How to describe a bridge and other uses of grammar

Ah, grammar. You either love it or loathe it. More likely than not, your sentiments are the latter … and in many ways, it isn’t your fault!

After it was practically wiped from the curriculum in the 70s due to the supposed counter-productivity of drilling students about language, grammar is finally making a revival in classrooms.

But, if you went to school during the grammarless period, your grammar is probably a bit sloppy. You may be thinking to yourself: nouns, verbs, adjectives—fine. The subjunctive, imperative, plu-perfect—not so fine.

Grammar is important. It helps you communicate clearly and articulately. Good grammar gives your message a fighting chance; poor grammar undermines it.

So what can you do? Well here’s our suggestion of a way to learn grammar in a non-groan-worthy way.

Increasingly, students are opting to learn a second language much to the delight of teachers and grammar aficionados alike. See, going through the process of learning a language requires learning the grammar of our own language first.

You may also learn interesting things about the way your grammar and language affects your view of the world. For example, in many languages, male and female pronouns affect the way the object is perceived. So, for example, when asked to describe bridges, German speakers use words like ‘beautiful’, ‘elegant’ and other stereotypically feminine adjectives, because, in German, bridges take the feminine article. Spanish speakers, however, describe bridges as ‘strong’ and other more masculine adjectives.

Learning more about your language also draws your focus to the mechanics of language in general: conjugations and sentence structure. It enhances your awareness of language and the ways it can be manipulated and structured.

So do yourself a favour: pick up a new language and master English grammar at the same time. Not only will you gain skills in another language, but you’ll also feel more confident in your own English grammar and language skills.

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