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For any learner of English who aspires to not only be understood clearly by native speakers, but also wants to impress with fluency and accuracy, it is vital that a good chunk of their efforts are focussed on mastering English grammar. English grammar is relatively difficult when compared to other languages. For example, Mandarin Chinese is composed of far simpler grammatical structures and relies more on context rather than grammar. However, that shouldn’t leave you disheartened as the main reason that foreigners make mistakes with English grammar, including a sizeable percentage of long-term learners of English, is not due to its difficulty. Instead it is primarily due to a lack of focus and awareness of how to correctly use English grammar. The good news for you as a learner of English is that it is possible to make rapid progress in your English grammar if you decide to focus on it, use the correct materials and learning resources, and practice continually. Another key point is that once you learn how to correctly use a grammatical structure in the English language you are unlikely to revert to the incorrect usage you previously used. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common English grammar mistakes and how to correct them!
English grammar is quite complicated, so it will require time and effort for you to master the majority of the rules and tenses that are needed to reach a high level of proficiency. To more rapidly reduce the number of errors you make with English grammar, it is worthwhile to enroll in group or private classes with Lingoda. Being able to ask a fully qualified and knowledgeable native English teacher questions on English grammar can be immensely helpful.
A common English grammar mistake made by many non-native learners of the language is to either forget to use an apostrophe in a sentence where one should be used, or to to mistakenly add an apostrophe where one isn’t needed. Unlike many English grammar errors, this mistake will only show up when you write something in English. Therefore you will only have the opportunity to correct this grammar error through writing, which illustrates the need for all aspects of the English language – listening, reading, writing and speaking – to be included in any learning program.
The rule for using apostrophe S correctly is to understand that is to indicate an object is a possession belonging to something or someone. Henry’s bike, England’s national anthem and my father’s electric guitar are all examples of how to correctly use the apostrophe S. When using the apostrophe in the case of people, animals or objects in the plural, the position of the apostrophe is placed after the S that indicates the plural. In the case of a sentence such as, “My cousins’ apartment was very nicely decorated”, the positioning of the apostrophe indicates that it belongs to two or more of your cousins rather than to a single cousin.
A common apostrophe error which is frequently seen in both non-native and native speakers alike is redundant use of the apostrophe in situations where it is not needed. A good example of when not to use an apostrophe can be seen in the sentence, “The bird lost all of its feathers”. Many people mistakenly use “it’s” here. However, that is incorrect English grammar because “its” is already a possessive form and therefore, doesn’t need an apostrophe.
The differences between present continuous and present simple are important to learn as they are fundamental to so much of what you will say and write when using English. To use these parts of English grammar correctly, it is important to know that present simple is used when talking about facts, things which are known about the future and to describe how you are feeling about something at the exact moment of speaking. Present continuous is used to discuss things which are true at the time of speaking but will not be true for all other times. Present continuous is also used to discuss plans you have now for event in the future. To help you understand this key difference in English grammar, here is an example sentence for you to learn in both present continuous and present simple tense. Spend a moment or two comparing the two sentences so that you are clear on the key different between the two tenses:
1. I listen to football commentary on the radio every Saturday. (Present Simple)
2. I’m listening to the Arsenal versus Chelsea match on the radio. (Present Continuous)
Spend a moment or two comparing the two sentences so that you are clear on the key different between the two tenses.
English grammar is quite complicated and so it will require time and effort for you to master the majority of rules and tenses that are needed to reach a high level of proficiency. To more rapidly reduce the number of errors you make with English grammar, it is worthwhile enrolling in group or private classes with a reputable language learning school, such as Lingoda. Being able to ask a fully qualified and knowledgeable native English teacher questions on English grammar can be immensely helpful. Starting an English grammar notebook where you write down all the rules and tenses you learn with accompanying examples can also accelerate the grammar learning process.