• tips 04.03.2012 1 Comment

    Happy National Grammar Day! Well, yes. The National Grammar Day is celebrated on March 4, today. I’m trying to write something motivational, and I hope it works :D.

    I often find students and friends who are frustrated when learning grammar. Sometimes English grammar is difficult and discouraging, and you just hate to deal with it.

    I’m not much of a prescriptivist (I use slang too sometimes), and not that because I teach grammar, but I consider grammar important. Why?

    If you study a language, you will also learn its grammatical rules. Let’s say you take a major in English in the university I am working for right now, you will have to take grammar classes for 4 semesters whether you like it or not. As a consequence, you’ll have to answer questions in the grammar exam. You will have to answer questions about dependent clauses, causative, or identify errors in poorly written sentences. If you have an ear of music, you might recognize if a song is by Justin Bieber or Green Day. If you have an ear for a good grammar, you will recognize when something doesn’t sound right.

    Good grammar also helps you get good grades and good jobs. No matter how great your thoughts are, if they are written with grammatical errors, you won’t get good grades. No matter how wonderful person you are, if you have to do a job interview and say “I done good at school and I’ma do good on the job ya gimme, Sir”  to the boss, I don’t think you can get the job, especially if you apply for a language teacher.

    Grammar is the basic rule of forming words into phrases, phrases into sentences, etc. You can study and recognize the pattern. If you understand the pattern, you will know how to arrange words and your sentence will be good, meaningful, thus easy to understand. If it’s not good, people will not understand what you say or write, or at least the meaning is not accurate. If you use your words correctly, you will avoid misunderstandings.

    “I hate grammar, and i think it is okay to throw away my grammar as long as people understand what i say.” That is true somehow, and that is not your fault. Grammar is indeed boring sometimes and often you hear English is spoken in a very different way. Even you see many advertising slogans or songs contain ungrammatical sentences. It is okay though, sometimes violating grammatical rules sounds better when you write slogans or songs. (But hey, are you a famous rock star yet? Haha). Your grammar teacher will help you learn the difference between good and bad grammar to make you do well on exam, because in such situation, bad grammar is not okay (you don’t want to fail on it and repeat the class next semester, right?)

    What about grammar and spell checker on my computer? Well, they are machines. Trust me they don’t always work. Our brain is the most powerful machine in the world.

    So, have fun learning grammar! If you want to check out my previous post on how to make grammar easy, you can click this :D

    (Credit to Liz Buffa and her book Grammar Smart Junior)