Is grammar important for fluency?


"I've been studying English for many years, but I can't speak at all." "I should have mastered all the words and grammar, but I can't speak English instantly." I can't get rid of my weakness. "

Many people spend enough time learning English but still feel the frustration of never being fluent. But have you ever thought about the reason in connection with your understanding of the basics of English grammar?

In the first place, grammar is a theory created as a postscript explanation for a language. Being able to explain grammar in its entirety is not directly linked to output abilities such as speaking and writing.

However, knowledge of grammar guarantees the quality of input and learning efficiency when people who learn English as a foreign language pass from beginner to beginner level, that is, when input should be emphasized rather than output. Studying English grammar is considered important in this sense.

Therefore, this time, I will introduce the basic idea of grammar as a foundation for learning to speak English in a natural word order. Let's take the first step to becoming fluent in English by returning to the basics.

<Table of Contents>

English grammar as a rule for arranging words

Introduction to English fluency for beginners

  1. Sentence Structures

    1. Subject and Predicate Subject and Predicate

    2. 4 Components of a Sentence

  2. Types of English sentences Kinds of Sentence

    1. Declarative Sentences

    2. Interrogative Sentences

    3. Imperative Sentences

    4. Exclamatory Sentences

  3. 5 patterns of English sentences 5 Sentence Patterns

    1. <Subject + Verb> Type SV Pattern

    2. <Subject + verb + complement> type SVC Pattern

    3. <Subject + verb + object> type SVO Pattern

    4. <Subject + Verb + Object + Object> Type SVOO Pattern

    5. <Subject + verb + object + complement> type SVOC Pattern


English grammar as a rule for arranging words

Do you need grammar to become fluent in English?

When learning English conversation, we often hear advice such as "Speaking and English grammar have nothing to do with each other, and the tips for improving your speaking practice and habits." However, the fact is that grammar is regarded as a written test measure, and it is difficult for the "English grammar" learned at school to be linked to "conversation".

In other words, the grammar that you spend your time learning in class is only at the knowledge level, not your "English-speaking skills."

Keep in mind English grammar for speaking, not just as knowledge

English grammar can be said to be a "rule of word arrangement" for multiple words to have meaning as a group. Also, for people like us who learn English as a foreign language, having a basic knowledge of English grammar will ensure the quality and efficiency of the input for learning English. English grammar is considered to play this role in the period when the input should be emphasized rather than the output, which is enough to pass the beginner's class.

Therefore, it is important to get used to speaking, but it is also important to know the basics of English grammar for non-native beginners over a certain age. It is necessary to make the English grammar learned in the first and second grades of junior high school into an "framework for learning English conversation" rather than keeping it at the knowledge level.

Many people who are not good at English conversation no matter how many years they study, lack the basics of English grammar and English grammar, which makes the input of learning English inefficient and the output is cohesive. May be lacking in.

Learn grammar in live English example sentences

In order to improve your English conversation skills from the beginner level, it is necessary to solidify your knowledge of basic English words and grammar, and then become accustomed to rich expressions through actual communication.

To that end, it is important to cherish the example sentences and phrases in English grammar books, syntax books, and expression books, store them in yourself as expression patterns, and actually use them in conversation practice. The key to fluent English conversation is whether or not you can utilize grammar in living English.

When studying English grammar, it is important to first understand how English sentences are based. Let's reconfirm the basics of grammar by referring to the example sentences below.

If you click on the English example sentences in green, you can jump to the NHK language site "Gogakuru" and practice each pronunciation.

[Introduction to English fluency for beginners 1] What constitutes an English sentence

An English sentence basically consists of four components (subject, verb, complement, object) and modifiers that add meaning to them.

Subject and Predicate Subject and Predicate

In ordinary English sentences, the part corresponding to "~ wa ~ ga" is called the main part, and the part corresponding to "~ desu, ~ suru" is called the predicate part.

We've heard a lot about you. We've heard a lot about you .

In the example sentence, We is the main part and have heard a lot about you. Is the predicate.

4 Components of a Sentence

Subject Subjects

The subject is the central word of the main part, which corresponds to "-ha-ga", and refers to the subject of a sentence, which performs a certain action.

Nouns and pronouns can be the subject. Sometimes the subject is a "phrase" or "clause" that acts as a noun, and it takes various forms as shown in the example below.

1) That happens all the time.

2) The rich are not always happier than the poor. The unknown makes us disturbed.

3) To smoke too much is bad for the health. (To smoke too much is bad for the health.) Playing tennis is much fun. (Playing tennis is very fun.)

4) What's done cannot be undone.

A phrase in which a group of two or more words acts as a noun, adjective, or adverb, such as to smoke too much in 3) above, is called a "phrase".

Like what's done in 4) above, a sentence that has the function of a sentence <main part + predicate> but is part of a larger sentence is called a "clause".

Verb Verbs

A verb is a word that represents the action or state of the subject, which is the center of the predicate. Verbs that take an object are distinguished from transitive verbs, and verbs that do not take an object are intransitive verbs.

I sleep. (I sleep: intransitive verb) I like trying new things. (I like trying new things: transitive verb)

Object Objects

The target word, such as the action represented by the verb, is called the object. In Japanese, it is often expressed with the particle "o", such as "I caught a fish", but in English there is no particle, I saw him yesterday. (I saw him yesterday.) It is expressed using the form of "objective" such as him of (seen).

Nouns and pronouns can be objects. The object can take many forms, so check the example sentences below. Note that the subject can be a noun / pronoun, but a recursive pronoun with -self / -selves that means "-self" can be an object, but it is rarely a subject. ..

1) My legs need some stretching. (I have to stretch my legs a little.)

2) We should not despise the poor.

3) He has just finished reading the book. (He has just finished reading the book.) She needs to go to Tokyo soon.

4) I'll ask her whether she can come to the meeting.

5) We enjoyed ourselves last night. (We had a good time last night.)


I am. And We call him. Are not complete as a sentence, and a sentence can only be completed by putting words such as I am a teacher. And We call him Ken. In this way, words and phrases that explain "what is the subject or object" or "what is the state" are called complements.

There are two types of complements, one that describes the state of the subject, such as a teacher, and one that describes the state of the object, such as Ken.

1) The sky stayed cloudy all day. (The sky was cloudy all day.)

2) Your smile makes me happy. (I feel happy when I see your smile.)

[Introduction to English fluency for beginners 2] Types of English sentences

English sentences can be classified as follows according to their contents.

Declarative Sentences

A sentence that states the information you want to convey to the other party as it is is called a declarative sentence.

Fashion changes over time. I have two younger sisters.

Negative Sentences

In a declarative sentence, a sentence that uses not to cancel otherwise is called a negative sentence. The form differs depending on whether it contains a be verb, a verb other than the be verb, or an auxiliary verb.

・ If the be verb is included, the word order is <be verb + not>. I'm not much of a big eater. (I'm not that big eater.)

・ If a verb other than the be verb is included, the word order is <do / does / did not + the original form of the verb> I don't agree either. (I don't agree either.)

・ When auxiliary verbs (can, will, etc.) are included, the word order is <auxiliary verb + not + original form of verb> I can't get the lid off.

Interrogative Sentences

Interrogatives, as the name implies, are sentences used when asking or asking something. There are Yes / No interrogative sentences and interrogative sentences using interrogative words.

Yes / No Interrogative / be If you include a verb, flip the subject and verb Are you hungry? (Are you hungry?)

・ If you include verbs other than the be verb, do you have a bigger size?

・ If the auxiliary verb is included, the word order is Can I have the same thing?

Interrogative sentences using interrogative words who, what, when, which, where, why, how are called interrogative words. Use when listening to a specific answer.

・Who is the best fortune-teller here?

・Where can we exchange currency? (Where can we exchange currency?)

Imperative Sentences

A sentence that begins with the original form of a verb when directly asking the other person for some action is called a command sentence. The characteristic of the statement is that it has no subject and is present tense.

Affirmative statements Ordinary statements begin with the original form of the verb.

Be serious. (Do it seriously.)

Negative statement The negative statement that expresses the meaning of prohibition uses the form of. Put Don't at the beginning of the sentence, even for the be verb.

Don't jump ship yet. (It's too early to quit my current job and go to another company.) Never mind the cake. ( Don't be so nosy. ) Don't snoop so much.)

Exclamatory Sentences

The form of the sentence used when you are impressed or when you want to emphasize something is an exclamation sentence. It usually starts with How or What and ends with an exclamation mark.

・ If you want to emphasize the meaning of adjectives and adverbs, use how to order them. How beautiful this mountain is! (How beautiful this mountain is!)

・ If you want to emphasize the meaning of <adjective + noun>, use what in the word order What a beautiful mountain this is!

[Introduction to English fluency 3 for beginners] 5 patterns of English sentences

English sentences are basically divided into the following five patterns (sentence patterns) by using the four elements of the subject (S), verb (V), object (O), and complement (C) as seen in Introduction 1. Can be divided.

<Subject + Verb> Type SV Pattern

The news spread quickly through the company. (The news spread quickly through the company.)

It is the simplest and simplest structure that consists only of the subject (S) and the verb (V). However, the subject and verb are rarely used to express meaning, and information indicating place and time is often added as shown above. Transitive verbs that do not form a sentence unless the verb and object are a set cannot take this sentence pattern.

<Subject + verb + complement> type SVC Pattern

Patience is his strength. (Patience is his strength.)

The state of the subject is explained by adding the complement (C) to the subject (S) and verb (V). One of the characteristics of verbs is that they include be verbs, stative verbs such as become and feel, and verbs that express the five senses. Also, note that the complements of this sentence pattern are nouns, pronouns, and adjectives, and the subject and complement have the same relationship (S = C).

<Subject + verb + object> type SVO Pattern

He does the work of three men.

The object (O) that is the target of the verb (V) is added to the first pattern. All the verbs in this sentence are transitive verbs and require an object, including the meaning "to, to, to".

<Subject + Verb + Object + Object> Type SVOO Pattern

He gave me a camera. (He gave me a camera.) My father tells me a nice story. (He gave me a nice story.)

The verb (V) in this pattern, which takes two objects, is typified by give. By following the verb with two objects (O), it means that "something" such as things or information moves to "someone". Also, the first object is "people, etc." and the last object is "things, etc."

Other similar verbs other than give include hand, lend, send, show, teach, tell, buy, cook, find, get, make, order.

<Subject + verb + object + complement> type SVOC Pattern

We can buy something useful. (You can buy something useful.)

The object (O) in this pattern is followed by the complement (C) that describes the object. Complements are nouns or adjectives.

To distinguish between the previous SVOO type and this SVOC type, make sure that the two behind the verb can be connected by the be verb, that is, "object (O) = complement (C)". .. As in this case, the point of this SVOC type is that "something = useful".

Let's look at another set of example sentences.

A: She made me a dress. B: She always makes me sad.

These two sentences use the same make, but example sentence A is "me ≠ a dress", so it is SVOO type, while example sentence B is "me = sad" and "object (O) = complement (C). ) ”Is satisfied, and it can be said that it is an SVOC type.

Once you have laid the foundation for becoming an English fluent, let's use it for communication practice.

The above is a summary of the basics of English grammar, which is the basis for learning English conversation up to the intermediate level. By reviewing it again, I think I was able to regain the fresh feeling I had when I first started school.

However, as explained at the beginning, English grammar guarantees the quality of input and learning efficiency, and intermediate and above should emphasize output learning such as speaking based on these. There are methods such as shadowing to improve speaking, and for details on shadowing, please refer to the separate entry [English Pronunciation] 3 selections of pronunciation correction methods for Japanese who do not understand English.

The most important thing is continuous continuation, so it is important to devise ways to continue practicing speaking. An effective way is to find someone and practice English conversation.

In addition, with an English conversation app that can interact with artificial intelligence (AI) that automatically responds, such as TerraTalk, you can practice English conversation according to various situations. In addition to the convenience that can be used anywhere when time is available, the ease with which you are not embarrassed no matter how much you fail is attractive. You can download it from here if you are using iOS (iPhone / iPad), or from here if you are using Android.

Once you've learned the basic grammar, keep your motivation in a way that suits you and continue studying daily speaking.