English Grammar in Use- Basic Grammar rules

Making sentences and knowing the essentials of English grammar in use is not only important, it’s also the easiest way to be fluent in English. It makes reading and writing in English simpler.  The first rule to understanding Basic English grammar is understanding the foundation of English or the grammatical sentence structure well. Understanding the foundation of English grammar helps in writing simple sentences perfectly and improves your English communication be it written or in spoken English.

Basic grammatical sentence structure to keep in mind as a beginner

Sentence building or construction is something that needs to be learned at the beginning of learning English grammar. It forms the fundamentals of English grammar.

A good sentence must always have a subject and predicate. Example: Lara plays video games (“Lara” is the subject. The noun is always the subject. “Plays video games” is the predicate)

Types of Sentence structure

There are 4 important types of sentence structures to be kept in mind while making sentences:

1. The Simple sentence

A simple sentence would have only one independent clause in it. (An independent clause is a sentence that has just a subject and a verb within it. It always expresses a complete thought) 

Example: I like playing the guitar.

2. The Compound sentence

A compound sentence is a sentence when two or more independent clauses are put together by using a conjunction or semicolon in the sentence. 

Example: I like playing the guitar but Meena likes playing the piano.

3. The Complex sentence

These kinds of sentences have an independent clause along with a dependant clause in the sentence (A dependant clause is a clause that has a subject and a verb but cannot express a complete thought on its own)

Example: My dog barks when he is hungry.

4. The compound-complex sentence

A compound-complex sentence has at least 2 independent clauses and one dependent clause within a single sentence.

Example: Sally did not attend the party because she was ill so Susan was disappointed.

Top 15 English grammar rules to keep in mind while making English sentences

Rules are meant to be broken! Well said, but grammar rules are best to be followed, for you to be precise and fluent in English. Here are the top 15 rules that you would prefer to follow rather than breaking as they form the ground rules to English grammar.

Make sentence rules

Making simple sentences perfectly is important, for the reader to understand the thoughts of the writer. This makes it even more important for both to know and follow the same grammar rules while conversing in English. Simple rules to follow while conversing in English:

1. A sentence is considered complete only when it has a noun and a verb in it. Example: Birds are flying.

2. The order of a basic sentence should be Subject-verb-object. Example: Lara loves football.

3. A proper noun always begins with a capital letter. Example: Mary, London, etc.

4. Always have the subject and verb in the same number agreement. If a subject is singular, the verb must also be singular; if a subject is plural its verb must also be plural.
Example: A cat is sleeping on the grass / Two cats are sleeping on the grass.

5. The words “your” and “you’re” are two different words with different meanings

Sentence Structure rules

A sentence structure makes it easier to make perfect sentences in English, follow these rules to be perfect at sentence building.

6. Use an Active voice preferably a passive voice in sentences. Example: I practice the piano every day.

7 . While speaking of Habitual actions, use the simple present tense. Example: David likes exercising.

8. Use Adjectives before a noun. Example: She is a charming girl.

9. Use the indefinite article a/an for countable nouns and use the definite article “the” for specific countable nouns and all uncountable nouns. Example: I ate an apple /  She had a book.

10. Add “ed” to words to regular verbs to describe past tense. Example Walk + ed = walked, Jump + ed = jumped.

11. Use a conjunction to join two sentences together. Example: Lara did not go to school as she was unwell.

Punctuation Rules

We can write the perfect sentence, but placing the wrong punctuation marks is one easy way for being mistaken by your readers reading your sentence. Punctuation rules to follow to be able to express your thoughts and it’s intensity perfectly.

12. The apostrophe is a punctuation mark placed where a letter or letters has been removed from any word. Example: You are = You’re, I am = I’m.

13. Always start a sentence with a capital letter and end with a full stop. Example: Mary had a lamb.

14. Always use an apostrophe to show the possession or owner of an object. To show possession with a singular noun, add an apostrophe plus the letter ‘s’. Example: Mary’s lamb. Alice’s watch, etc.

15. Use a comma to connect two ideas into one in a sentence. Example: Rio went shopping, and Brad walked the dog.

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Know the Possessive Adjective “my”

My English lessons are fun

The word “my” is a very common Possessive Adjective. And simply, the Adjective “my” is used to show ownership over objects and thoughts. 

For example, you may hear a native English speaker use the possessive adjective “my” in a sentence like this:

“My English lessons are fun.” 

By saying this, the speaker is telling the listener that they enjoy the class. They may even enjoy learning about Adjectives. 


Linking words that express exception

Linking words adds meaning to sentences by combining thoughts. They can be used to express a number of ideas.  The concepts expressed by Linking Words include ordinal qualities such as “firstly,” contrast, and much more.

Yet, today’s lesson covers Linking Words and phrases that express exceptions. These words are “yet”, “although”, “despite” and “nevertheless.” 

For example:

“I don’t like broccoli, nevertheless, I eat it every day.” 

In the above example, “nevertheless” demonstrates the contrast between the speaker’s distaste for Broccoli and the fact that he eats it daily. 

A few full sentences that include linking words that express exception

How do I include linking words of exception in full sentences? It’s possible to express the earlier example’s sentiment with any of this lesson’s Linking Words. Let’s look at a chart.


Know linking words: Combining phrases

Linking Words and phrases, also known as Cohesive Devices, are grammatical gems! They may be deployed for a variety of purposes. In fact, they sometimes express exceptions, bridge two clauses together, present contrast, demonstrate comparisons, and much more. 

Notably, the list of English Linking Words is expansive. There are dozens and dozens of them. This is due to their variety of uses. And perhaps, Grammarians, those who study Grammar, haven’t even compiled a full list of these little gems.

All of this aside, today’s lesson covers the phrase “for example.” “For example” introduces a chosen item as a case to prove a point.

You may encounter a native English speaker saying, “Foods eaten in the South West, Santa Fe for example, are inspired by both the native population and German settlers.” 

By saying this, the speaker is telling the listener that cuisine from Santa Fe is typical of South Western dishes and vice-versa. Furthermore, these foods are a blend of native and German recipes. 


Preposition of time: Since -Uses and Examples

In general, Prepositions demonstrate direction, time, place, location, and spatial relationships. These short words have a variety of uses and fall into different categories. 

Despite being varied in use, Prepositions, in regards to grammar, most often precede a Noun. And typically, their usage falls into this pattern: Verb, Preposition, Noun. For example: 


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Preposition of time: Until – Uses and Examples

Prepositions of Time are short words like “in”, “an” and “at.” These little words form a bridge between Verbs and Nouns. Here’s an example: 

“I —> work at noon.”

The Preposition of Time “at” connects the Verb to the Noun and makes the sentence meaningful. 

In addition to binding grammatical structures, Prepositions of Time inform the listener as to when and how long an action takes place. 

For instance, “until,” the focus of today’s lesson, describes a definite or indefinite point in time when an action or event ends.  

Here’s an example:

“We can’t enter our house until we get the key.” 

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By saying this, the speaker is informing the listener that they are barred from opening the door unless the key is located. And, the period of time that the word “until” describes began when “the key” was lost and will end when it’s found. 


Idioms with picture: a picture paints a thousand words

It’s true, a picture does paint a thousand words. One doesn’t even have to be an Essayist to jot a thousand words upon encountering an old photograph or painting. Each image contains context and sub-context: the immediately visible that which one must dig to notice. 

Here’s an example: Ren went into a junk shop. While browsing the antiques, she stumbled upon an old picture of Tokyo. Ren immediately noticed the difference in clothing, landscape, vehicles…The picture barely resembled the modern neon-filled Tokyo. While looking at the picture Ren said to herself, “This picture paints a thousand words.” And although the photograph was an antique, it was only a few Yen. She fell in love with it, bought it on the spot, took it home, framed it, and now it hangs in Ren’s den.

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Examples of a picture paints a thousand words

I took a photo from my balcony to show my friends. A picture paints a thousand words after all. 

I find it easier to follow instructions with pictures rather than just text as a picture paints a thousand words. 

  1. Let’s practice 

Q1: Try making your own sentence.

Q2: Do you feel that old photographs from your childhood paint a thousand words? Why or why not?  

Q3: What picture, according to you, paints a thousand words? Why? 

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Eigooo supports you with a 24/7 chat service with real teachers.

  • You can chat with the teacher one-on-one.
  • The teacher will make immediate corrections to your messages.
  • No need to make a reservation. You can start whenever you want.
  • The free trial is ready.

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Idioms with picture: Pretty as a picture

Today, our lesson is about one of my favorite subjects: idioms.

Idioms are seemingly nonsensical groupings of words.  However, they aren’t as they seem. In fact, these phrases are cram-packed with meaning! Their meaning evolved through usage, rather than the entries of lexicographers, Grammarians who decide which words are placed in the dictionary and what they mean.

Idiom of the day: pretty as a picture. 

This saying came about during the Victorian Era, the 1800s. It was even used by Mark Twain. In the book A Connecticut Yankee in King Author’s Court, Twain describes a character as “pretty as a picture.” Despite the noted hubbub, this phrase literally means attractive, in fact, there’s not much else to it. 

You may encounter a native English speaker saying “She’s as pretty as a picture.” The speaker is telling the listener that the person in question is beautiful. 

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Question Tags and Auxiliary verbs

Some Question Tags use the Auxiliary Verb, but these little action words are nothing to fear. An Auxiliary Verb simply demonstrates tense. For example, can versus could. At this point, we know when to deploy Auxiliary Verbs. 

Note: These sentences elicit somewhat complex answers, not merely “yes” or “no” like our earlier lesson, Positive/Negative Question Tags. 

Question tags, with or without Auxiliary Verbs are contextually interesting. They transform declarative and imperative statements into interrogative sentences. furthermore, they are often used to communicate irony, insults, and alternate usages of a word. Here’s an example that both use an Auxiliary Verb and express irony. 

Speaker 1: “In the ‘90s, I was big in New Orleans.”

Speaker 2: “You were big, weren’t you? The fattest Blues singer in the city!” 

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