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Basics of English Grammar

The first step to becoming a good English speaker is to know the basics of grammar. English grammar is a territory many people fear. Breaking it down, though, learning proper grammar isn’t that difficult. Hence, let us look at some of the main topics under the basics of grammar.

NOUNS

According to Grammarly, ‘A noun is a word that names something, such as a person, place, thing, or idea.’

We all know the game, ‘Name, Place, Animal, Thing.’ Essentially, a noun is anything that comes under these categories. For example, India, Australia, Gary, Lion are all nouns.

Ex: 

  • Maria went home.
  • Hitesh played with his friends.
  • Australia is the home of kangaroos. For this reason, it is an attractive tourist place.

Pronouns

Sentence 1:

Priya is a good student. Priya studies well. Priya gets good grades.

Sentence 2:

Priya is a good student. She studies well. She gets good grades.

In the above sentences, which one sounds better?

Using a noun in every sentence can be repetitive. Hence, pronouns substitute nouns.  For example, she, he, it, they, them are pronouns used in place of nouns.

Ex: 

  • Rita learned to sing. She wanted to become a singer.
  • The dog was barking non-stop. Perhaps, it was feeling hungry.
  • Sunny was all dirty from playing in the sun. Hence, he wanted to take a shower.

Adjectives

Adjectives are words used to describe a noun. They give us more information about the noun. 

For example, Take the sentence, ‘He is an amazing dancer.’ Here, the word ‘amazing’ is an adjective. It shows that he dances really well. 

In the same way, colours and numbers can be adjectives. Take the sentence, ‘He is wearing a white shirt.’ Here, the word ‘white’ is an adjective and describes the shirt.

Ex: 

  • She saw a brown dog.
  • Arijit Singh is a good singer.
  • Venkat had excellent basketball skills.

Verbs

Verbs are also known as action words. They are words that convey an action that has already happened, is happening or is going to happen in the future. For example, ‘The students are listening to the teacher.’

Here, the word, ‘listening’ is the verb, as it conveys the actions the students are doing.

TIP: One tip that might help identify verbs is that verbs usually end with either ‘-ing’ for present tense or ‘-ed’ for past tense.

-ing-ed
Listening
Waiting
Watching
Listened
Waited
Watched 
Verbs

However, not all verbs have the same rule. Therefore, one should learn the rules for a specific word.

Ex:

  • He waited for the bus.
  • Sara went home. However, her friend stayed back.
  • The girl played with her friends while her sister slept.

Adverbs

As we know, adjectives describe a noun. Similarly, adverbs describe a verb. Additionally, adverbs usually end with ‘-ly’ and are easier to identify that way. For example, ‘His cooking is phenomenal.’ Here, the focus is not on the person. Rather, it focuses on the person’s cooking.

Ex:

  • She shouted loudly.
  • The bird flew freely.
  • He secretly hid the locket.

Articles

Articles are imperative to learning basic English grammar. Essentially, articles are words that modify a noun in a sentence. For example, the sentence, ‘The bird flew into its nest,’ has the article ‘the.’

The is the definite article and is used to refer to specific nouns, while a/an are indefinite articles and are used to refer to non-specific or modified nouns. 

Ex: 

  • Sheila ate the pie.
  • Rahul bought a book from the bookstore.
  • I opened the box and found an earring.

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