Many people feel that studying grammar is the most difficult part of learning English. English grammar often contains concepts that Japanese grammar does not have, and it takes time to understand.
However, in order to master English, it is absolutely necessary to have a solid understanding and memorization of grammar. Therefore, in this article, we will introduce important things in English grammar, tips for studying grammar, and efficient memorization methods.
You can't learn English without learning English grammar!
First, let's think about why you can't learn English without learning English grammar. If you understand the reason, you will understand the importance of studying grammar and you will be motivated to continue learning.
English grammar is important because you can't write or speak without understanding grammar. Even if you remember English words, if you don't know the grammar, you won't know in what order the words should be arranged. The order in which words are lined up is determined by grammar rules, so learning grammar is essential if you want to speak and write English correctly.
If you do not understand English grammar, you will have trouble listening and reading. Even if you are new to English sentences, if you are familiar with the grammar, you will be able to immediately understand which grammar is used in the sentence, and it will be easier to grasp the meaning. Even when reading long sentences or translating into Japanese, if you understand the grammar, you will understand the structure of the sentence immediately, and you will not have to think about it over a long period of time.
Why English grammar is difficult
Now let's think about why many people find English grammar difficult. There are three reasons why English grammar is difficult.
Grammar terms are difficult in the first place
The first reason is that grammatical terms are difficult in the first place. There are endless difficult grammatical terms such as "indefinite pronoun", "compound relation adverb", and "subjunctive past perfect". Few people can correctly explain the meaning of these grammatical terms. When you come across a term that is difficult to understand, many people don't understand what it means, and they stop thinking or feel weak in English grammar.
In fact, mastering English does not necessarily require a correct understanding of these grammatical terms themselves. Many native English speakers usually speak English without being aware of these terms and their meanings. However, when learning English grammar, it is possible to learn in order by categorizing, so these terms are attached.
There is a gap between Japanese and English translations
The second reason is that there is a gap between the Japanese and English translations. If you try to understand English grammar with the concept of Japanese, the gap between English and Japanese may interfere and make it difficult to understand. Let me give you an example.
For example, you may have learned that the grammar of "be verb + verb ing" is translated as "where you are" in the present progressive tense. Now, let's translate the sentence "The bus is stopping." Into Japanese. If you translate "where you are", it means "the bus is stopped", which means that the bus is stationary. However, the correct answer to the meaning of this sentence is "The bus is stopping", and in reality the bus is still moving. "Be verb + verb ing" also means "in the middle of doing" and is also used when an event is in the middle of happening. This gap arises because the concepts of English and Japanese translations are not always the same.
I'm trying to memorize the whole thing
The third reason is that I am trying to memorize the whole thing when studying grammar. Some grammars must be memorized, such as changes in the conjugation of the present tense, past tense, and past participle of irregular verbs. You may have to remember exceptions to a grammatical matter that do not apply to you. However, relying on memorization for everything to master English grammar is difficult and inefficient.
For example, the word "at" becomes "-de", "-ni", etc. in Japanese. However, "in", "on", "to", etc. are also translated as "-de" and "-ni". With just such a translation of rote memorization, you cannot tell which preposition to use when you want to say "9 o'clock", for example. However, if you think of English as an image rather than a rote memorization, you understand that the word "at" basically represents a point, so when you refer to a point in the flow of time, you say "at". I can remember to use.
Five important things in English grammar
So what should we be careful about when actually learning English grammar? Here are five important things to do in grammar learning. All of these are important factors in mastering English grammar, so hold them firmly and use them in your daily study.
Understand the type of English text
The first is to understand the type of English text. English sentences are roughly divided into four sentences: declarative sentences, interrogative sentences, command sentences, and exclamation sentences, and each has an affirmative sentence and a negative sentence. Let's take a look at what the four types of English are like, one by one.
A declarative sentence is a sentence that simply conveys facts and information without using special rhetoric. A general sentence that basically starts with the subject and ends with a period is a declarative sentence.
Tokyo is the capital of Japan. (Tokyo is the capital of Japan.)
She was reading a book at that time. (She was reading a book at that time.)
He had not left before I got there. (He hadn't left before I got there.)
An interrogative sentence is a sentence used when asking someone something and ends with a question mark. Some can be answered with "Yes" or "No", while others can be answered in writing.
Let's take a look at the interrogative text and an example of the response to it.
Are you from England? ―Yes, I am. (Are you from England? －Yes, yes.)
Haven't you been to Canada? -No, I haven't. (Have you never been to Canada?-Yes, I have never been.)
Where did you find your pen? -I found it on my desk. (Where did you find your pen? -I found it on my desk.)
A command sentence is a sentence used when asking or ordering someone, and basically starts with the original form of the verb.
Don't open the window now.
Exclamation sentences are used to express emotion or to emphasize. The sentence begins with "what" or "how" and ends with an exclamation point.
How tall you are! (How tall you are!)
What a beautiful flower this is!
Think about which sentence pattern applies
The second is to think about which sentence pattern in English the sentence has. There are five English sentence patterns, from the first sentence pattern to the fifth sentence pattern. The meaning of a sentence is determined by the sentence pattern, so if you know the sentence pattern, it will be easier to understand the Japanese translation. Let's briefly review the five sentence patterns.
1st sentence pattern S + V
The basic meaning of the first sentence pattern is "S is in the V state" or "S is in the V state".
I go to school. (I go to school.)
She stayed at home. (She stayed at home.)
2nd sentence pattern S + V + C
In the second sentence pattern, the subject and verb are followed by a noun or adjective. In this sentence pattern, the important point is that "S = C".
He is a student.
My mother looked happy. (My mother looked happy.)
3rd sentence pattern S + V + O
The meaning of the third sentence pattern is "S makes O V", and the noun comes after the subject and verb. The difference from the second sentence pattern is that "S = O" does not hold.
I study English. (I study English.)
You didn't know what to do. (You didn't know what to do.)
4th sentence pattern S ＋ V ＋ O ＋ O
The meaning of the 4th sentence pattern is "S makes O2 V to O1", and verbs such as give, tell, teach, and show are used.
I gave him a book. (I gave him a book.)
My friend sent me an Email yesterday. (My friend sent me an email yesterday.)
5th sentence pattern S ＋ V ＋ O ＋ C
In the final 5th sentence pattern, it is important that "O = C". Verbs such as call, name, make, have, and find are used in the fifth sentence pattern.
He made me angry. (He made me angry.)
I found this book easy. (I found this book easy.)
The third is to think about which tense is used. Once you know the tense, you can see when the action took place, whether it is still going on, and so on. There are a total of 12 tenses in English.
First of all, there are three basic tenses: present tense, past tense, and future tense.
I like cats. (I like cats.)
He went to the post office. (He went to the post office.)
You will be happy.
Each of the three basics has a progressive tense.
He is drinking some water now. (He is drinking some water now.)
・Past progressive form
I was watching TV. (I was watching TV.)
Mary will be playing tennis at this time tomorrow. (Mary will be playing tennis at this time tomorrow.)
There are three perfect forms: present, past, and future.
·present perfect tense
I have learned English for 2 years. (I have learned English for 2 years.)
・ Past perfect form
We had lived in Tokyo for 10 years before we moved to Osaka. (We lived in Tokyo for 10 years before moving to Osaka.)
・ Future perfect form
All the cherry blossoms will have fallen by next week. (All the cherry blossoms will have fallen by next week.)
Finally, there are also three perfect progressive tense.
・Now the progressive form is finished
It's been raining. (It's been raining.)
・Past finished progressive form
She had been looking for the book.
・The future is finished and progressive
I will have been doing my homework tomorrow. (Tomorrow I will continue to do my homework.)
Understand be verbs and general verbs
The fourth is to have a solid understanding of what the be verb and the general verb are. All English verbs fall into either the be verb or the general verb. Let's see the difference between them.
There are only five types of be verbs: is, am, are, was, and were. The characteristic of the be verb is that the front and back of the be verb have an equal relationship.
There are three basic forms of the be verb: is, am, and are. If the subject is the first person "I" (I), am, if the subject is the second person "you" (you), are, the third person "he" (he), "she" (she), "it" ( In the case of it) etc., use is.
was ・ were is the past tense of the be verb. The past tense of is and am is was, and the past tense of are is were.
This is my school. (This is my school.)
You were my friend. (You were my friend.)
All verbs other than the be verb are general verbs. One thing to keep in mind with general verbs is that there are regular and irregular verbs.
Regular verbs are verbs that are past tense when followed by "ed" or "d". play, visit, like, watch, etc. are all regular verbs.
Irregular verbs, on the other hand, have irregular conjugations, and you must remember the conjugations for each verb. For example, see, cut, keep, make, sit, and so on.
Understand a block of sentences
The final point is to understand what is a lump in the sentence. Sentences that seem long and complicated at first glance can be easily understood if you know the chunks of the sentences. For example, consider the following example sentence.
I was taking a walk near my house when I saw a pretty girl in a red shirt this morning.
It's a little long sentence, so it may seem confusing. Now, let's separate this sentence with a slash for each block.
I was taking a walk / near my house / when I saw / a pretty girl / in a red shirt / this morning. Girl / wearing a red shirt / this morning)
I think this alone made it much easier to grasp the meaning. The Japanese translation of this English sentence is, "When I saw a pretty girl in a red shirt this morning, I was taking a walk near my house."
What is the study method to learn English grammar efficiently?
I mentioned earlier that English grammar should not rely on rote memorization, but important matters need to be remembered and firmly established. Therefore, in this paragraph, we will introduce a study method that allows you to efficiently learn important grammar in three steps.
Step 1: Get used to the grammar by filling in the blanks and rearranging
The first step is to get used to the grammar by solving sorting and filling problems. Let's take a look at the specific methods and tips of each training, and the expected effects.
The sorting problem, as the name implies, sorts randomly arranged words and phrases to create a correct English sentence while looking at the Japanese translation.
For example, if you have the following example sentence:
I was too tired to study. (I was too tired to study.)
In the sorting problem, this example sentence is broken up as follows and sorted to make a correct English sentence.
The trick to solving the problem is for beginners to challenge from simple and short sentences. As you become accustomed to making simple sentences, you will gradually be able to solve long and complex sentences.
Another trick is not to try to solve as many problems as 100 questions at a time. If you are motivated, you may want to try more and more, but if you do too much, you will get tired and have the opposite effect.
When matching the answers, it is enough to check if they match. If you make a mistake, make sure you have the correct answer.
Repeating the sorting problem as training will give you a sense of English word order. You will naturally be able to memorize commonly used phrases and idioms.
Once you get used to the sorting problem to some extent, it is recommended that you try the fill-in-the-blank training. The fill-in-the-blank question is a question to fill in the vacant space and complete the English sentence, and it is also given to the exam questions and the TOEIC test. Prepositions, verb conjugations, pronouns, etc. are often asked in fill-in-the-blank questions.
Let's take a look at an example sentence of the fill-in-the-blank question.
What kind of movies are you interested ()? (What kind of movie are you interested in?)
The answer is "in". If you know that "be interested in" means "I'm interested in", you can answer smoothly.
The difference from the sorting problem is that you have to think for yourself rather than choosing a word or phrase that fits the space. The hurdle is higher than the sorting problem, and you cannot answer correctly unless you understand the meaning of words, sentence structure, and idioms.
The good thing about fill-in-the-blank training is that you can get a more practical check of how well you have learned grammar. You can also check spelling at the same time because you have to write out the words and phrases that apply to the blank areas.
Step 2: Read the text aloud
The second step is to read the English aloud. In this reading aloud training, you can use the English sentences used in the sorting and filling questions as they are. It's also a good idea to do it in parallel while doing sorting and fill-in-the-blank training.
The key to reading aloud training is to be aware of the grammatical items and Japanese translations used in the English text. Reading consciously makes it easier to remember the grammar along with the example sentences, compared to reading somehow. If you read while paying attention to the pronunciation, you will be able to correct the pronunciation at the same time as learning the grammar.
Slash reading is a must-try for reading aloud training. Slash reading is to read English sentences by separating them into chunks.
By doing slash reading, you can practice to grasp the meaning of English sentences in the English word order. If you can understand English in its word order, reading speed will be much faster and it will be easier to grasp the meaning instantly even when listening.
Step 3: Write English on paper
The third step is to actually write the English text on paper. Beginners should start by copying the example sentences of the reference book as they are. While writing, the point is to be aware of the grammar used in that amount and the word order of English. It takes time to copy, but repeating this will help you become accustomed to English and improve your writing skills.
For those who are used to transcribing, I recommend writing a diary in English. Diary may seem like a high hurdle, but you don't have to write it long. Start by writing a short English sentence of about 3 sentences about the events, weather, and feelings that happened on that day. Instead of writing a lot at once, aim to continue little by little every day.
If you don't know how to express it in English, you can use a dictionary or translation app. After writing, read it again and check for grammatical mistakes and unnatural phrases.
It is recommended to write a diary because you can make an English "output". Through this output, you can check not only whether you understand the grammar you have learned, but also whether you can use it in practice. If you continue every day, you will improve your English vocabulary and expression, and you will be able to acquire grammar well.
Tips for studying English grammar
Finally, here are some tips for studying English grammar. To study efficiently and stay motivated, the following four things can help.
Set goals and schedules to study
The first is to set goals and schedules to study. Language learning is a long-term battle, so you may end up studying lazily. However, setting goals and schedules will help you focus and keep you motivated to study.
For example, suppose you decide to concentrate on studying English grammar for the last two months. Let's look at an example schedule in that case.
1st week English type (declarative sentence, question sentence, command sentence, exclamation sentence)
2nd week 5 sentence pattern
3rd week Hourly
4th week 5th week to get used to the sentence block
5th week Sorting training
6th week Fill-in-the-blank training
8th week of reading aloud training Start writing a diary
Set reasonable goals not only for your overall schedule, but also for how much you study each day.
Learn English words at the same time
The second is to learn English words as well as grammar. Now let's see why English words are important and a good way to remember them.
Why are English words important?
Both words and grammar are very important in studying English. Even if you study only grammar, you cannot understand English without knowing the words. Knowledge of words affects all four English skills of reading, listening, writing and speaking. By learning words in parallel with learning English grammar, you can learn English in a well-balanced and efficient manner.
How to remember English words
A good way to learn English words is to study intensively using vocabulary books and vocabulary cards. Even if it is difficult to take a lot of time, you can memorize a lot of words unexpectedly if you make effective use of the gap time such as commuting, going to school, and break time.
When memorizing a word, check not only its meaning but also the example sentences to know how the word is used. It is also effective to listen to the CD attached to the vocabulary book or read it aloud and remember it with the sound. If you review it regularly, you will be able to firmly establish it as long-term memory by repeating it.
Use English learning apps and reference books
The third is to utilize English learning apps and reference books. Many English learning apps can be played like a game, and have the advantage of being easy to learn at any time. There are also apps that specialize in English grammar and English words, so choose the one that suits your purpose of learning English.
The reference book is suitable when you want to learn English grammar more carefully. It is also recommended to try reading aloud training, sorting problems, and fill-in-the-blank questions using the example sentences in the reference book.
Providing an opportunity to actually output in an English conversation class, etc.
Fourth, have the opportunity to output on a regular basis. Both input and output are essential to learning English.
With online English conversation, even busy people can easily take lessons from home or work. EnglishPhonetics English conversation is a complete one-on-one lesson, so you can have a lot of output opportunities. You can take classes every day from 6 am to 1 pm, and I am happy that you can use it according to your schedule. You can choose from over 5,000 teaching materials, and there are plenty of grammar teaching materials. It is recommended not only for those who want to learn basic grammar that is useful for conversation, but also for those who want to improve their level by acquiring the ability to apply grammar. You can practice well by using the grammar you learned in conversation.
If you want to learn English, it is very important to learn English grammar. This is because if you learn grammar, it will be easier to understand the meaning of sentences, and you will be able to improve your reading and writing skills. Let's practice it immediately by referring to the tips and practice methods for learning English grammar introduced in this article.