You’re not a fan of English grammar?
I get it.
You were probably told to learn the rules and then miraculously use those rules to communicate in English.
Unfortunately as we know, it doesn’t work like that. That’s not how we get results.
So how do we get results?
By changing our relationship with grammar.
Is grammar a dirty word for you?
Is it like swearing? Unmentionable, vulgar, offensive, anxiety producing…?
Whether we like it or not, swearing is an important part of language and culture.
I used to think that British people were quite good at swearing, until I moved to Spain! Here they’re in a different league – there’s definitely not a lot of Kakologophobia (phobia of swear words) around!!!
Personally, I’m not a fan of swearing for swearing’s sake (without cause) But you might hear me saying a mild bad word occasionally if there’s a good reason to say one!
But I very rarely use the F-word and I never use the C-word!
I do, however, use the G-word quite often 😲
Because just like swearing is an important part of language and culture, so is grammar.
That’s why in my membership programme YES to Fluency, we talk about the G-word sometimes!!!
Not at all.
Because there’s another way to “do” grammar…
And one of my missions in life is to show my YES community that grammar can be interesting and fun and is most definitely not a dirty word!
What’s your relationship with grammar? Is it love-hate, hate-hate, love-love?
Here are 3 simple things you can do to love English grammar more
1. Be curious and learn grammar in context
Look for interesting grammar structures when you’re reading in English, listening to podcasts, Ted Talks, the radio etc or watching a series or film in English. Notice if they are similar or different to the other language(s) your speak. The brain loves patterns!
2. Personalise grammar
Create your own sentences instead of completing random grammar exercises in a textbook with no context.
I love getting my YES mails every Friday. I like reading about different strategies I can use to learn English because I don’t like learning the same way I learned at school. And I hate people telling me what I should learn!
Can you see what structure I’m practising?
Yes that’s right, verb of opinion + verb+ing.
Much more memorable and much more fun!
Write in English regularly. It doesn’t have to be your deepest and darkest secrets, it can be about your day, something you’re looking forward to, your thoughts about something you’ve watched or listened to, or maybe tracking your progress in English. What are your wins, your challenges, how do you feel?
Writing in English will help you identify what grammar structures you need in order to say what you want to say!
Better than learning a whole load of structures from a textbook that you will never or hardly ever use because if you don’t use expressions and structures regularly, instead of becoming more automatic, they will be forgotten. Once you have mastered the grammar that you most often need, then you can focus on less common structures or the structures that you need to use less frequently.
Hope that bit of grammar therapy helps to improve your relationship and ignite the passion!
If you like what you read, sign up for my bi-monthly YES mails.
✓ more tips and strategies for learning English smarter
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✓ advice about language learning through my personal stories and anecdotes: You’ll learn what to do (and not to do!) to become an amazing language learner (you’ll also learn about life in rural Galicia, “meet” my neighbours: a donkey and some goats, my family, my pets and many more colourful characters…)
Happy Smarter Learning (HSLx)
P.S If you want to know which naughty words you can “safely” use in English or you are just curious about all the bad words out there, check out this podcast!
Caution: not for the faint-hearted, easily offended or those suffering from kakologophobia!