The Difference in Grammar Rules

Susmita Kunwor | Contributing Writer

According to a quote found at brainyquote.com, Jeffrey Gitomer says, “Your grammar is a reflection of your image. Good or bad, you have made an impression. And like all impressions, you are in total control.” When you know most of the grammar rules, you are in charge of how you use it. You can express your feelings and ideas which helps you shape who you are.

I had a hard time writing essays and it was my weakest point. Learning grammar rules help me write essays faster. At the beginning of my ESOL 51 class, I did not even know what were the structures to write an essay. I also learned how to make words from singular to plural too. I am glad that I took this class because it helps me write essays, research papers, and also will help me while taking an English composition class.

Grammar is the backbone of any languages. For learning English as a second language, grammar is very important for understanding English. I came to the realization that grammar is really important because it provides people a structure we need in order to organize, share our messages, clarity of meaning, and ideas while we communicate with each other.

Each and every language follows grammatical rules and patterns. Grammar skills are also useful in order to complete your future education, social life, and get more job opportunities. I have learned so many grammar rules in my ESOL 51 class. There are many grammar rules, but three grammar rules I am going to talk about are count and non-count nouns, coordinating conjunctions, and gerunds.

First of all, I am going to explain count and non-count noun rules. We all know that the noun is the name of people, places, and things. We have two types of nouns which are proper and common nouns. Proper nouns are names of particular persons, places, and things. Most of them are unique and capitalized when we write, such as Cathy, India, or the University of Minnesota.

Common nouns are further divided into two types which are count and non-count nouns. Count nouns are things which we can count such as pen, computer, and book. Count nouns can be singular or plural. We can use “a” or “an” before count nouns. Non counts nouns are things which we cannot count such as water, air, rain. They cannot be pluralized. For non-count nouns, we do not use “a” or “an”, but they can be used with “some” or “the”.

The following are some examples of count and non-count nouns which will help us understand better:

  1. Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world.
  2. I offered a pen to my friend.
  3. An elephant is the largest land animal.
  4. I need some advice.
  5. We saw a flash of lightning.

    Image courtesy of Susmita Kunwor

I would like to show how the example above “Mt. Everest is the tallest mount in the world” is written in Nepali language:

 

 

Explanation: In Nepali language, we do not use articles before names. Articles comes at the end of sentences.

Common errors people make with count and non-count is that some of us try to make non-count nouns plural. The following is an example.

  • Incorrect: Our school has lots of furnitures.
  • Correct: Our school has lots of furniture.

Second of all, connectors are words that connect two sentences. They are helpful to make us understand better and connect two ideas. There are three types of connectors which are coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, and transitions.

I am going to explain more about how we can use coordinating conjunctions to connect two independent clauses (which can stand alone and expresses a complete thought), words, and phrases. It can come between clauses and can be used after comma. We can call them FANBOYS which is easy to remember.

F – for, A – and, N – nor, B – but, O – or, Y – yet, S – so.

Following are the examples of how we can use FANBOYS in sentences:

  1. I like chocolate and an ice-cream.
  2. We went to Japan and China last summer.
  3. I want to go to a party this Friday, but I have lots of assignments to do.
  4. I was hungry, so I ate an apple.
  5. It’s hot outside, yet I am wearing jacket.

    Image courtesy of Susmita Kunwor

I would like to show how the example above “I was hungry, so I ate an apple.” is written in Nepali language:

 

Explanation: In Nepali language, coordinating conjunctions are written similar to how it is written in English language. Instead of a period, we use a symbol of line at the end.
Common errors people make while using coordinating conjunctions is the use of “but.”

Such as:

  • Incorrect: But I like to eat.
  • Correct: I like to watch movies, but I am busy.

At last, I am going to explain Gerunds. Gerunds act like nouns made of a verb by adding “ing” to the base form of a verb. Gerunds work as a subject, object, and complement. Most of the time we use the word “go” plus a gerund while we are talking about recreational activities such as go hiking, go swimming, etc. Gerund as an object comes after words such as avoid, consider, enjoy, keep, and mind.

An example is “we should avoid fighting with each other.” Gerunds can occur in simple or past form. We can make simple gerunds by avoiding past participle like “dancing is easy.” In order to make past gerunds, we have to add the word “having” plus the past participle.

The following are some examples:

  1. I like dancing in the rain.
  2. We went swimming yesterday.
  3. Studying is not that hard.
  4. Having experienced failure before made me a better person.
  5. Having eaten a lot of ice cream, it made me sick.

    Image courtesy of Susmita Kunwor

I would like to show how the example “Studying is not that hard” is written in Nepali language:
Explanation: In Nepali language, we have a gerund which is a kind of symbol. It is written underneath of a word.

Common errors people make while using this gerund is the use of “go” plus the gerund such as:

  • Incorrect: We go ski every other Saturday.
  • Correct: We go skiing every other Saturday.

There are three grammar rules I talked about were count and non-count, coordinating conjunction, and gerunds. The most helpful grammar rule of the three for me was count and non-count nouns. While writing essays, I used to make mistakes using articles before count and non-count nouns.  I always used to get confused as to where to use “a” or “an” as well as “the.” From this class, I have learned lots of rules which will help me further my study and also help me write emails more confidently.