(This article was originally posted on my Medium: https://medium.com/@namt888/the-importance-of-grammar-2b7c6162c353)
“I think most people agree there is a component of skill in art making; you have to learn grammar before you learn how to write.” –Chris Van Allsburg
Why is grammar important?
I’ve been an English tutor for over five years now, and I get this question from my students a lot. Every time I hand them a grammar worksheet, they always ask me why they have to do it and if they are ever going to use it later in life (part of it could also be because they are just lazy).
My students think that writing is just writing. That it’s just placing words together to make a sentence. They think that grammar worksheets are impractical because it doesn’t teach them how to write, it just teaches them the parts of speech, which they think is useless. And to be honest, when I first started tutoring, I didn’t know what the point of the worksheets was either. It was just something I would give them so they had something to do. I didn’t know how it was helping them improve their writing.
But after having to hear this question every week and not having a good answer for it, I decided to find out why understanding grammar is so crucial for improving your writing (and I was just annoyed with the students because they just kept asking and asking this question rather than doing their work. Kids can be really annoying!).
So here are my thoughts on it:
Grammar is the base of all communication and by understanding the various parts of speech, it will help you understand why errors were made in your sentence. By knowing the terms and definitions of each part of speech, you can pinpoint the errors in your writing and correct it. Much like Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, you have a term for each position (or part) in your sentence that can be identified and fixed if need be. And by knowing how to properly use each part of speech, you can fix your own writing or prevent yourself from making errors, catch mistakes in another person’s writing (and mock them if that person is a jerk), and teach grammar to someone else.
And above all that, good grammar is important because it will help you communicate better with others. If your sentences are all botched up because of incorrect grammar use, no one will understand what you’re saying. And what’s the point of talking or writing if it can’t be understood? That’s why you need to understand the elements of grammar –it will help you identify your mistakes so that you can fix the errors in your speech and convey your message effectively.
And that is why I think having a good grasp of grammar is so important.
What are your thoughts on grammar? Do you think it is important? Or is it just something that you should know the basics of and that’s enough? Share your thoughts in the comments.
If you’re looking to improve your grammar and your writing, check out my book, Grammar Handbook for Bloggers. You can click here to check it out on Amazon.
For more of Nam’s work:
Main Blog: Namtblog.com
Grammar Workbook Series: Grammar Better