11 Rules of Grammar in the English Language
If you are attending an intensive English language course in your neighborhood in California, you might be feeling overwhelmed with all the grammar rules and their exceptions you have to learn. Everything may seem so intricate and unfathomable at first.
However, no matter how terrifying they might seem, rules help you use the English language properly. Armed with effective grammar guidelines, you will feel less insecure while speaking or writing, and you will have the impression that you are finally beginning to have a fuller grasp of the language.
Luckily, you don’t need to learn all the rules at once. You can start with the basics, and then, as you become more familiar with the language logic, you can start to pay attention to the nuances.
We have already discussed 5 fundamental elements of grammar underlying the English language in our previous blog post. Here, we will list 11 key rules crucial for your successful written and spoken communication in English.
What are the 11 rules of grammar?
There are many different rules in the English language, but the ones that follow are a great way to start your learning journey:
1. Use active voice. Active sentences have this formula: S (subject) + V (verb) + O (object):
Thomas walks a dog.
In this sentence, Thomas is the subject, walks is the verb (what Thomas does), and his dog is the object (the receiver of Thomas’s action).
2. Link ideas with a conjunction. You can combine two S+V+O sentences with these coordinating conjunctions: but, or, so, and, yet, for, nor. For instance:
Anna likes coffee, but her brother prefers tea.
3. Use a comma to connect two ideas. When writing, don’t forget to add a comma before the coordinating conjunction:
He’s seventy, yet he still swims regularly.
4. Use a serial comma in a list. The serial comma is the last in the list, so make sure not to forget it when writing. It comes before and:
Hardy has a dog, a cat, and a goldfish.
Always use the same parts of speech in your list. In the above sentence, we have three nouns.
5. When writing, use a semicolon to join two ideas (in this case, you don’t need coordinating conjunction). Let’s look at an example:
Mary's dog is hyperactive; it won't stop barking or sit still.
6. Use the Simple Present Tense for habitual actions. These are activities you do regularly (always, often, sometimes, usually, etc.):
Lily dances every day. (Don’t forget to add (e)s for the third person singular.)
7. Use the Present Continuous Tense for current actions:
Tania is talking with her friend now.
8. When talking about past actions, don’t forget that there are regular and irregular verbs. Add (e)d to regular verbs:
Marcus watched a movie last night.
When it comes to irregular verbs, there is a list you need to memorize. Here is an example:
I met my wife in 2014.
9. Use the Present Perfect Tense with words or expressions of unfinished time:
I have drunk three cups of coffee this morning (it is still morning).
10. Use the Present Perfect Continuous Tense when the action has not finished as well:
I have been drinking coffee all day. (It is still the same day, and I haven’t stopped drinking coffee.)
11. When talking about two actions in the past, use the Past Perfect Tense for the older action. For example:
The train left at 9 am. We arrived at 9:15 am. When we arrived, the train had left.
Where can I find the best English course in California?
Looking for comprehensive English language courses in California? You can stop your search right now! Here at the College of English Language, you’ll receive all the support you need in your language acquisition mission. We boast well-equipped classrooms in three incredible locations: Downtown San Diego, Pacific Beach, and Santa Monica.
Our course palette includes 6 levels of general English language courses, TOEFL, and Cambridge exam preparation courses. There are also fun activity-based online courses for an unbelievable price: $150 for 20 lessons per week! Don’t hesitate to call us today!