Parents proofreading their child’s report can find themselves in a bit of a dilemma. Grammar can be dependent upon the language spoken in the home. Each language has its own set of rules; English, I am told, is the hardest to navigate. Today is National Grammar Day, the perfect time to refresh your grammar skills. Martha Brockenbrough, author of Devine intervention, is the founder of National Grammar Day and Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar.
What do people find so challenging about grammar? Verb tenses, homophones, and of course punctuation.
- The Grammar Revolution describes verb tenses
- Action words ending in ‘s’ signify present tense
- Action words ending in ‘ing’ signify present tense
- Action words ending in ‘ed’ signify past tense
- Present perfect tense is when the word ‘have’ is mentioned with an action verb ending in ‘ing’ such as have been working.
- Past perfect tense is when the word ‘had’ is mentioned with an action verb ending in ‘ed’ such as had worked.
- The English Club describes homophones as words that sound alike, but spelled differently and have different meanings; guaranteed to confuse any non-English speaker.
- Our/hour, effect/affect, hear/here, bear/bare/bear
- Punctuation are symbols that help someone to understand what you mean. Grammar Book advises:
- A period at the end of a sentence means you are making a statement.
- A questions mark mean you are asking for something or about something.
- An exclamation point shows you are excited, be it happy or angry.
- A comma can be used to separate a series of items in a sentence
- Commas can also be used to join two incomplete thoughts that need the word ‘and.’ The two thoughts would not be able to stand alone.
These are just a few of the nuances that confuse speakers of American English. English spoken in the United Kingdom has rules that are different than ours; hence the mass confusion of the English language. For more tips, games, and grammar activities, check out the National Grammar Day website.