Useful Tips

How to improve your English grammar while reading a book


Grammar. How often does she give us trouble. For some people, this is the most boring and most difficult part of learning a language. But in reality, it’s not so difficult, it’s enough to figure everything out and there will be no more difficulties. Here are 10 tips to help you learn grammar.

  1. Articles. Certain and indefinite articles help to determine which subject is being discussed: a specific or more general one. Indefinite a, an speak of one subject among a multitude of like ones, without highlighting this subject: He is a doctor. A certain the indicates something specific: Please, call the doctor from room 236.
  2. Do not forget about the apostrophes. They have 2 functions: 1) possessive, 2) reduction of the longer form of the word. There is a difference between “its” and “it’s”, since “your” and “you’re” are not the same thing. In the first case, it's = it + is, and in the second you're = you + are.
  3. Remember the words-homophones and endings. One word can actually turn out to be two different words, although they will sound the same: two - too, full - fool, knight - night. The -able ending is used if the whole word is taken, as in fashionable, but if only a part of the word is taken and it does not make sense without the end, then the ending will be –ible: illegible.
  4. Countable / uncountable nouns. If something can be counted, then we use many: many books, many apples with this word, if we cannot count the quantity, we use much / a lot, little / few: much chocolate, a lot of gold.
  5. A comma after the introductory phrase. Do not forget to highlight the introductory phrase, or the phrase accompanied by a preposition, with a comma. After a hard day of work, Kate likes to swim in a pool.
  6. A semicolon instead of a period. If you have two independent sentences, sometimes it’s better to combine them and put a semicolon instead of a period.
  7. Comma with who, that, which. If the information in the sentence is not important or mandatory, then put a comma after who, that, which: My friend, who lives not far from here, has a nice car.
  8. Use simple sentences. If you are not sure that you can build a long sentence correctly, replace it with a few short ones.
  9. Use online services to check spelling.
  10. Finally, remember to read books, magazines, and articles. This will help you pay attention to different grammatical constructions and memorize them “automatically”.

1. Define all auxiliary verbs

This exercise will be useful for beginners and those who forget about auxiliary verbs in written or spoken language. Highlight them with a marker or write down sentences in a notebook. Understand why in a particular case you need to put an auxiliary verb. After some time, all cases when you need to write auxiliary verbs will automatically be deposited in memory.

2. Parse the sentence

Read the sentence and determine which word will be subject, which predicate, circumstance, etc. Also identify the parts of speech: what is a noun, verb, adjective, etc. Over time, you will learn to “feel” to which part of the speech belongs a particular word, what function in the sentence it performs. Subsequently, you will be able to guess the role of unfamiliar words.

3. Pay attention to the use of tenses.

When reading, pay attention to the use of English. Try to explain why a particular time is used in a given sentence. If you are reading a newspaper, mark with a marker all the sentences where the time you are studying at this stage of training is encountered. Also set aside time that is difficult to use. When reading an article on the Internet or a regular book, we recommend writing such sentences or passages of phrases. After reading, try to retell the text using all the written words. So you will fix in practice in which cases one or another time is used, and such an exercise will be useful for colloquial speech. To learn how to easily use all 12 tenses, go through the video course “The System of the Times of the English Language”.

6. Fill in knowledge gaps

Define your spaces in grammar. For this, you can use various tests, for example, on the resources or Work with the spaces found in the same way as in the previous paragraphs. Highlight similar moments in the text, try to make a couple of sentences with each of them. Bring the skill of using this or that design to automatism.

7. Use search engines

After completing the previous paragraph, you already know your weaknesses. In order to better work them out, we propose to do the following exercise. Let's say you don’t understand the use of Present Perfect time. Write a part of the phrase at this time on Google, for example, “I have read” or “I have seen” (for accuracy, quote the words). As a result, you will get several hundred articles with the natural use of this time. Read small passages of several texts, pay attention to what words, in which cases Present Perfect is used. This is a living example of how English grammar works.

8. Read the news

Reading good classic literature is always helpful, but remember that the language is constantly changing. The most modern version of the English language can be seen in English-language newspapers and news. Hence the conclusion: if you want to learn how to build a proposal as a medium, read the news. The most interesting news without politics can be read on, the resource is suitable even for beginners. And people with an average level of knowledge are encouraged to start reading articles from the famous British newspaper The Times or the American publication The Washington Post. Newspapers are good for three reasons:

  • The articles use a modern language, the text is written correctly, the sentences are built in accordance with modern English rules.
  • Articles of various subjects will help you not only hone your grammar skills, but also increase your vocabulary and broaden your horizons.
  • Most of the texts are not too long, it will be enough for you to allocate about 30 minutes a day to work with the article.

The exercises we have proposed are simple and useful. To make it interesting for you to follow them, take care of the correct selection of reading material. The articles “What books to read in English and how to do it correctly”, “Is it useful to read adapted books in English?” Will help you make your choice.