Goodbye English Grammar! 3 steps to learn grammar

English grammar is an essential, yet challenging part of the English language. If you are struggling with English grammar and are sick and tired of all the tenses, rules and exceptions, this article is for you! Let me start with a question: Do you want to learn grammar or only improve your English speaking?

Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if you chose English speaking over grammar. But that’s a BIG mistake! You know why? Because:

There is no speaking without grammar

That is a rule I want you to remember. In fact, that is not the only rule! I can confidently expand this statement and say:

There is no English without grammar

Now, I understand; learning grammar is a pain in the neck (if you don’t know how to do so!), but it is one of the most important aspects of learning the English language. English grammar, together with English vocabulary, are basis of the English language (that is why a good English course should focus on grammar and vocabulary). Therefore, it is crucial to learn grammar, and even more crucial to know the best way of doing so! Let me explain how to learn English grammar in 3 effective steps.

English grammar shouldn’t be studied alone

Grammar cannot and should not be studied alone. This a a mistake even students of C1 English courses make. You should always learn English grammar together with English vocabulary. But why?

Let’s look at it this way: why do you learn new English grammar rules? To make sentences! But to do so, you need to know what words you can use to form a sentence. Similarly, why do you learn new words? Again, to make sentences, right?  However, you need grammatical structures to form a correct sentence using the new words you have learned. Therefore, the ultimate goal of learning English vocabulary and grammar is to make sentences in order to communicate in English, whether in written or spoken form.

learn English grammar to make sentences
The aim of learning English grammar (and other skills) is to make sentences in order to communicate

Now that we know the goal is to make sentences, what is the best way of learning English grammar?  Don’t worry, just follow these 3 incredibly simple, yet effective steps!

Step 1: understand sentence composition

Sentence composition?! What is that?! As mentioned earlier, we learn English grammar to make sentences. Therefore, it is necessary to know what a sentence is and what roles do different words play in a sentence. These different roles are also called “parts of speech”.  What are they?

Overall, there are 8 parts of speech. The four main parts of speech are:

Nouns Einstein, Oxford, Italy, religion, food
Verbs play, eat, sit, laugh, increase, destroy
Adjectives beautiful, nice, crazy, smart, interesting
Adverbs beautifully, nicely, normally, absolutely

For example, look at how these parts of speech can form a sentence:

Parts of speech
4 main parts of speech and how they work together

As I said earlier, there are 8 parts of speech in English. So, what are the other 4? The four other parts of speech are:

Pronouns I, me, you, he, him, she, her, it, we, us, they
Prepositions In, at, from, of, by, to, with, near, above, under
Conjunctions Because, although, whereas, but, so, therefore, thus
Interjections Oh! Yes! Huh! Wow! Yum! Yuck!

For instance, let’s have another look at this sentence:

Parts of speech
4 other parts of speech

How to learn parts of speech in English grammar

Start simple: understand how the four main parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb) work together to form a sentence.

Verbs Describe actions The driver drives.
Adjectives Describe nouns The angry driver drives.
Adverbs Describe verbs The angry driver drives angrily
Describe adjectives The really angry driver drives angrily
Describe other adverbs The really angry driver drives absolutely angrily

That is what I mean by understanding sentence composition. By improving your vocabulary, you will learn new verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs to make sentences. By learning English grammar, you can use the new words you have learnt considering their parts of speech to make correct and meaningful sentences.

Step 2: learn English grammar tenses

Tenses are basically “times of the sentences”. In the English language, there are three main tenses: past, present and future. Each of these tenses can have 4 different forms:  simple, continuous/progressive, perfect and perfect continuous. You can see an example of all English grammar tenses in the table below:

Past Past Simple Subject + verb (past form) I finished my homework yesterday.
Past Continuous Subject + was/were + verb + ing I was doing my homework yesterday.
Past Perfect Subject + had + past participle I had done my homework before the class.
Past Perfect Continuous Subject + had been + verb + ing I had been doing my homework for hours.
Present Present Simple Subject + verb (base form) I do my homework on time!
Present Continuous Subject + am/is/are + verb + ing I am doing my homework now.
Present Perfect Subject + have/has + past participle I have done my homework.
Present Perfect Continuous Subject + have/has been + verb + ing I have been doing my homework for hours.
Future Future Simple Subject + will + verb (base form) I will do my homework soon.
Future Continuous Subject + will be + verb + ing I will be doing my homework, so please don’t text me!
Future Perfect Subject + will have + past participle I will have done my homework by tonight.
Future Perfect Continuous Subject + will have been + verb + ing I will have been doing my homework before going to class

How to learn English grammar tenses

A few years ago, I was reading a magazine when I came across a very interesting question: How do you eat an elephant? I thought, well, an elephant is huge! It is impossible to fit an elephant in your mouth, right?! Do you know what the answer was? You eat an elephant one bite at a time! So simple, right?! The point is if you want to do something that is too difficult, you have to take small steps towards it and eventually, you will succeed! That is the same with English grammar. What you need to do is to take small steps towards learning different aspects of English grammar. But what are these steps?

1- Learn the essential tenses: Start with the simple tenses- Simple present, simple past, simple future.

Past Simple To talk about finished actions in the past
Present Simple To talk about habits, hobbies and things which are always true
Future Simple To talk about future events

2- Try to make many different sentences with each English grammar tense, but remember: the key is to keep it simple!

Past Simple I slept at 10 pm last night.
I talked to my friends yesterday.
My father called me this morning.
I finished my homework.
Present Simple I am a student.
I study at Polytechnic University.
My friend is a pianist.
I go to gym every evening.
Future Simple I will call my dad tonight.
I will finish my homework before class.
My mom will cook something delicious for dinner.
I will study for my exam.

The key is to make sentences which are true for you. In this way, it is easier for you to connect with the English grammar tenses, their structures, meanings and examples. One thing you can do is to have a small notebook and each night, before going to bed, write down the things you did that day and the things you will do the next day!

3- Little by little, try to make your sentences longer by using different parts of speech. Play with different parts of speech (adjectives and adverbs) in the three tenses:

Past Simple I slept quickly last night.
I talked happily to my close friends yesterday.
My rich father called me this morning.
I finished my difficult homework successfully.
Present Simple I am a clever student.
I study hard at Polytechnic University.
My friend is a great pianist.
I go to gym lazily every evening.
Future Simple I will call my rich dad tonight (maybe to ask for money!)
I will definitely finish my difficult homework before our boring class.
My lovely mom will cook something delicious for dinner.
I will study hard for my difficult exam.

4- Gradually, learn new English grammar tenses (perfect, continuous, and perfect continuous forms) and add them to your sentence-making exercise.

Past continuous I was playing tennis with my friend yesterday.
My father was watering the plants.
My brother was doing his homework.
My sister was watching a TV show.
Present continuous I am studying English.
My friend is playing a computer game.
My teacher is teaching English.
Our dog is playing in the garden.
Future continuous I will be watching TV tonight.
She will be washing the dishes.
My mom will be cooking dinner.
My father will be working from home.

5- Again, try to use the different parts of speech (adjectives and adverbs) to create longer, more accurate and better sentences:

Past continuous I was playing tennis with my best friend yesterday.
My father was watering the beautiful garden plants peacefully.
My younger brother was doing his homework angrily.
My older sister was watching a boring TV show.
Present continuous I am studying English carefully.
My really lazy friend is playing a computer game.
My smart teacher is teaching English incredibly!
Our playful dog is playing in the garden noisily.
Future continuous I will be watching an interesting TV show tonight.
She will be washing the dirty dishes unwillingly.
My mom will be cooking a delicious dinner.
My rich father will be working hard from home.

6- Mix the different English grammar tenses and tell simple stories:

For instance, I am going to use past simple, past perfect, present simple and future continuous tenses to write a short story:

Today, I woke up at 6. I woke up really early, because I had gone to bed early last night. I do not always wake up early. Sometimes, I wake up at around 10 in the morning. Tomorrow, I have an exam. So, I think I will be studying this evening.

7- Now, it is time to add some adjectives and adverbs to this text:

Today, I woke up at 6. I woke up really early, because I had gone to bed early last night. I do not always wake up really early. Sometimes, I wake up late at around 10 in the morning. Tomorrow, I have an important exam. So, I think I will be studying hard this evening.

Well done! If you keep repeating these steps, I promise you will master the English grammar in no time! So, what’s next?

Step 3: Other grammatical structures

English grammar is not only about the tenses. You should also learn different grammatical structures, and there are many!

The book “Practical English Usage” by Michael Swan contains 635 Entries, each of which full of notes and rules and exception, reaching to more than 10,000 rules easily!  So, it will take many years to learn them all! But listen: as I said earlier, learn the essentials first.

Essential grammatical structures in English

  • Relative clauses
  • Passive voice
  • Quantifiers
  • Conditional sentences
  • Infinitives, gerunds and bare infinitives

These are the alphabet of English grammar. Little by little, learn these grammatical structures and at the same time, keep improving your vocabulary. That is how you should study grammar!

Conclusion

  • English grammar cannot and should not be studied alone. Always together with English vocabulary.
  • The ultimate goal of learning English grammar is to make sentences to communicate, so start by learning about sentence composition and parts of speech
  • Next, learn the tenses. Overall, there are 12 tenses, so start by learning the simple tenses
  • Make many sentences and add adjectives and adverbs to enrich your sentences
  • Learn new tenses, make sentences and keep playing with adjectives and adverbs
  • Mix different tenses and write short and simple texts, and add adjectives and adverbs where possible
  • Learn other essential grammatical structures, including relative clauses, passive and active voice, quantifiers, conditional sentences, infinitives, gerunds and bare infinitives
  • Repeat this process until you have reached the confidence you need and, in this way, you can master English grammar easily and effectively!

The following diagram shows the entire process of learning English grammar:

English grammar learning stages


46 thoughts on “Goodbye English Grammar! 3 steps to learn grammar

  1. Naman gupta says:

    Hlo sir i dont have a question but have request plse dont stop posting videos on yt as u use to be bcz i am a student and i can’t afford to take your onlinr English course so your yt videos are a only source for me to learn English .. i am not sure but maybe in future i will take your online english course to learn english hope you won’t stop posting english videos
    Cheers
    Naman

  2. Naman gupta says:

    Sir I haven’t learn english grammer like tenses and i want you to post a video on yt inculding all tenses types
    Hope
    Cheers naman

    • Teacher Maddy says:

      Hey there!
      I have taught all the tenses + Grammatical structures in my online English course! You can join and master English grammar as well as vocabulary and the 4 skills: reading, writing, listening & speaking!

  3. Chandan Arya says:

    I’m from India and love your teaching style on YouTube. This article is very nice and written in good manner and in a simple way.
    It’s very useful fou me and now I’m gonna practice the tenses.
    Thanks a lot 😊😊😊

  4. Mohana krishna says:

    Hello sir,
    I loved to learn english.
    I have learnt new information from your yt videos. That was the best thing since sliced bread.
    Thankyou.

  5. Aurio says:

    Well, this is one of the best YouTube channel I’ve been following…I’ve never gone to a English center to study it…but duo to your lesson on YouTube, your pdf files and so on…It’s helped so much. Thanks you! Teacher✊

  6. Shalini says:

    Hey ! Thanks I really appreciate your efforts
    And I wanted to know how can I use grammar rules while speaking English ? its a major problem !
    Can you help me with this ?
    Thank you
    Have a great day !

  7. Temir says:

    Thanks a ton! Teacher Maddy
    I really like your ways of teaching English. Glad I found you on You tube. In this article the examples listed in step 1 under adjectives are not correct. Check it out. Thanks!

  8. Pallavi says:

    Hello Teacher Maddy!
    Thank you so much as always Teacher for your kind help for our English! I really appreciate it!
    Teacher, I want to say that I miss you! Teacher I understand that you’re doing lots of hard works everyday for us.
    Love you teacher Maddy!
    Stay safe, healthy and happy!
    Lots of love from India!💫🙏😊🤗

  9. UJ says:

    Hi Teacher Maddy. Thank you so much for this great and inspiring lesson. In the “Step 1” especially in the Adjective table, it is written “Because, although, whereas, but, so, therefore, thus”. I think it is kind of miscopy or something. Thank you once again. It helps a lot.

  10. Srewoshi says:

    Hi teacher! How are you? Hope you’re well. Actually I want a video about different ways to say I’m feeling bad. And also about the best way to learn preposition. You deserve more because you are doing such a hard work for your students and also thank you for reduce your course’s price. I’ll try to join your course soon 🙂

    • Sumaiya Siddika says:

      Not only this article but also the YouTube videos are amazing. I’m satisfied with Maddy’s teaching style and he explains lucidly.
      I’m watching his video from Bangladesh 🇧🇩. And I’m improving my English skills through youtube videos.

      And now I think that I need to continue from Maddy’s course to grow my skills.

      I will give him 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
      Thank you…………………

  11. Naman gupta says:

    Thanks for this beautiful summary lesson of english grammer..
    Really enjoyed by reading this
    Very thankful to you
    Now i have no fear about the grammer in english as i had fear before
    I have also a request to make video on verbs and their uses like how to use them in past .present or future.or where to use have.had and verbs just like that hopefully you understood what i wanna say so please. A humble request to make a video and describe all the thimgs about verb and their uses
    Thanks
    Cheers

  12. Akintokun Marvelous says:

    Your teaching is actually an incredible solution to my English challenge. Please I beg you, don’t drop me from your boat because I’m unable to afford the fees for this lesson due to my poor financial background. Please for God’s sake register me to be one among your students. I have learned English from divergent English teacher on You tube;yours is different completely. Please make me one of your students. My God will count you worthy for uncommon opportunity.

  13. Hoang-Tien says:

    Hi Maddy, I have enrolled your intermediate course, so do we have a pdf on each lesson like this blog? It would be very helpful if we have pdf or blog-like materials so that we can reference later instead of re-watching the videos. Because sometimes its quite inconvenient to watch videos at work.

  14. Wilfine says:

    I want to thank you for the way you teach. It is very comprehensive and demystifying English language. I’ve learned a lot about grammar since yesterday with your videos. I think I will join your online courses as an intermediate (I took your test yesterday) soon. Keep going you are a very good teacher.

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