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  • The ONLY 4 English Grammar Rules You Need to Know to Speak Fluent English

    First things first, learning grammar is a terrible way to learn English speaking. If your past Spoken English teachers spent hours and hours teaching you grammar, that is probably the reason you are not still fluent in English. Focusing on too much grammar will actually negatively affect your ability to improve fluency in speaking. This is why Spoken English Practice’s English teachers focus more on real Conversational English and less on teaching grammar theory. (Interested in a trial lesson with a native English teacher? Click here)

    Think of how children learn to speak English with perfect grammar at a very young age? They do this because they speak without thinking too much of grammar. As you speak and listen to real English more and more, your brain understands and “learns” allowing you to speak English in the correct tense and using accurate prepositions. In other words, your brain muscles “learns” grammar naturally and intuitively.

    That said, there are some basic grammar concepts that every English learners should know. These are not hardcore grammar rules that you should memorize but general sentence patterns that you should know intuitively. So PLEASE, don’t memorize any of these. Understand the concepts and pay attention when you have conversations with native English speakers.

     

    Comparatives and Superlatives

    There are two basic ways to create comparatives and superlatives:

    1.) Add -er and -est to the root of the word

    Example:

    – Her husband is 10 years older than her.

    – Justin is taller compared to Tim but Mike is the tallest of the three.

    – My brother has always been smarter than me. Our sister, Mary, however, is the smartest in the family.

     

    2.) Use more or most in front of the modifier

    More and most are used to modify adjectives of three or more syllables.

    Example:

    – The beaches in Thailand were more beautiful than any beach I have seen in England.

    – Living in city of Mumbai has been more exciting for me than living in the village.

     

    How to apply this grammar concept to become fluent in English:

    Gain an understanding of which modifier to use in different situations. In order to speak English naturally and fluently, you should intuitively know this. E.g If you are comparing someone’s height, you should say “he is taller than her” and not “he is more taller than her“.

     

    Tired of learning grammar? Try a Conversational English lesson with a native English Teacher?

     

    Learn By Doing

     

    Using the correct Pronoun when speaking English

    There is one golden rule when using pronouns; Pronouns must be properly matched to the word they stand for. The key is to choose the correct form of the Pronoun with the compound structures.

    This rule is easier to understand looking at correct and incorrect usage

     

    Examples

    Correct: I went to the movie

    Wrong: Me went to the movie

    Correct: Sam and I went to the movie

    Wrong: Sam and me went to the movie

     

    Another tricky situation related to the use of pronouns when speaking English is when pronouns are used after prepositions. The rule here is to use the object form of the pronoun after prepositions. Again, this is easier to understand with some examples.

    Correct: Here is a gift from me

    Wrong: Here is a gift from I

    Correct: Can you sit with him on the couch?

    Wrong: Can you sit with he on the couch?

     

    How to apply this grammar concept to become fluent in English:

    Gain an understanding of patterns when pronouns are used. Listen to how native English speakers use pronouns. Don’t memorize charts of pronouns used in different sentences. There is simply too much to memorize. In order to speak English naturally you should intuitively know which pronoun to use when and you will only get that through conversational practice.

     

    Using the correct Preposition when speaking English

    Prepositions are one of the most confusing areas of English. Prepositions are are often small words that show relationships. Prepositions typically perform one of 4 roles in a sentence.

    1.) Show position

    2.) Show time

    3.) Compare

    4.) Connect

     

    Example of correct and incorrect usage:

    Correct: I’m in Vietnam (Right now, I’m in Vietnam)

    Wrong: I’m at Vietnam

    Correct: I left the pen on the table

    Incorrect: I left the pen in the table

    Correct: I’m at the top of the mountain

    Wrong: I’m in the top of the mountain

     

    How to apply this grammar concept to become fluent in English:

    The best way to learn the correct usage of prepositions is through practice. Record yourself during your Spoken English lesson with a native English teacher and compare your use of prepositions to the teacher.  Pay attention to any “odd” uses of prepositions in your speech.

     

    Use of Double Negatives in Spoken English

    Examples of negative words are no, not, none, never, nothing, hardly etc. These words carry a negative sense. If you add an extra negative, these words loose their meaning. This is a very common mistake among English learners when speaking English.

     

    Correct: Kaylee does not know anything

    Wrong: Kaylee does not know nothing (Double Negative)

    Correct: There was hardly time to say goodbye

    Incorrect: There wasn’t hardly time to say goodbye (Double Negative)

     

    How to apply this grammar concept to become fluent in English:

    If you are a beginner, stay away from words like “hardly” or “barley”. You are better off using more plain English. When you become more advanced, always remember to avoid double negatives. Again, the best way to learn this naturally is oral English practice, not memorization.

    January 5, 2016
    5 January 2016,
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