1. LuminousTyto
    Offline

    LuminousTyto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    At my computer desk?

    Studying grammar? Urrrgmfh! I think I'm gonna puke!

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by LuminousTyto, Jul 29, 2012.

    I know that grammar and punctuation is something I need to improve upon. I have a lot of grammar books and I've even read a few, but all grammar is is rule upon rule upon rule! It's too much and too boring! I can't read another friggin grammar book!!!!

    Any suggestions on ways to improve grammar without actually "studying" it?

    I've recently started reading a lot and I can tell that has helped a bit, but I need to get better!

    Suggestions?
     
  2. ThievingSix
    Offline

    ThievingSix Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think you'll find a lot of writers that abuse grammar rules for effect, so its important you read a book that's grammatically correct or know when to realise when they start going outside the rules. Poetry would be an example of this, although the poets name slips my mind.

    Most of the rules you'll find come naturally if you write for some time, others are just plain out there and barely any writer sticks to them. An example that comes to mind is the general incorrect use of the semi-colon among most people. Its never really taught, or wasn't to me.

    If you spend more time learning the grammatical rules you'll certainly become better structuring your writing. The key point to remember is that if you have a good understanding of the rules, you'll know how to break them.
     
  3. ck1221
    Offline

    ck1221 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    For me, being out of school for almost 30 years, its hard to remember alll the rules myself, but its funny how some things come to you, reading is the best advice as is reading out loud, if it sounds wrong, it usually is. But studying in little bits and then using what you've learned is the best way Ive learned. And I know it may be cheating, but microsoft has grammer and punctuation and although not perfect or fool-proof, it helps by making you rethink your sentence.
     
  4. epicfailpig
    Offline

    epicfailpig Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chillin' like a villain
    Reading always helps in understanding grammar. Newspapers and high-quality articles are great starting points; they have a simple writing style that makes them easy to analyze (grammatically, anyway.) But understanding grammar is one thing; using it correctly is another. And unfortunately, though, nothing beats practice in learning grammar. It's a bit like learning music; the more you practice, the more you understand all the little rules and nuances.

    Personally, I've found that writing in a document like Word or Writer helps in pointing out trouble spots in my grammar and spelling. On that note, I kind of make it a challenge to see how much I can write without having an error highlighted. Everything's easier to learn as a game, I think, so if you're tired of reading grammar books, try finding a grammar game online, or make a challenge up for yourself!
     
  5. LuminousTyto
    Offline

    LuminousTyto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    At my computer desk?
    Thanks, I appreciate you all responding to my post.

    : )
     
  6. MeganHeld
    Offline

    MeganHeld Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Honestly, reading does help. I own a copy of a very small grammar book just in case I need to clarify something. Grammar is not easy, so any small thing can help.
     
  7. Fluffywolf
    Offline

    Fluffywolf Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Spending years in online English communities has left me with a lot of lingual scars, haha.

    The only way I can think of that will work best in terms of learning proper spelling and grammar, is through lots of exposure from writing in proper spelling and grammar.
     
  8. mickaneso
    Offline

    mickaneso Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Keep reading novels. You'll pick up on things very gradually. Don't neglect your grammar books but don't force them down your throat. Make a point to read a certain amount a day (or a week) and you'll probably approach it with more enthusiasm, even if it's only 10 minutes a day. The more you read and write the more you'll improve. Always remind yourself of how much you've improved in a year to keep yourself motivated. If you're improving (even slowly) as more time goes on then you're doing the right thing.
     
  9. LuminousTyto
    Offline

    LuminousTyto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    At my computer desk?
    That sounds like a very good idea! Yeah even though I do HATE grammar books, I do pick them up and read certain sections once in a while. Exactly what I did, which inspired me to start this post.
     
  10. Sulla
    Offline

    Sulla Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have the same problem. I enjoy writing, but my grammar skills are weak.

    I struggled with a lot of Grammar books. Often they would not have examples or exercises.

    One book I like is English 3200 by Joseph C. Blumenthal. It's a book entirely made up of exercises (3200). This has helped me a bit (I'm not done with it).

    Another book that has helped is Grammar by Diagram by Cindy L Vitto. I know people don't really diagram well but it's a fun and easy way to learn about the basics.
     
  11. E. C. Scrubb
    Offline

    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Southwest US
    Another option, is to pick up a style manual and utilize it in your editing. Just worry about the very basics of grammar when you first write your manuscript, then on edit, take the style manual out (I believe I said in another thread that I've found out, Chicago Style Manual is the most common for Publishers), and look up anything that you may have a question about.

    The best way to learn what to question, IMO, is to read through critiques on this board. Look at what others are pointing out - but don't necessarily take their word for what's right or wrong, just use it to become aware of the issues.

    Then, when you start to edit your own work, use the same skills and when you have questions, look up the answers in the style guide.
     

Share This Page