10 Easy Ways to Remember Basic Grammar Rules
RULES ALREADY EXISTED even before the foundation of the world. Without them, the universe will be chaotic. Rules have to exist to maintain order. It is not a wonder that grammar is also bounded by them. As the universe moves symmetrically and synergistically so is grammar.
The following are 10 easy ways to remember basic grammar rules:
1. Start with the mother rule that says “it’s the verb that agrees with subject in person and number.” Singular subject takes verb with ‘s’, plural subject takes verb with out ‘s’.
Example: The boy runs. The boys run.
2. Don’t be lost. Know the location. Sometimes sentences follow the inverted pattern. Avoid errors. Locate the subject and make the verb agree with it.
Example: There ARE many ways to direct our lives. From what source WERE those ideas taken?
3. Dance with NEO. These are compound subjects connected by “Neither…nor”, “Either…..or”, and “Or”. The verb agrees with the subject nearer it.
Example: Neither the teacher nor the students WERE represented at the convention. Either her parents or her teacher HAS influenced her decision.
4. Jazz the expression “a number”, “the number”. “A number” is plural, “the number” is singular. (Say this 3x.)
Example: A number of boys are here. The number of boys is here.
5. No intervention please! Intervening words such as “along with”, “as well as”, “together with” and the like, do not affect agreement. Verb agrees with the first subject.
Example: Mario, as well as his brothers, eats in a very posh restaurant. The siblings, together with their mother, join the contest.
6. Sing with PAM. “Period of time”, “Amount” and “Measurement”. These are usually preceded with singular verb.
Example: Ten years is a long time. One million pesos is not enough. Ten kilometers is long.
7. Listen to ‘BOT’. These are indefinite pronouns with ‘body’, ‘one’, and ‘thing,’ as in ‘nobody’, ‘anybody,’ ‘somebody,’ and ‘everybody,’ ‘no one,’ ‘someone,’ ‘anyone,’ ‘everyone,’ ‘anything,’ ‘something,’ ‘everything,’ and ‘nothing’. They are all singular. But ‘MAFS’ are plural. They are ‘many’, ‘all’, ‘few,’ and ‘several’.
Example: Everybody is invited. Many are called but few are chosen.
8. How about a title? It is always singular.
Example: “Romeo and Juliet” is the most popular Shakespeare’s play.
9. Together? Or Individual? Collective nouns, when acting as a single unit, are singular. But if they refer to separate individuals or parts, they take plural verbs.
Example: The jury is in session. The jury are heading to their respective homes.
10. “S-S-S”. Nouns such as Philippines, Economics, Mumps, Physics, Ethics, Dramatics, and the like are singular.
Example: Mumps is a disease children are susceptible to. Philippines is a beautiful country.
There are many ways to make hard things easy. Sometimes, it just requires a matter of sharing one’s craft and art. With this, I hope that difficulty in remembering rules on grammar will be remedied even just a bit.
About the Author:
Jean Valdez Periabras Robillos, the contributor, is a self-made woman who has been an English Teacher I for seventeen years now. She believes that though for every rule there is an exception, no one is above it. You may contact her through Robillos_Jean@yahoo.com
QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION:
Why is studying Grammar important? Defend your answer.
INTERACTIVE ONLINE ACTIVITY:
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Tags: English, Grammar, Language Studies, Ethics, Rules in Grammars
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