Learning Grammar Rules
In English, grammar is perhaps one of the most important skills that any English writer or speaker needs to have. You would be surprised how many people (even working professionals) do not know how to use punctuation or the correct tenses, even when writing important documents! Grammar is a skill which can be taught from an early age. In fact, during medieval times, entire educational institutions were set up for the purpose of teaching Latin grammar in the UK (does the term “grammar school” sound familiar?)
In this article, we will go through 7 aspects of having good grammar students need to know about. Please do note that this list is non-exhaustive – if we were to go through all the aspects in grammar students need to cover, this article would be a textbook of its own!
“Yesterday, Adam pass by the school while walked with his friends.”
“Yesterday, Adam passed by the school while walking with his friends.”
What is the difference between the 2 sentences above? The first sentence sounds horribly wrong, and the second sentence is correct. The reason for this is that the second sentence is in the correct tense. As the event took place yesterday, past tense needs to be used when referring to Adam, who “passed by” the school. However, in the second part of the first erroneous sentence, the use of past tense is not correct. Instead, as Adam was in the middle of walking with his friends when he passed the school, past progressive tense should be used.
Nouns are words which refer to a person, place, or thing. There are common nouns (apples, boats, jackets) and proper nouns (Adam, Africa, London). One of the most common mistakes students can make is to fail to capitalise proper nouns. One example of a proper noun which should have a capital letter at the start are brand names like Lego. Another example of a proper noun which should start with a capital letter is a month of the year, like June.
Many students will write in dialogue into their essays without knowing how to do so properly. When writing a piece of dialogue, it is important to start it on a new paragraph. The next time someone else speaks, the student will need to start on another new paragraph. The dialogue must always be corralled between two quotation marks at the start and end, like so:
“Why didn’t you use the correct punctuation in your essay, Aria?”
“I’m sorry Teacher Anne, I wasn’t thinking properly,” Aria apologised.
Another point to note is that if the dialogue is followed by a description of the person speaking, such as “Aria apologised”, it should not end with a period – it should end with a comma. This is because although the speaker has finished speaking, the author has not fully written a complete sentence and needs to continue the sentence.
Punctuation is an essential part of written grammar. Students should always end their sentences with a period or a full-stop. If there is more than one clause in the sentence, like so, students should use a comma as a “breather” in the sentence. This will avoid run-on sentences where the student does not use a comma and it comes off as too hurried and it will not give you good marks in the exam because the examiner thinks that your sentence is not structured very well. Did you spot the run-on sentence in this paragraph? If so, very good!
To conclude this segment on Learning Grammar Rules, students need to practice writing well if they want to get the hang of English grammar. There is no better teacher than experience, and students will find that practicing writing compositions regularly will help them improve essential language skills such as grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure in no time.
At WR!TERS@WORK, we are committed to providing the smoothest learning experience for your primary or secondary school child sitting for their English exam. With our carefully curated methods of teaching your child how to write, your child will be able to craft well-written essays in any genre with good grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure.
English tuition and writing courses are instrumental for students not only in school, but to prepare them for their future undertakings as good writing is a universal necessity. Enjoy a smoother learning process with WR!TERS@WORK as we reinforce your child’s language skills and provide them with a strong foundation for academic success. For more exam tips, parents and students can explore our website and watch our YouTube videos.
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1. How Can I Help My Child With Writing Difficulties?
Firstly, identify the reason why your child has writing difficulties. At times, children have different problems, such as a lack of knowledge of the grammar rules or not enough variety in their vocabulary. At other times, students face difficulties in crafting a well-written plot. Then, after the problem is known, steps can be taken to remedy it and practice writing techniques.
2. Why Is Writing Difficult for Students?
Writing is difficult as students must grapple with many aspects of good writing at one time – grammatical rules, vocabulary choice, sentence structure, plot and character crafting – students can feel overwhelmed dealing with the many aspects of writing to produce a good essay as a whole.
3. What Are Poor Writing Skills?
Students with poor writing skills will make many grammatical and spelling errors. Moreover, there will be a lack of cohesion and coherence in their ideas. Ultimately, poor writing skills are most clearly seen when the student fails to communicate their ideas to the reader.
4. How Do You Motivate Elementary Students to Write?
Letting elementary students write creatively to emulate writers of books they love reading as a child could motivate them to write more as they will see it as an opportunity to unleash their creativity, much like drawing or colouring or doing arts and crafts.
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