1. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    English Grammar

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Reggie, Mar 9, 2011.

    Is it really true that you can iimprove your writing if you read and study an English grammar book? Have anyone ever checked out an English book in the library, and did it amaze you because of all the grammar errors you could have eliminated?

    I've took an English class called Composition, and it helped a little, though it was only one month long. I've always enjoyed sudying English as well. I know this may seem to be a dumb question, but my intentions was to ask if anyone ever took the time to apply their recently learned grammar lessions to their story? Some others may only apply them to the current homework assignments they done, and some may not pay closer attention to what they studied. What are some of your experience on English?
     
  2. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    Grammar's a pain isn't it? But it gets easier the more you read and the more you write. The more you practice, the better you'll get.

    It has to be an ongoing thing though. Take whatever courses you can, read as much as you can and keep writing.

    Don't get too tied up with the rules but take note of how other writers apply them. You'll learn more from studying a well-constructed sentence than you will from reading how to do it.

    You also have to be critical of your own work. Read it through, check for mistakes before you ask anyone else to read it. Read it out loud. That helps. If you stumble over a sentence, you can bet your readers will. So change it.
     
  3. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    In 'the old days' i.e. before 1970 in England, children learnt grammar as a matter of course. I learnt most grammar before the age of 11. It helped a lot. I used my old grammar books to teach my children, too.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes - mine has improved hugely after buying two punctuation and grammar books. I sat and read them over christmas. I now read them periodically, and do the exercises in them.
     
  5. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you take the time to thoroughly read and study grammar, do exercises to test that you've understood, then yes it will definitely improve your writing. There are also websites that can give you one-to-one help, test you and so forth.
     
  6. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    i try to do a grammar review once per month...there is a nice, cheap one called the only grammar book you'll ever need...a handy pocket-sized quick reference
     
  7. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know. It seems very dry to sit there and read grammar books...

    I like to learn by doing.
     
  8. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    well...a craft is a craft....and there are always theoretical aspects that accompany the practical...
     
  9. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's more fun than Sudoku or crosswords...
     
  10. Sidewinder
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    Sidewinder Contributing Member Contributor

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    The best book for style and grammar I've ever come across is Strunk and White. It's short and to the point. It's also available online for free.
     
  11. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    Now, I do not typically point out writing errors in forum posts (my house has far too much glass in it to make such a practice wise), but when the post in question is asking if studying a grammar book can help, I think the illustration is appropriate. There is no offense intended.

    If we want to write for others to read, we should do everything in our power to make our writing clear and understandable. That clarity is the purpose of grammar. I read The Elements of Style before every writing project and I still make mistakes. I think it is important to study in any way we can.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The online edition is NOT the current edition. It is quite outdated.

    Shell out the lettuce and get it in hardcopy. It's not expensive, and is well worth having a well-worn copy all your own.
     
  13. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    This forum has helped me as much as anything. Also, once acquiring an interest, knowledge happens.
     
  14. AJSmith
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    AJSmith Senior Member

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    I teach 4th-6th grade students so, though my grammar is far from perfect, it helps to interact with language structure every day. It also gives me access to various references, both text and other teachers. I think it makes it a little more interesting than forcing myself to do the exercises simply on my own.

    Of course, I see a variety of terrible grammar on a daily basis too. Maybe it's training me the wrong way. :)

    When it comes down to it though, I write what comes naturally on my draft, and I intend to get help and use whatever resources I can when editing my manuscript.
     
  15. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, but how do you know what you're doing is grammatically sound if you don't read the books? Do you have a friendly grammarian who checks it all for you?
     
  16. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it were so full of grammar errors it would probably never have made it to the point of being a book, never mind a book in the library.
     
  17. nuwriter*me
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    nuwriter*me Member

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    Knowing grammar does help you with control at a sentence level; it gives you the freedom to experiment with writing on a very fundamental level. I learn something new every single day. (But, I'm no expert.)
     

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