The four most tricky challenges in English grammar

Sep 24, 2019English Grammar Tips, Smart Brains Spotlight

the four most tricky challenges in English grammar

Common English Grammar Mistakes and Challenges

the four most tricky challenges in English grammar

John Bagnall

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the four most tricky challenges in English grammar Smart Brains Spotlight


Fix your English Grammar

the four most tricky challenges in English grammar

 

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the four most tricky challenges in English grammar The topic for today is “What are the trickiest rules in English grammar pertaining to commonly used words?“. Learning should be for life. Every moment of every day we are being presented with new and important lessons. Here we will present you one handpicked new and important lesson every day from smart brains and experts around the world.

 

Common English grammar mistakes and challenges even advanced students make. Learn about the four most tricky challenges in English grammar.

 

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the four most tricky challenges in English grammar

 

Four most tricky challenges in English grammar

Four most tricky challenges in English grammar

Thank you, John Bagnall and Quora.

 

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What are the trickiest rules in English grammar pertaining to commonly used words?

Four most tricky challenges in English grammar

John Bagnall

Fix your English Grammar

Four most tricky challenges in English grammar How can I become fluent in English?

Four most tricky challenges in English grammar

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How are phrasal verbs used in speaking English?

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The four most tricky challenges in English grammar

 

Four most tricky challenges in English grammar Answer by John Bagnall, ( Wordsmith, etymologist and (British) English usage hound ). All credit goes to John Bagnall, Thank you!

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Fix your English GrammarFour most tricky challenges in English grammar

 

 

Four most tricky challenges in English grammar  The fourth most tricky challenge in English grammar is to agree the difference between “grammar” and “usage”.

 

  The third most tricky challenge is to define what “correct” means, in the term “correct English”.

 

  The second most difficult challenge is to be able to decide what is a rule and what is a convention.

 

  The most difficult challenge — as Timothy Rowe has already put so well—is to know when, and to what extent, any of the above matter.

 

It’s also all but impossible to decide on what defines a “tricky” rule. I don’t personally have any difficulty whatsoever in knowing the difference between “its”—the possessive of “it”—and “it’s”, meaning “it is”. But it’s readily apparent on a daily basis that plenty of others either find that particular “rule” impossible to understand or choose to ignore it (somehow, I suspect it’s the former).

 

And what about the fact I started that last sentence, and this, with a conjunction? Some might have it that I’ve just broken a classic rule of English grammar. But have I, really? Dammit, I just did it again. Sorry. Oh, sorry again, there wasn’t a verb in that last sentence…

 

If I were to be perfectly honest, some “rules” do cause me pain (note the use of the subjunctive “were” there—another rule—rather than the allegedly ungrammatical “was”, which would have felt more comfortable to use). I struggled for some time to master the difference between the restrictive “that” and non-restrictive “which”, only to discover that a) it’s very easy to still get wrong, and b) that it’s so frequently ignored that, most of the time, it (probably) really doesn’t matter.

 

What I’m trying to articulate is that the trickiest but most rewarding rule of English to master is to strive to understand what others regard as the rules of English grammar, so that you can better judge why, when, if and how to ignore them.

 

 

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Reference: John Bagnall, “What are the trickiest rules in English grammar pertaining to commonly used words?” originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. Fix your English Grammar

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