8 English Grammar Rules You’ll Need to Succeed

8 English Grammar Rules You'll Need to Succeed

Tips to help your English! 

Just like any language, English has many rules that speakers and writers must follow. From punctuation, to conjugation, it is important to adhere to these standards - otherwise your sentences will not make any sense.

To make your life easier, we created 8 basic rules for success!


1) Where To Place Those Commas

We use commas for many reasons. For example, we use them to separate three or more words or phrases. The sentence “I want apples, pears, and bananas” would require commas after apples and pears.

Commas would also be placed after introductory phrases or words that come right before the main clause of the sentence.

For example, “While I was running, I tripped and fell”.
The comma would go right after “running” because it is the introductory clause.

Another use for commas would be to separate adjectives that describe the same noun, but without using the word “and”.
For instance, “She is a tall, pretty woman”.


2) The Difference Between Active Voice and Passive Voice

Though passive voice is not used very often, it’s still important to know the difference between active and passive voice. Let’s look at a few examples:

“Cats like milk” vs. “Milk is liked by cats”

“Maria eats chocolate” vs. “Chocolate is eaten by Maria”

Do you see a difference?


3) Present Simple Vs. Present Continuous… And What They Mean

We use the present simple for permanent states, or repeated and habitual actions (every week, every month).

We use the present continuous for temporary states or actions, or something happening in the moment.

Let’s observe:

“I dance” vs. “I am dancing”

When you say “I dance”, you are using the simple present because it is an action that can happen sometimes, always, or never; once a week, once a month, etc.

When you say “I am dancing” you are using present continuous because it is temporary and happening in the moment.


4) A Pro With Pronouns

You may have heard of the terms “first person”, “second person”, and “third person”. But what do they mean?

First person (singular)  is: I, me, my, mine, myself.

Second person (singular) is: you, your, yours, yourself

Third person (singular): he/she, him/her, his/her, his/hers, himself/herself

First person (plural) is: we, us, our, ours, ourselves

Second person (plural) is: you, your, yours, yourselves

Third person (plural) is: they, them, their, theirs, themselves

So how can we use these in a sentence? For example, you can say:

“Ms. Stein is our teacher.”

“Is this your marker?”


5) Punctuations - In The Right Place At The Right Time

There are ten basic punctuations marks everyone should know:

A period is used at the end of a declarative sentence.
I like potato chips.

A question mark is used when a question is being asked.
Where did you get potato chips?

Quotation marks are used to directly quote someone or something.
“Please give me some potato chips,” said Kevin.

An apostrophe is used for contractions  and for possessions
I can’t give these to you, they’re Kim’s.

A comma is used to separate items, before conjunctions, or in a compound sentence.
I also like popcorn, apple juice, and candy.

A hyphen is used to join words to become a single adjective and in number words.
You can grab potato chips in those hard-to-reach-places at the bottom of the bag.

An exclamation point is used to show a strong emotion or give a command.
Give me those darn potato chips! I’m so hungry!

A colon is used to introduce a list.
Here is why you should give me some potato chips: I like them, I want them.

Parentheses are used around non-essential information that is still too important to erase.
Potato chips (invented in 1853) are not that healthy for you.

A semicolon is used to join two independent clauses.
You can buy potato chips from almost anywhere; They are widely sold.


6) The Real Difference Between “Some” and “Any”

In certain situations, how do you know when to use the word “some” or when to use “any”?

Generally, when you are asking questions, you would use the word “any”.

For example:
Do you have any money?
Do you play any sports?
Will you eat any of those vegetables?

However, when answering those questions there are “positive” answers and “negative” answers.

For a positive answer, we use ‘some’.
Yes, I have some money.
Yes, I play some sports.
Yes, I will eat some vegetables

For a negative answer, we use ‘any’.
No, I don’t have any money.
No, I don’t play any sports.
No, I will not eat any vegetables.


7) Many Vs Much? Few Vs. Little?

What is the difference between “many” and “much”?
What about “few” and “little”?

You use “many” and “few” together because they are for countable nouns.

For example:
I have many apples.
I ate a few peanuts.

These are objects that you can physically count. Other examples include buildings, cakes, computers, and dogs.

You use “much” and “little” together because they are for uncountable nouns.

For example:
I don’t have much money.
I have little water.

Money, believe it or not, is actually an uncountable noun. You cannot “count” money. You can count dollars, coins, euros, or pesos. But money is uncountable.

Just like you cannot count makeup, water, or time (for this, you would count minutes, hours, days, etc.).


8) You’ll Get “Used To” It

Lastly in our grammar lesson, we’ll show you how the phrase “used to” works in a sentence.

There are three different ways that the phrase “used to” is implemented.

The first example is:
“He is getting used to eating dinner at a later time”.
We use this to talk about things we are not yet accustomed to or comfortable with yet.

The second example is:
“He’s used to getting up at 6 in the morning, but he’s not used to exercising a lot”.
We use this to talk about things that we have/have not become accustomed to.

The third example is:
“She used to sing on stage, but now she dances instead”.
We use this to talk about habitual actions in the past that do not happen anymore.

We hope this article was helpful in your journey to learning the English language!

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