There is no shortcut for learning grammatically correct English. It takes time to understand and put to use the rules of English grammar. But, there are ways to remember the grammar to help you speak correctly.
Try to speak English the way you write it. Spoken English is pretty relaxed and you can get away with grammatical errors most of the time, but it pays to speak correctly. Hence, the golden rule would be to talk just the way you would write it.
Start with working on the tense. Tense dictates the verb. It defines the timeline of action. You have to memorise the verb forms. Truth is we do not use all the tenses in spoken English. Interact with good English speakers to get the hang of which of the tenses are actually used.
Common Pronoun usage He/Him, She/Her, They/Them, We/Us, I/Me
I, He, she, they and we are subject pronouns. When the subject is doing the action you use these pronouns. Example: I spoke to her.
Me, him, her, them and us are object pronouns. These pronouns do not do an action. They simply receive an action. Example: Give it to me.
Never start a sentence with me. If there are two or more people involved, always start with other people’s name and end with referring you as ‘I’. Example: Raj, Sanvi and I went to a movie.
Active voice is simple to frame and speak. Active voice has a subject as the doer of the action.
Remember that whenever you change a sentence from active to passive voice, the subject and the object swap. And if that involves the pronouns, they will swap to their relative object or subject pronoun form.
Example: Wrong: The movie was gone to by Raj, Sanvi and me.
Right: The movie was watched by Raj, Sanvi and me.
Preposition brings out the relationship of an object to its surroundings. Preposition is always followed by the object of the sentence. So first the P and then the O.
Strictly speaking, you should never end a sentence in preposition. But spoken English is very forgiving in that regard.
Few other miscellaneous tips
Questions tags are always opposite in sense to the question. If the question is positive, the tag will be negative.
Example: You didn’t do it, did you?
He came last night, didn’t he?
‘Does’ is answered by ‘s’ in the verb form. ‘Does’ is used for singular. ‘Do’ is answered by the present tense of the verb and is used for plural.
What does he do? He teaches.
What do they do? They dance.
The machine does the drying by spinning.
The machines do the drying by spinning.
These tips are just guidelines and not mathematical formulae where substituting one verb with another gives a new sentence. These rules are purely for understanding. Listening to native English is one of the proven ways to improve your grammar and spoken English.
Read more articles on how to improve English speaking
- Improve your English vocabulary – Tips and Tricks
- Improve English Pronunciation – Tips and Tricks
- Tips for Speaking English with Neutral Accent
- 10 Quick Tips to Improve your Spoken English
- How to Speak English Fluently – Few Tips
Read more articles on how to improve English grammar
- Improve English Grammar – Using the Correct Tense
- Improve English Grammar – Usage of ‘Who’ and ‘Whom’
- Improve English Grammar – Difference between Active and Passive Voices