How to understand basic grammar

Understand Basic Grammar


I decided to make this guide for two reasons. The first one is judging by what I read online many people need to learn basic grammar.

The second is I know people personally who are very smart people. But because of situations in their lives they never learned basic grammar. It's my hope that such people will find this guide.

I'm not going to go into verbs and nouns. I'm just sticking with the basics. I just want people to be easier to understand on Facebook and Twitter and help them express their intelligence.

Let's start with punctuation. To be specific let's start with the most common punctuation. The period. When should we use a period? Let's look at the example on the next step...

I like the color blue my favorite color use to be red but I changed my mind my wife's favorite color is green

Read that last step. Did you find yourself struggling to hear what it's saying in your head as if you were listening to someone actually speak it? Go back and try to read it out loud.

Now let's read it again using the proper positioning of punctuation.

I like the color blue. My favorite color use to be red but I changed my mind. My wife's favorite color is green.

See how it's easier to imagine someone speaking that paragraph in your mind? That's what purpose the period usually serves. A break between sentences and thoughts.

Here's a good way to know when to place a period. If you we're to say it out loud. Place a period when ever you would pause as you spoke it. For example...

I like the color blue (pause) my favorite color use to be red but I changed my mind (pause) my wife's favorite color is green (pause)

Sometimes a comma is used during a pause but for right now just remember to add a period every time you'd pause if you we're to speak what you write or type. We'll get into commas a little later.

Let's talk about question marks. I know you know what a question is. All you do is replace the period with a question mark if the words before it create a question. Look at the next example.

What is your favorite color? Mine is blue.

See how the first sentence was a question. So it ended with a question mark where you'd pause as you speak it. The second sentence was not a question. So it ended with a period.

Let's look at capital letters. Every sentence begins with a capital letter. The next letter after any punctuation is capitalized because it's the start of a new sentence. Even study this step.

Another thing that always starts with a capital letter is a name. Your first and last name starts with a capital letter. So does the name of your city, state and favorite restaurant. All names.

Now let's use everything we've gone over so far. See if you can see all the mistakes in the next step.

what do you want for dinner sally I was thinking about going to pizza king on main street you like that idea ask bob what he likes on his pizza

There where no periods at all. The questions didn't end with a question mark. None of the letters where capitalized. The names of the people, restaurant and street weren't capitalized. It should read

What do you want for dinner Sally? I was thinking about going to Pizza King on Main Street. You like that idea? Ask Bob what he likes on his pizza.

Can you see how much easier it is to understand when you use punctuation?

Commas. These can be used in many ways but for now let's just stick with the two basic uses for a comma.

Think of a comma as a sort of micro pause. It's used to insert a tiny pause within a sentence. Remember when I said to add a period if you'd pause as you'd speak it? Consider the fallowing.

Well, what do you want for dinner then?

Speak that last sentence out loud. You could have said "Well what do you want for dinner then?" But can you also say it in such a way that accents the word "Well"? It's a micro pause.

Observe these examples. "Yes, I can meet you". "Yes I can meet you". Both are proper. But the comma accents the word (Yes). Say them in your mind with and without the small comma pause.

Another use for a comma in making a list. See the next example.

To make this painting I used the colors red green blue purple black green yellow.

To make this painting I used the colors Red, Green, Blue, Purple, Black, Green and Yellow. See how they're separated by commas? Also notice that the last of a list uses the word "and".

When using a comma to form a list. The comma replaces the word "and". Speak a list of 5 things out loud. You'll naturally end with "and" before the last item. Type/write it that way too.

A comma can also change the meaning of a sentence. A popular and humorous example are these two sentences. "Let's eat Grandma" and "Let's eat, Grandma".

"Let's eat, Grandma" means you're telling grandma to eat with you. "Let's eat Grandma" means you're suggesting to eat Grandma. Don't make that mistake. :) The comma separates the meanings.

Is that all!!! No, I'll throw in one more punctuation. The Exclamation mark. This is simply used to accent a sentence. Anything you'd say in an exciting manner usually ends with an Exclamation mark.

If you take these examples, "I don't believe it." and "I don't believe it!" The second one is said with more energy behind it. In this case they really don't believe it!

In recent years it's become acceptable to express it even further by using multiple Exclamation marks. Such as "No way!!!!!!" This isn't proper grammar but accepted in casual writing.

So if you happen to be someone who for whatever reason never learned basic grammar. I hope you found this guide helpful without the embarrassment of having to ask for help with it.

There's a lot more to learn about grammar. But these basics are the ones you'll use most often in day to day writing in your social networks and emails.

Oh and BTW. There's nothing wrong with using online lingo IMO. But even they are easier to understand with proper grammar. TTYL.

The creator of this guide has not included tools