Speaking English – Why Correct Grammar is Important

Using the correct grammar (when you write or speak) is important to avoid misunderstandings, and to help the other person understand you easily. If your English is too full of mistakes, you will slow down communication and conversations, and find it harder to express your ideas and thoughts clearly and concisely.

Of course, most people know this. And it’s the fear of making mistakes that often makes them shy about speaking!

Here are some of the problems many people experience when they’re learning English

Nobody telling you if you’re making a mistake
If you’re speaking with a native speaker of English, it’s less likely that he or she will correct your grammar – and far more likely that he or she will correct your vocabulary and choice of words.

Not being sure about a particular point of grammar
It’s easy to have doubts when you’re speaking. Which preposition should you use? Which tense is better? Not being sure about the right grammar can often slow you down or make you hesitant when you speak

Not knowing enough grammar
A good understanding of grammar will allow you to be flexible when you speak English, and to choose the best way of saying something. So for example, you might be talking about a situation where the passive would be the best choice, but because you can’t remember the past participle of the verb (or the correct structure) you end up having to use the active form. The more grammar you know, the more choices you have to express yourself concisely.

So what are some of the solutions?

It’s important to speak as much English as you can, as this is the only way to improve fluency and confidence. Here are some ways you can do this – at the same time as making sure your grammar is as accurate as possible.

Keep it simple
Use simple sentence structure to help you avoid mistakes. Don’t make your sentences too long, and stick to a simple format of SVOMPT (subject, verb, object, manner, place, time) in your sentences.

Set yourself some grammar targets to practise
You can’t learn everything all at once. If you’re using a course book to help you learn English, use the suggested module order as a guide. So for example, if you’re learning how to use conditional forms, try to practise these as much as possible outside the classroom, too. “New” language takes time and practice to absorb – you’ll probably make mistakes at first, but keep going. You can be flexible with your targets, taking the time you need to concentrate on one particular area of grammar

Listen closely to what other people say
A lot of grammar words in English (articles, determiners, auxiliaries, prepositions etc) are not stressed – unlike the information words, such as nouns, adjectives and verbs. But just because you can’t hear them as easily doesn’t mean that they aren’t there! Ask someone to slow down (or repeat) if they’re speaking particularly fast and you think you’ve missed some of the grammar words. This will help to check your understanding of grammar rules too.

Get More Grammar Help

As you can see, good grammar is important for writing and speaking. That’s why I’ve written a new English grammar ebook to help you sound like a native speaker. You can download the first chapter for free anywhere in the world from here.

The ebook can be viewed on a PC / Mac, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android phone / tablet.

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