Learning English grammar and its rules may seem hard in the beginning but once learnt, you will always remember and appreciate the ability to apply these rules when speaking and writing in English. Learning English as a second language can be confusing whereas English grammar comes naturally to native English speakers. As people, we all need to be able to converse with one another and it is very important to be able to use English grammar correctly. Once you have learnt these rules, you will always remember how to use them. Here are my seven advanced English grammar rules that confuse even fluent English speakers:
CORRECT WORD ORDER
In English, sentences are constructed as follows:
Subject then verb then object
For example I bought a new coat
He does not like dogs
She talks to her friends
I will give the present to her tomorrow.
We will go to the party on Saturday evening.
It will rain tomorrow.
It was snowing yesterday.
The dog has just had 7 puppies.
You went to the cinema yesterday.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THAT AND WHICH
THAT defines something
WHICH informs us or connects 2 parts of a sentence.
THAT This is the cake that I made.
Is that the person you want me to speak to?
WHICH This is the cake which I made earlier today.
Which is the way to the station?
Not all the sentences we write or say locate events in the present, the future or the past.
Form: If + present simple + will
Meaning: Describes probable events in the future
Examples: If you leave now, you will catch the train.
If they study hard, they will pass their exams.
Form: If + past simple + would (you could also use could or might)
Meaning: You are imagining a different situation
Examples: If I had more money, I would travel.
If I ran the world, I would give free education to everyone.
Form: If + past perfect + would have (you could also use could have or might have) + past participle)
Meaning: Describes events in the past, which did not happen.
Examples: If you had worked harder, you would have passed your exams.
If I had known you were ill, I would have visited you in hospital.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHO AND WHOM
The difference between who and whom is that who is used to describe subject and whom is used for objects.
Who The prize goes to the student who does the best in the exam.
Whom You will work with our new partner, whom you will meet at the meeting this afternoon.
Conjugation of irregular verbs from the present tense to the past tenses can be difficult. Here are some examples of irregular verbs and how they change in the past tense.
Irregular verb Past tense of this irregular verb
It is important to learn the plural forms of nouns so here are examples:
For most nouns when they are in the plural form you add an ‘s’ at the end of the words.
1 bottle 2 bottles
1 cat 2 cats
1 pencil 3 pencils
1 desk 4 desks
1 dog 5 dogs
1 pig 6 dogs
1 toy 3 toys
For nouns that end in –ch, -x, -s here are some examples and as you will see –es is added.
1 box 4 boxes
1 watch 6 watches
1 witch 2 witches
1 bus 3 buses
For nouns that end with the letter –f or –fe here are some examples and as you will see the –fe ending changes to –ives.
1 wife 2 wives
1 leaf 5 leaves
1 life 2 lives
Irregular plural forms
1 man 2 men
1 woman 3 women
1 child 3 children
1 mouse 4 mice
1 baby 3 babies
1 potato 10 potatoes
1 tomato 6 tomatoes
COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS
Countable nouns are things we can count using numbers
They have a singular and a plural form.
The singular form can be used with a number or ‘a’ or ‘an’ in front. If you ask about the quantity (number) of a countable noun you will ask “how many” together with the plural of the countable noun.
1 dog 2 dogs
1 horse 2 horses
1 man 2 men
1 chair 3 chairs
1 house 6 houses
A mouse 3 mice
An eye 2 eyes
Examples: She has three dogs
I own one dog
He would like 2 plants.
Uncountable nouns are things that we cannot count with numbers. This includes qualities, weather and equipment and also objects that are too small to count. These uncountable nouns are used as a singular verb and do not have a plural form.
Tea Sugar Water Air Sand Flour
Rice Knowledge Beauty Anger Salt Mustard
Examples: A pinch of salt
A grain of sand
A cup of tea
A bag of flour
A bag of sugar
A jar of mustard
A beach full of sand
She has much knowledge
Learning advanced English grammar is important when learning English, as it will help you improve your writing, reading and speaking. This in turn will give you confidence to talk and communicate with others and know you will be understood. Learning advanced English grammar gives you the ability to express yourself in discussions and also to communicate better when writing documents, letters and emails especially as technology plays such a large part of our lives. Communication is very important in both general conversation and in a business world. Practice will help you improve your English and remember that English is the official language of many countries in the world.