Your relationship with grammar starts the day you take your first English lesson and say “Hello, teacher!” Then you find out about the verb “to be” and “to have”, get an idea about simple tenses, then dig deeper and grasp continuous and perfect ones… Then one day you get astonished by the passive voice, conditionals, modals and so on… It seems that the grammar of any language is limited and on the one hand it’s true. New grammar structures and phenomena appear rather seldom unlike new words which enrich dictionaries every year. But still the development of the language never stops, and being learners, we should always keep our eyes and ears open.
Let’s look at the language as a machine. Then grammar is its screws. Or let’s look at it as a body. Then grammar is the skeleton while vocabulary is the flesh. Grammar is always there underneath it all – in any sentence you write or read and in any utterance. It helps you formulate your thoughts and express them based on what you want to say and how you want to say it. In this respect, English is marvelously flexible and its grammar (along with vocabulary) can help you show your emotions!
Let’s have some examples. Compare these two sentences:
I work for a new company.
I am working for a new company.
The words are the same but the meaning is different. In what way? In the first sentence, using the Present Simple tense, you state that your work is permanent. But in the second one, using the Present Continuous tense, you mean that it’s your temporary job, you are thinking of leaving it. As you can see, the difference is considerable.
Here is another example:
He has done a lot in his life.
He did a lot in his life.
Which sentence shows that “he” is still alive and well, and can do even more in the future? The first one. How do we know it? The Present Perfect tense indicates that he has done a lot so far. In other words, he is alive and well, the life is not over and he is likely to do more in the years to come. In the second sentence, however, the Past Simple is used. As we know, it is used to describe an action which is completed. So, we deduce that he is gone and nothing else can be done in his life.
And here is one more example:
The report you have submitted contains mistakes.
A report you have submitted contains mistakes.
The in the first sentence shows that there was only one report which was submitted. And that very report contains some mistakes. If you say “a report”, it means there were a few reports handed in. And one of them has some mistakes in it.
“So what?”, you might say. “If I can find a way to express my idea, what’s the difference?”. There is much truth there. But remember the people who use poor grammar in your first language. What impression do they make? You might think that they are undereducated no matter what good qualities they may possess. In fact, it makes sense because if one has issues with pronouns, for example, the person they are talking to may think they are not into reading, to say the least. So, if you care about your image, your grammar must concern you.
To illustrate this, we’d like to share the video:
So, let’s sum it up.
There are two approaches to grammar: prescriptivism and descriptivism. Prescriptivists support the idea that the language should follow consistent rules while descriptivists see variation and adaptation as a natural and essential part of any language. But apparently these two approaches don’t exclude each other because the language would be impossible to imagine without either a grammatical structure and generalized rules or colloquial language.
Anyway, in our intensive grammar lessons you’ll find out about both standard and “colloquial” grammar. Why we should say “the alien and I” but not “me and the alien” will not be a secret for you anymore if it is at the moment. Ain’t, gonna, wanna, gotta and many other colloquial things will not confuse you any longer. Moreover, you’ll learn how to use them correctly in certain situations. All the tenses, constructions, gerunds and infinities, different kinds of clauses etc. will be as clear as noonday to you. And you will see that grammar is not a dull subject. It’s an exciting discipline which will broaden your horizons and make you a truly literate person. Become our student and see for yourself!