figure out how/why the sentence structure or word choice is obscuring their intended meaning. When they’ve explained their idea enough that you understand it, offer them the language they need to express their idea grammatically.
- Move on to repeated errors . Ask questions about their choices or their general knowledge (e.g., “Why did you choose this verb tense?” or “What do you know about verb tenses?”). Ask the student if they have a favorite grammar resource and/or share your own favorite grammar resource. Work through correcting the error together, helping the student understand and apply the rules. Find a couple more examples of the same kind of mistake and let the student use the resource to try correcting the mistakes. When they feel confident that they can find and correct that type of error, move on to another.
- Give prepositions away like candy . Introduce students to “ learner’s dictionaries ,” which include information about word + preposition combinations, but feel comfortable freely offering up these important little words. Learning to use “up” correctly in one sentence will not ensure that students will use it correctly in another sentence in the same way that learning about other structures will, and this little act of kindness can help students stay more engaged with the rest of the process.
The strategies in action
These transcripts are excerpted from sessions with second language writers. They have been annotated to explain a bit about what was happening, what the students were trying to accomplish, what the coaches were trying to accomplish, and to illustrate a few of the concepts and strategies listed above. Read each excerpt without reading the comments, just to get the flow of the conversation. Read them again, looking at each of the marginal comments as you reflect on the information on this page.
See our English Language Resources page for several learner’s dictionaries and other language learning resources and strategies.
You can find very clear explanations of grammar structures and an EXCELLENT collection of idioms and phrasal verbs, which ESL students usually struggle with, at UsingEnglish.com .
Friedlander, A. (1984). Meeting the needs of foreign students in the writing center. In G. A. Olson (Ed.) Writing centers: Theory and administration (pp. 206-214). Urbana, IL: NCTE.
North, S. (1984). The idea of a writing center. College English, 46, 433-446.
Reigstad, T. J., & McAndrew, D. A. (1984). Training tutors for writing conferences. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
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Good Grammar 101: The Essential Guide
Good Grammar might seem old fashioned in a day and age when LOL shows up in newspapers, when best-selling authors regularly splice their commas, and where your Facebook wall is filled with seventy-two misused ellipses.
However, agents and editors still care about grammar, and they will reject you if you show you don't understand grammar rules.
With this Grammar Guide, you will have the chance to use The Write Practice's model of deliberate practice to improve your grammar skills in less time.
10 Steps to Keep Your Editor From Killing You
Good grammar is like good hygiene.
Often, the last person to know why people are complaining about the dead dog in the room is the person who stinks.
Fortunately, we've created this course of ten lessons to help you impress your readers and editors with how good you smell… oops, I mean spell.
To show you how much we care, we're throwing in a bonus lesson, The Case Against Twilight (or why Stephenie Meyer needs to hire a copy editor).
- How to Make Your Editor Hate You: Splice Your Commas
- When to Use Ensure vs. Insure
- How to Use the Ellipsis… Correctly
- Why You Need to be Using Oxford Commas
- What the Heck is an Em Dash?
- Brangelina, Sporks, and the Secrets of Portmanteau
- Grammar Quandary: Affect Versus Effect
- The Poor, Misunderstood Semicolon
- How are you? Good vs. Well
- How to Use Either, Neither, Or, and Nor Correctly
- How to Break Up Long Dialogue Like Agatha Christie
- Is It Okay to End a Sentence with a Preposition?
- BONUS : The Case Against Twilight
In this tutorial, we will go over some of the most important (and most often neglected) grammar rules in a way that's both fun and practical. Remember: good grammar is hot!
In every lesson, you will be challenged with grammar exercises to help you cement what you've just learned into your daily practice.
Get It In Your Inbox
Get this tutorial sent to your email inbox in ten weekly installments just by entering your email address below. You'll also get links to helpful resources and professional services to further improve your grammar skills.
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How to Learn English Grammar
Last Updated: November 2, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Language Academia . Language Academia is a private, online language school founded by Kordilia Foxstone. Kordilia and her team specialize in teaching foreign languages and accent reduction. Language Academia offers courses in several languages, including English, Spanish, and Mandarin. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 210,342 times.
With all the rules and guidelines governing the use of English grammar, it's little wonder that so many people find the subject intimidating. Grammar is a complex structure, so before you learn how to compose great pieces of English writing or speech, you need to understand the grammar building blocks leading up to more complex forms. With enough time, effort, and practice, though, you can eventually become a master of English grammar.
Studying Grammar on the "Word" Level
- A noun is a person, place, or thing.  X Research source Example: grandma, school, pencil
- A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun within a sentence. Example: he, she, they
- Articles are special terms that proceed a noun within a sentence. The three articles are: a, an, the
- An adjective modifies or describes a noun or pronoun. Example: red, tall
- A verb is a word that describes an action or state of being. Example: be, run, sleep
- An adverb modifies or describes a verb. Adverbs can also be used to modify adjectives. Example: happily, wonderfully
- A conjunction joins two parts of a sentence together. Example: and, but
- A preposition is used in combination with a noun or pronoun to create a phrase that modifies other parts of speech, like a verb, noun, pronoun, or adjective. Example: up, down, of, from
- Interjections are words that express an emotional state. Example: wow, ouch, hey
- Nouns can be: singular or plural; proper or common; collective; count or non-count; abstract or concrete; gerunds
- Pronouns can be: personal, possessive, reflexive, intensive, reciprocal, indefinite, demonstrative, interrogative, or relative
- Adjectives can be used on their own, for the sake of making comparisons, or as superlatives.
- Adverbs are either relative adverbs or adverbs of frequency.
- Conjunctions are either coordinating or correlative.
- Verbs can be: action verbs or linking verbs; main verbs or auxiliary/helping verbs
- The articles "a" and "an" are indefinite, while the article "the" is definite.
- Correct example: I bought 14 apples but my sister only bought 2 apples.
- Incorrect example: I bought 14 apples but my sister only bought two apples.
- Never start a sentence with a number written in numerical form.
- Spell out simple fractions and use hyphens with them. Example: one-half
- A mixed fraction can be written numerically. Example: 5 1/2
- Write decimals in numerical figures. Example: 0.92
- Use commas when writing numbers with four or more digits. Example: 1,234,567
- Write out the numerical figure when specifying the day of the month. Example: June 1
Studying Grammar on the "Sentence" Level
- The subject is usually a noun or pronoun, and the action is conveyed using a verb.
- Note that the subject is indicated in italics and the action is indicated in bold print.
- Incorrect example: Yesterday afternoon.
- Expand your sentences into more complex forms after mastering this basic format.
- Correct example: They are at school.
- Incorrect example: They is at school.
- When two singular subjects are connected with the word "and" ( he and his brother ), the subject becomes plural. When connected by "or" or "nor" ( he or his brother ), the subject is singular.
- Collective nouns, like "family" or "team," are treated as singular nouns and require a singular verb.
- Use: The dog ran and he was fast.
- Use: We looked for the missing book but could not find it.
- Note, however, that it would also be correct to write: If you ask your mother, she will take you to the store.
- Both forms are still conditional.
- Example: She felt sad, but her friends cheered her up.
- Both "she felt sad" and "her friends cheered her up" could stand as separate sentences.
- Example: While he agreed with his brother, the boy would not admit to it.
- The clause "While he agreed with his brother" would not make sense a separate sentence, so it is a dependent clause.
- Periods (.) mark the end of a statement sentence.
- Ellipses (...) indicate that a portion of text has been removed from the passage.
- Commas (,) separate words or word groups when a pause is necessary but a period is inappropriate.
- Semicolons (;) should be used in complex sentences that lack a connecting conjunction.
- Colons (:) are used to introduce lists within a sentence.
- Question marks (?) are used at the end of a sentence when the sentence asks a question.
- Exclamation points (!) are used at the end of a statement sentence to indicate surprise or emphasis.
- Quotation marks (") separate words spoken by another person from the rest of the text.
- Parentheses () enclose information that clarifies a preceding thought.
- Apostrophes (') separate contractions and show possession.
Studying Grammar on the "Paragraph" and “Narrative” Levels
- Example: English grammar is a complex topic that covers a range of information.
- Example: English grammar is a complex topic that covers a range of information. At the "word" level, one must learn about parts of speech. At the "sentence" level, topics like sentence structure, subject/verb agreement, and clauses must be explored. The rules governing punctuation use are also a part of "sentence" level grammar. Once a person starts writing larger piece, he or she must also learn about paragraph structure and organization.
- Example: English grammar is a complex topic that covers a range of information. At the "word" level, one must learn about parts of speech. At the "sentence" level, topics like sentence structure, subject/verb agreement, and clauses must be explored. The rules governing punctuation use are also a part of "sentence" level grammar. Once a person starts writing larger piece, he or she must also learn about paragraph structure and organization. All of these rules define and describe how to write English correctly.
- Also note that the first sentence of a paragraph should be indented a few spaces to the right of the paragraph's left edge.
- Correct example: I love my cat. He has soft, orange fur. On cold days, he likes to cuddle next to me for warmth. I think that my cat is the greatest cat ever, and I am really happy to have him.
- Incorrect example: I love my cat. He is orange. His fur is soft. He cuddles next to me on cold days. My cat is the greatest cat. I am really happy to have him.
- Organize your essay by writing an introductory paragraph, three or more body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.
- The introductory paragraph must be a general paragraph that presents the main idea without providing detail. The supporting paragraphs must expand on this main idea with greater detail, and each paragraph should cover its own separate point. The concluding paragraph restates and summarizes the information presented in the essay and does not introduce any new information.
Doing Further Study
- When the rules are the same, rely on the knowledge you have of your native grammar to help you with English grammar.
- When the rules differ, devote more time and concentration on practicing those aspects of English grammar as you study.
- This does not refer to grammar books. Grammar books are helpful, of course, but the principle of this step is a different one.
- Read books, magazines, or other materials written in English that you enjoy. The more often you read, the more familiar you will naturally become with the way that grammar is used in word, sentence, and paragraph levels. Learning the rules of English grammar is an important step, but you will be able to put those rules into practice better if you are actually used to seeing proper grammar.
- If you also want to practice your speaking abilities, read out loud to engage both your eyes and your ears!
- For non-native English speakers, look for classes specifically designed for students who are learning English as a secondary language. These classes are usually labeled as ESL (English as a Second Language), ENL (English as a New Language), or ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes.
- The Guide to Grammar and Writing by Capital Community College Foundation ( https://www.guidetogrammar.org/grammar/ )
- Purdue University's Online Writing Lab ( https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/5/ )
Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://www.butte.edu/departments/cas/tipsheets/grammar/parts_of_speech.html
- ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/nouns/
- ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/grammar/partsofspeech
- ↑ http://www.grammarbook.com/numbers/numbers.asp
- ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/grammar/sentencestructure
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/grammar/subject_verb_agreement.html
- ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/compound-sentence/
- ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/conditional-sentences/
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/punctuation/independent_and_dependent_clauses/index.html
- ↑ https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/punctuation/what/fourteen-punctuation-marks.html
- ↑ https://libguides.newcastle.edu.au/writing-paragraphs/structure
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/paragraphs/
- ↑ https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/grammar-rules-and-tips/basic-english-grammar-rules.html
About This Article
Learning English grammar can seem really complicated at first, but once you learn the basics, it should feel more natural. If you’re just starting to learn English, focus on the parts of speech, like nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Once you understand these, learn how to put together a simple sentence using a verb and an action. For example, “The dog ran,” or “The boy laughed.” Make sure your nouns and verbs are both singular or plural. For instance, in the sentence "The children are at school," both the noun and verb are plural, which are "children" and "are". If it was singular, the sentence would be "The child is at school." After that, learn basic punctuation, like ending every sentence with a period and separating clauses with commas. You should also read books and magazines in English so you can see how everything fits together and have fun while you learn. For more tips, including how to learn compound sentences in English, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to Learn English Grammar (Step by Step)
Want to write or speak English with better grammar?
Want to get good scores in English grammar exams?
If so, this article is for you.
There are three ways to improve your English grammar:
- Studying grammar
- Listening & reading
- Imitating native speakers
This article explains each approach in detail.
This article is very long, so if you just want a summary of what to do, click here to jump to the step-by-step action plan to improve English grammar.
Let’s get started.
Approach #1: Studying Grammar
Here is how most people learn English grammar:
- They read grammar books.
- They memorize grammar rules.
- They listen to a teacher explain English grammar.
Essentially, they learn English grammar by studying , which is similar to how we learn academic subjects like science or math.
Where should I send the English course to?
The Pros of Studying
Let’s look at the advantages of studying grammar.
Pro #1: Suitable for multiple-choice grammar tests
In a multiple-choice test, you have to select the correct answers from lists of possible choices.
If you are preparing for a test like this, and you know what will be on the test , studying can help you get a better score.
For example, if you know that the test will be about prepositions, adjectives, and the past tense, then you can prepare by studying those topics in advance.
Note: studying grammar is only suitable for simple, multiple-choice tests. It’s not suitable for advanced tests like these:
- Speaking or writing tests, which require you to speak or write in English.
- Reading comprehension tests, which require you to read and understand difficult passages in a limited time.
Pro #2: Studying can improve your English writing
Unlike spoken English, written English tends to be more strict in terms of grammar and rules.
In some situations, such as when writing a resume, making grammatical mistakes can leave a bad impression on the reader.
By studying, you can learn things that will improve your writing such as:
- How to use colons, semi-colons, and commas.
- Countable and uncountable nouns.
- How to capitalize nouns. (South Africa vs. south africa.)
The Problem with Studying Grammar
Unfortunately, studying has one BIG disadvantage.
It will not make you speak English well!
Studying grammar is NOT a proper way to improve your English speaking skills .
The reason is because when you’re talking with someone, you don’t have time to think about grammar rules . If someone says something to you, you must respond immediately.
This is why students who have studied grammar for years, without using other learning methods, speak English poorly.
Because of this disadvantage, I suggest you use approaches #2 and #3 to improve your English grammar instead. These learning methods will allow you to speak proper English without thinking about grammar.
Let’s discuss approach #2.
Approach #2: Listening & Reading in English
This approach is simple: you learn English grammar through listening and reading.
The content you consume can be anything: YouTube videos, movies, TV shows, books, articles, podcasts, etc.
As long as it’s in English, it’s fine.
This is how you learned your first language as a child—by constantly exposing yourself to the language.
Now you might be thinking…
- This is not learning grammar. You won’t learn anything simply by consuming random content in English.
- Listening and reading is only useful for building vocabulary. It won’t improve my grammar.
If you’re having these thoughts, the next section will change your mind.
Your Brain Can Learn Things “Unconsciously”
The human brain is truly amazing.
It has the ability to automatically learn complicated things, without conscious effort.
Let me explain this with a scientific study.
In this study, people were asked to press keys on a keyboard based on what appeared on a screen.
There were four boxes on the screen. At any given moment, the X sign would appear in one of the four boxes.
If the X sign appeared in the first box, they had to press the X key. If the sign appeared in the second, third, or fourth box, they had to press C, B, or N respectively. (They had to do this as fast as possible.)
But there’s a secret to this experiment.
The X sign didn’t appear randomly; there was a “pattern” in the way the sign appeared .
For example, the X sign may appear in this order: 4, 2, 1, 3, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 4, 4, 1, 3. (The numbers 1 to 4 represent the four boxes.)
So the sign appeared in a specific sequence, but it was too complicated to be detected consciously. (None of the participants knew the pattern existed. They thought everything was random.)
Nevertheless, over time people responded faster. As time went by, it took them less and less time to hit the correct keys!
This is because their brains were able to detect the pattern unconsciously. As a result, they responded faster.
This is a great example of the brain’s ability to learn complex stuff, automatically, without conscious effort from the individual.
Since this process happens at an unconscious level, we call this process unconscious learning (or implicit learning).
How Your Brain Learns English Grammar “Automatically”
The same process happens when you’re exposed to the English language.
When you listen or read something in English, your brain is automatically learning grammar (without you realizing it).
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say that right now you don’t know what “ to meet with someone ” means. (It’s not the same as “ to meet someone .”)
If might think you need someone to explain the meaning to you, but you don’t.
If you hear native speakers use the phrase enough times, your brain will notice that “ to meet with someone ” tends to be used in certain scenarios only.
With enough exposure to that phrase, you’ll eventually understand what the phrase means. (It means to have a meeting with someone.)
The same is true for difficult concepts like English tenses such as the present perfect tense. (I have done something.)
If you listen to a lot of English conversations, and you hear native speakers use the present perfect tense many times, in various situations, you’ll eventually understand how the present perfect tense is used.
Patterns are in all aspects of the English language: vocabulary, tenses, prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, etc. They are waiting to be detected and learned by your brain.
All you have to do is expose yourself to English as much as possible , and let your brain do the rest.
But Isn’t It Faster to Study Grammar?
Now you might be thinking, “Why do I have to spend time listening and reading in English? If I want to understand English grammar, I can simply find some grammar lessons online and study them.”
This is a great question, so let me explain why studying won’t work.
When you learn something, it results in a memory (knowledge) being stored in your brain.
But there are two types of knowledge:
- Implicit knowledge.
- Explicit knowledge.
These two types of knowledge are completely different. And if you want to master English grammar, you must understand the difference between them.
What is Implicit Knowledge
Implicit knowledge is knowledge that you can use automatically, without conscious attention. (Sounds pretty cool, right?)
Examples of implicit knowledge:
- How to ride a bicycle.
- How to play a sport such as tennis.
- How to speak your native language.
Implicit knowledge is fast and automatic. That’s why you can ride a bicycle without thinking about how to move your legs. It’s why you can speak your native language without thinking about grammar.
Remember the study I mentioned earlier? (Pressing keys on a keyboard.) The reason the participants were able to performed the task faster was because of this type of knowledge.
What is Explicit Knowledge
Explicit knowledge is the exact opposite of implicit knowledge.
This type of knowledge requires conscious thought. You must think about the knowledge in order to use it.
Examples of explicit knowledge:
- Academic subjects like physics and chemistry.
- Names of people and places.
- Grammar rules.
When you study grammar, you gain explicit knowledge. To use this knowledge, you have to “think” about it.
Explicit knowledge is slow and requires effort, so it’s only useful when you’re doing a task that doesn’t require fast response (such as writing English).
Unfortunately, this type of knowledge is useless in spoken English , which is an activity in which you need to respond quickly. (You don’t have time to think about grammar.)
If you try to use explicit knowledge when speaking English, the scenario below may happen:
Implicit Knowledge Is the Key to English Fluency
When you learn English through listening, reading, and practice, you gain implicit knowledge. To use this type of knowledge, you don’t have to think about it.
Since implicit knowledge fast and automatic, it is useful in all kinds of tasks: speaking, writing, and even when taking an grammar test .
When grammar students takes a grammar test, they tend to use explicit knowledge; they constantly think about grammar rules during the test.
On the other hand, if a native English speaker were to take a grammar test, he will use implicit knowledge, so he won’t have to think about any rules. Instead, he’ll rely on feelings and instinct to determine the right answers.
As you can see, implicit knowledge is superior than explicit knowledge.
When you learn English (or any other foreign language), you must focus on learning approaches that build implicit knowledge, not explicit knowledge.
How to Build Implicit Knowledge
Listening and reading is an excellent way to build implicit knowledge of English grammar.
When you listen or read in English, be sure to focus on the meaning of what you’re listening or reading. Don’t think about grammar rules. Don’t try to analyze the sentence structure. Don’t try to understand why a particular tense is used instead of some other tense.
Focus on the meaning, not grammar. Let your amazing brain learn English grammar “behind the scene” without your conscious attention.
For more scientific information about how this process works, feel free to visit the wiki page on grammar learning . That page links to various studies on this topic. (But be warned; it’s very boring.)
But Listening and Reading is Not Enough
Although listening and reading is important, it’s not enough to give you excellent improvements.
Listening to English alone, without speaking practice, will not make you a fluent English speaker.
Reading in English alone, without writing practice, will not make you great at English writing.
To master English, you need to practice.
So, let’s talk about that.
Approach #3: Imitating Native Speakers
Throughout history, people have improved all kinds of performance through practice.
Practice is the most effective way to learn any skill, including spoken and written English .
But in order to improve, you need to practice the right way ― the way that 1) makes you learn new things and 2) results in implicit knowledge.
Reminder: implicit knowledge is the type of knowledge a person can use automatically and without conscious attention.
How to Practice English
Some people practice speaking by talking to themselves about random things.
While this is better than no practice, the problem is that you’re not taking in any new knowledge ; you are simply using knowledge you already know.
The same goes for writing about random stuff; you’re not learning anything new this way.
Also, when you do freestyle practice, you don’t know what mistakes you’re making, so there’s no way to correct them.
Fortunately, there’s a better way to practice. It’s called Imitation practice .
The idea is that you learn to speak or write in English by imitating native speakers.
When you copy a native speaker, you are learning to speak/write in English with proper grammar (and learning vocabulary at the same time).
Let me show you how to do it.
How to Imitate Spoken English
There are two ways to do this.
The first way is to use Q&A English lessons. (Q&A means Q uestion and A nswer.)
Watch this video to see how it works:
Basically, this is how you use a Q&A lesson:
- The native speaker asks you a question.
- You try to answer the question on your own.
- Then, the native speaker provides the right answer.
- If your answer was incorrect, you pause the lesson and imitate the correct answer.
In each lesson, the process above is repeated many times, so you get to practice forming all kinds of sentences in English.
If you want to practice with Q&A lessons, you can purchase them from this link .
If you don’t want to spend money, that’s fine. There’s another way to imitate spoken English, and this one doesn’t cost money.
All you need to do is find a conversation in English, listen to it, and repeat what you hear. The conversation can be from anything: a random video on YouTube, a podcast episode, a movie, etc. (Personally, I like to practice Imitation with YouTube videos.)
If you want to learn how to do it step-by-step, I describe the technique in detail in this article .
How to Imitate Written English
If you want to write English with perfect grammar, you’ll love this technique.
Here’s how to do it:
Whether it be for speaking or writing, Imitation practice accomplishes three things:
- It ensures that you are exposed to new input (words and phrases you’ve never used before).
- It ensures that you learn correct English . (You only imitate native speakers.)
- It encourages fast improvement . (Practice is much more challenging than passive activities like reading or listening, so you improve faster.)
Because of these benefits, Imitation is an excellent way to improve English grammar.
Summary: Action Plan to Improve Your English Grammar
I know that this page contains a lot of information.
Since it’s a lot of take in, you’re probably confused about how to apply what you’ve learned to your life.
So, let me summarize how to improve your English grammar, step by step.
Step 1: read/listen in English during mindless activities
Throughout the day, there are many opportunities to learn English:
- While commuting somewhere (either by car or public transportation).
- While waiting at the dentist’s office.
- While exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle.
At times like this, most people escape boredom by using social media, listening to music, or playing games.
But not you! Instead of wasting time like that, listen or read something in English .
At least that’s what I do. I always carry an English book with me when I go outside.
Whenever I have a chance, I pick up my book and read. For example, whenever I get on a train, I grab the book and start reading.
I also have a podcast app and the YouTube app on my phone, which are subscribed to various English-language channels. This way I can listen to something in English during mindless activities.
By constantly consuming a lot of English content, I’m building implicit knowledge of English grammar, which is beneficial to my speaking and writing skills.
Step 2: dedicate 15 – 45 minutes a day to Imitation practice
Because practice cannot be done on the train or while waiting in line (otherwise people will think you’re crazy), you should spend 15 – 45 minutes each day on speaking or writing practice. (You can practice more if you have lots of free time.)
Personally, I practice first thing in the morning because that’s when I feel motivated the most.
I think investing 15 – 45 minutes a day to improve yourself is something everyone can and should do.
Step 3: it’s okay to study grammar, but only when necessary
After reading my thoughts on studying grammar, you might think that I hate studying grammar and that I don’t do it.
But that’s not true. On rare occasions, I do study grammar, too.
But when I study, it’s usually because I want to learn something specific that can improve my writing .
For example, the other day I wondered whether you can use otherwise in the beginning of a sentence, so I looked it up.
If you have questions related to grammar for written English , it’s okay to study. But when you do, be specific about what you want to learn.
That’s all I have to say about how to learn English grammar. Thank you so much for reading this long article. I hope you found it useful!
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5 Simple Tips To Write With Proper English Grammar
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Whether English is your native language or second language, it can be difficult to learn proper English grammar. English has many nuances that take a long time to understand.
You may have taken classes on how to use English grammar properly and learned basic grammar rules. But unless you’re a writing whiz, you probably still have more to learn.
Writing with correct grammar can be a huge benefit. You may impress your teachers, attract a wider audience to your blog, or even land a new job.
Good writing opens doors. Follow these five simple tips to improve your grammar use.
1. Commit To Learning
Don’t keep putting your learning off until later. Act now. You can start today by studying a grammar textbook, signing up for a class, or even doing something as simple as downloading a grammar corrector browser extension.
The point is that you have to immerse yourself in proper English grammar usage every day.
2. Read More
And by reading, we mean books, newspapers, magazine articles, and other long-form, well-written pieces.
When you read, you hear how proper English grammar sounds in your head and see it written down. This will come in helpful as you naturally begin to write with grammar rules you’re learning intuitively.
3. Write As Much As Possible
In one of our blogs, we explain how the simplest way to learn grammar is to just write. Even if you don’t think you’re a good writer, write something down and learn from your mistakes. The best writers started somewhere.
4. Have Your Work Corrected
You may not have appreciated it the last time a teacher gave you a bad grade on a writing assignment, but hopefully, they gave you some feedback on how to improve.
The good news is you don’t have to ruin your GPA, your blog readership, or your chances of landing a job with writing mistakes. By downloading the CorrectEnglish® browser extension, you can have all of your writing errors fixed instantly anywhere you write on the web.
5. Understand The Reason For Corrections
Simply knowing a mistake is wrong will not help you become a better writer. To understand proper English grammar, you need to know the reason behind corrections. CorrectEnglish® offers explanations for mistakes in nine different languages.
Understanding why corrections are needed helps you remember grammar rules better, enabling you to grow as a writer.
These five tips for writing with proper grammar are easy to implement when you have the right tools. If you want to start improving your grammar today, download the Free Forever CorrectEnglish® browser extension.
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It’s now more important than ever to develop a powerful writing style. After all, most communication takes place in reports, emails, and instant messages.
- Understanding the Parts of Speech
- Common Grammatical Mistakes
- Developing a Powerful Writing Style
- Rules on Punctuation
- The Top 25 Grammatical Mistakes
- The Awful Like Word
- Build Your Vocabulary
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