Grammar for Writers

It has come to my attention that, somewhere and somehow, a lot of people never quite made it through lessons on nouns, verbs, adjectives, and all those other formal names for the words that make up a sentence. I feel that I have expressed sufficient concern for abused commas, neglected semicolons, and often confused words. Now I feel it necessary to move on to grammar specifically for writers.

I think this is from however if I am mistaken please let me know so I can credit the appropriate source.

I think this is from however if I am mistaken please let me know so I can credit the appropriate source.

Whether it is reflective of a gap in education (which happened to me) or a gap in memory (which happens to many others), sentences should have certain “parts” in order for them to work properly and it’s surprising how many times I’m asked to remind someone what a verb is or the difference between an adjective and an adverb. I firmly believe that all writers should have an elementary understanding of sentence structure – writing sentences is your profession, understanding them is your prerogative.

I missed out on the whole nouns and verbs thing in school – and no one noticed until I got to my final year of high school and my Italian teacher was carrying on about “irregular verbs” and I went a bit cross-eyed. Three intensive grammar lessons later, I was armed with a new understanding of language. Wielding prepositions and pronouns, I felt ready to take on the world – or at least my Italian exam. Learning Italian was hugely beneficial to my understanding of the English language because I had to deconstruct sentences in order to effectively communicate my intended meaning. It was in that deconstruction that I came to appreciate not only the importance of sentence structure but the importance of really understanding the components of a sentence.

Don’t worry … this won’t hurt a bit …



9 comments on “Grammar for Writers

  1. I’m still convinced that the only reason I have a fairly good understand of English, is because of learning a foreign language. I was only the other day wondering why it was that we were never taught a page of English grammar in High School? It makes no sense to me…

    • Of course, my command of the English language would seem more legitimate if I reread over my posts before sending them…

      *a fairly good understanding.

    • There was a period in education when they decided not to teach grammar at all, but then they brought it back in. We were hit with that grammar-less period and, from what I’ve seen, it’s still not quite the same in schools. It depends a lot on the teacher, the school, and the focus they place on different parts of the curriculum.

      I could be wrong, but I don’t think there’s actually anything in the NSW syllabus that specifically says “must know the difference between verbs, nouns, adjectives” though there’s lots of crap about “using sophisticated language to demonstrate knowledge of the subject”.

      So many reasons to home-school my children …

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