How important is grammar?

Does it really?

Does it really?

In the past, when people asked me “What do you do” I  was never sure how to answer that question. Obviously, I did stuff but I did not know how to name it as  any one thing to give it a title. A large part of what I did involved English grammar, even though I did not teach it (I cannot explain a subjunctive form or differentiate it from the infinitive!).  So to avoid going to details I chose to tell them that I was a coach in Communication skills. Immediately people would go ” Oh, so how good is my English?”

I make a conscious effort not to judge people based on the grammar errors they make when they speak. I  get a little restless when I read a blog or a piece of content on a website that could use better grammar but as non native speakers of the language, when you speak and are able to communicate your ideas, slights in grammar are generally ignored.

Some of us are better at writing than speaking in English. Even in written form, we make grammar errors because we ramble, repeat ideas and lose the focus of what we want to say.  There are grammar nazis ( I have been called one at times) who believe that flawless grammar in the way you speak or write is extremely important.  However, if you are attempting to get better with your English skills, I recommend that you speak it even if you are unsure of grammar structures. The idea is to let your tongue get used to saying words in English and your brain to make new connections related to the language. As you speak and listen to others speak, you will begin to realize your errors. If you listen actively and make conscious attempts to correct your errors, you will soon be making lesser errors.

Will end this post with a note. Grammar rules constantly evolve and what used to be ‘rules’ many years back, are not rules anymore. 

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One thought on “How important is grammar?

  1. Great article! I know grammar is an important part of the language and it helps in understanding the language better. However, we Indians still make lesser grammatical errors than the Americans or Britons. But then I don’t think that we should emphasis a lot on the grammatical aspect of language while speaking. Because if we focus grammatically while speaking, it is a possibility that the person may not be able to fluently speak in English as he/she may get confused. In fact language institutes like inlingua, who focus on improving communication skills only teach grammar which is enough for a person to become confident and speak easily.

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