As learning a language is a lifelong process, so is learning new grammatical constructions and improving your command of the grammar rules you know. If you want to use more sophisticated and advanced grammar you will need to have access to sophisticated and advanced English. It is important, therefore, to ensure that you read quality publications so you are sure that the grammar and vocabulary you are seeing will improve your language skills overall.
That doesn’t mean you have to read difficult, complex English, it just means you need to add to your vocabulary and keep reading progressively more advanced English. For example, if you are an intermediate student you will need to read material from upper intermediate on a regular basis so you stretch your language skills.
Once you are using more advanced grammar your English will sound more coherent and will be much easier to understand. Coherence in language means that what you are saying makes sense and that you are using grammatical elements that allow your English to flow. In writing, it is the structuring of sentences and paragraphs that make your English coherent.
Cohesion is another characteristic of language that give your English flow and meaning. If you are using parts of speech correctly, using conjunctions to join sentences, substitution words such as pronouns, collocations such as ‘pay attention’, ‘make an effort’ and phrasal verbs, your English will be cohesive and have meaning.
You could also try to learn some basic idioms as these will make your English more cohesive. For example, if you already have a good level of English, and you should if you are reading this, you can start with some simple idioms, like ‘over the moon’ which comes from an English nursery rhyme. Think about your own language and find out if you have idioms that come from children’s stories or nursery rhymes.
You could also learn idioms that are similar in your language and English, for example ‘to take one’s breath away’ in French is ‘à couper le souffle’, which is not too far away from the English idiom. Once you have understood the concept of idioms representing something else and that something else is often related to the culture, traditions and history of the UK, US, Australia etc, you will become fascinated by how they came about. You can see more idioms here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4lfbxYp097gck1qq3cm6lDk/eight-ingenious-idioms-and-their-origins
You should also know the parts of speech. To construct sentences correctly, you should ideally understand what parts of speech are and how they function in sentences.
Nouns can be a person (Paul), a thing (a car), a place (Paris), an emotion (love) and more.
Adjectives describe nouns and give details of the characteristics of something, for example the black cat walked into the large house.
Pronouns take the place of nouns. They can be personal subject pronouns (such as I, she, and they), personal object pronouns (such as us, you, it, and them), personal possessive pronouns (such as mine, yours, his, hers, and theirs), and relative pronouns (such as who, which, that, and whose).
Verbs indicate actions or states of being and give the action of state of the noun. For example: my brother loves cars or my brother drives too fast.
Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, prepositions, and other adverbs. They are words like quickly, well, and slowly. These words often end in –ly. For example, the boy ran quickly across the school yard.
Prepositions are used to indicate time, space, or direction. Prepositions include to, in, on, over, of, and across. For example, that man lives in a small apartment.
Conjunctions join other parts of speech, clauses and phrases together to make sentences. Coordinating conjunctions connect independent clauses (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so). Subordinating conjunctions connect dependent clauses (because, if, since, while, and although)
Interjections are words that indicate emotions. For example, oh, hey, ouch, and wow. They are often followed by exclamation points.
Another way to improve your English grammar is to learn the difference between confusing words. English has a lot of words that look, sound, or are spelled the same, but they can have very different meanings.
They can be very confusing and often result in errors. There are 4 types of confusing words.
These are words that are spelled the same but they have different meanings.
Bat – a handheld piece of sports equipment used in cricket or baseball or a small animal with wings that sleeps upside down and comes out at night. Rumor has it, someone at a bat and started the Covid 19 pandemic.
These are words that are pronounced the same but spelled differently.
Brake/break – a device for slowing down or stopping a car or bus or to separate into two or more parts using force
These are words that are spelled the same but are pronounced differently
Lead, pronounced LEED, means to guide or show.
Lead, pronounced LED, means a piece of metal, often used for dental fillings in the past
These are words that are spelled the same and are also pronounced the same
A book (noun) is a something we read and book (verb) means to reserve something, a plane or a hotel room.
It is easy to make punctuation-related errors in English. Here are some tips to avoid them:
Full stops and commas go inside quotation marks, even if they aren't part of the material being quoted. All other punctuation marks go outside the quotation marks unless they are part of the material being quoted.
Examples "Any further delay," she said, "would result in a lawsuit."
His latest story is titled "The Beginning of the End"; wouldn't a better title be "The End of the Beginning"?
An article is a word used to say whether a noun is referring to something specific and something in general:
I’ll bring the car to the front of the house and then we’ll go to the supermarket. This is a specific car, our car.
I need to buy a new car quite soon. I don’t know which car I’m going to buy, it could be any car.
You should also think about tenses when speaking and writing English. If you’re talking about the past, use a past tense, if it’s the present, you need the present simple or present continuous and if it’s the future, you need a future tense. Have a look at the table below for all tenses in English and decide if you need to study them further or if you are confident using them all. If you do need to study and practice, you could attend some online lessons with spokenenglish.courses
In addition to studying grammar, don’t forget to read as much as you can, you can read aloud also because this gives you pronunciation practice and allows you to interact with the text.
Read lots of different types of articles and don’t forget literature, biographies, blogs, essays, etc. Reading newspapers is great, as is listening to news programmes on the radio, and watching documentaries and the news on television.
You can also practice your English grammar with spokenenglish.course clear grammar explanations and practice exercises to test your understanding. Use this link to access the grammar exercises: https://www.spokenenglish.courses/grammar-quiz/present-simple
All learners have questions about grammar and these exercises will help you to think about your English and improve it in a fun, interactive activity. Start learning today by reading the explanations and doing the exercises and your confidence and English will improve in no time. We hope these tips and advice have helped you and if you need any more help, just contact us via our website.