Guide to Learning English

Guide to Learning English

The average person thinks, speaks and writes complex ideas in order to communicate. This process of forming sounds to create words, and later using words to make sentences is a unique human experience. Still, weaving together words and expressions to form coherent thoughts is not a process without rules. The English language is bound by rules of grammar, syntax and other guidelines that dictate the proper way to form a sentence, and thus the most effective way to communicate. This article offers some English language guidelines to assist in learning the English language.

The Parts of Speech
It would be difficult to explain anything without using the parts of speech, specifically nouns, adjectives and adverbs. Imagine attempting to order from a menu. “I’ll take two of these green things over here and one of those brown things over there.” Using nouns, adjectives, adverbs and other parts of speech not only adds variety to the language, buy they allow for more effective communication. In the example above, the noun, salad, for instance, could be substituted for “green things” and steak could be substituted for “brown things.” Nouns and adjectives make the communication process much easier.

Nouns
Verbs
Adverbs and Adjectives
Pronouns
Prepositions
Appositives
Conjunctions
Articles
Interjections
Gerunds

Sentence Structure
Grammar is more than identifying the 8 parts of speech. Grammar is also creating a complete thought, by ensuring the construction of a complete sentence; this is the basic foundation of effective communication, and  it begins with the subject and the predicate.

Subject
Predicate
Word Order
Sentences and Clauses
Sentence Fragments
Declarative Statement
Interrogative Statement
Imperative Sentence
Exclamatory Sentence

Compound and Complex Sentences
All sentences are created from simple building blocks: nouns, adjectives, phrases, clauses and other parts of speech. In some cases, these building blocks can form simple sentences, while in others these building blocks can form long, elaborate and complex sentences, but nevertheless complete thoughts.

Independent and Dependent Clauses
Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences
Relative, Adverbial and Nominal Clauses

Punctuation, Spelling and Other Guidelines
Almost every cake has some sort of icing or frosting on the top, both as decoration and to add the final touch. Punctuation and spelling are like the frosting of grammar. They add the final touch; the spelling of a word can change its meaning, for example, the difference in meaning between the words there and their. Punctuation also can change the meaning of a sentence; it’s the difference between “Dogs can swim!” and “Dogs can swim?”

Punctuation
Parallel Structure
Idioms and Phrasal Verbs
Spelling
Homonyms, Heteronyms and Homophones

Resources
How to Use Adverbs and Adjectives
A Versus An: When to use them
Recognizing Clauses
Parts of Speech Overview
How to Identify Dangling Modifiers
Build Your Vocabulary