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The Basics of English Grammar

Learning any language is fun till ‘Grumpy Grammar’ steps in, right? Not anymore! Know the basics of English Grammar in the simplest form with English24x7.

Complete English Grammar Simplified to 4 Parts

In order to be proficient in any language, you need to know at least the basics of grammar of the language. But to be honest, this is the most difficult thing to understand especially for most of the non-native English users.

However, given the practical use and importance of English language, everybody must at least know the four important ‘parts’ or ‘levels’ of English language mentioned below, which you will surely thank us for!

So without any further ado, let’s begin by dividing English Language into 4 branches and wonder why you didn’t know this before as it is so easy!

History of English Grammar

I know you aren’t here to know how William Bullokar, a printer, who came up with 40 letter phonetic alphabets of English Language, introduced English Grammar to the world through his ‘Pamphlet for Grammar’ based on Latin Grammar in 1586.

You might also not want to know that his intention was to prove to the world that English Grammar is also as bound to rules as Latin (which is not the case though!), and this is what made people more interested in it.

Apart from this, I’m not going to tell you how the popularity of English Grammar kept on mushrooming since then from:

1 Pamphlet in the Late Sixteenth Century, 

to 16 New Grammars at the End of 17th Century, 

270 New Grammar Titles in the Late Eighteenth Century,

and finally, 900 New Grammar Books in the First-half of Nineteenth Century!

Wait, I haven’t mentioned Modern English Grammar Yet —

Oops! Did I mention all of this boring stuff here? Yeah, just to give an insight of what ALL you’ll understand in ONLY 4 PARTS!

Why do Languages need Grammar Rules in the first place?

Just imagine living in a world where there are no grammar rules at all. Everybody’s free to communicate in a way he likes, without anyone checking or judging. (Hurray! No grammar nazis)

“Decide speak imagine comes what, that you the sentence in first you. Great wouldn’t be that?”

Cool, right?

Didn’t get it? Let me apply the grammar rules then – “Imagine that you decide what comes first in the sentence you speak, wouldn’t that be great?”

Well, now you know the difference!

Grammar rules are applicable globally so that all can speak and understand the language irrespective of where they are from and what their mother-tongue is.

Now that you know how important grammar rules are, let’s finally begin!

The Four Main Branches of English Grammar

While establishing grammar rules and policies, the concerned individuals (there’s no term for those who make these rules) kept in mind several things which enabled us to communicate so efficiently.

Although this may be applicable to all the languages around the world, (I honestly don’t know all of them!), our focus would be only on English Language.

Namely the four branches of English Grammar are:

  1. Pragmatics
  2. Semantics
  3. Morphosyntactic Alignment
  4. Phonology

We shall now address each of these individually in brief.

Pragmatics (Interpersonal Level)

Effective communication takes place only when the listener/reader interprets the speech/piece of writing in the same way as intended by the speaker/writer. 

This is exactly what Pragmatics means in English Language.

To put in simple words, pragmatics in English is the realistic dealing of words, signs, and symbols based on practical considerations rather than theoretical ones.

Pragmatics varies on an interpersonal level according to the different settings in which English is spoken, especially by non-native speakers as every language has its own rules.

An accurate interpretation according to the context, setting is extremely crucial for any person using English language, irrespective of where he uses the language and what his first language is.

This capability to comprehend English properly as intended with the help of certain verbal and non-verbal agreements and other parts of speech is what is known as pragmatic competence. 

For anyone who intends to speak, listen, write, and read English language, being pragmatically competent in this language is extremely important, and this is the reason all those who teach English as a Second language pay utmost attention to it.

Semantics (Representational Level)

After pragmatics, the next important component of English Grammar is semantics which works on a representational level. 

Semantics is the study of meaning of words, phrases, and text focusing on sense, reference, presupposition and its implication. 

Semantics can also be explained with the help of the word ‘lexicology’. The latter means understanding how a word is formed, used and understood in a language.

You might have sometimes seen that the same word in English language denotes different meanings, for example ‘orange’. 

Now, the word ‘orange’ denotes a colour as well as a fruit, and its exact meaning will always be based on the context and sentence in which it is used. 

Hence, while learning English never forget understanding semantics, as it would help you in analysing the meanings of the words as well as establishing relation between them.

Morphosyntactic Alignment (Morphology and Syntax)

The title would have given you some idea about what morphosyntactic alignment means. Comprising two words: morphology and syntax, it means using different word forms and arranging them properly. 

Morphology basically is the study of shapes, structures, and forms of things. Whereas, in linguistics, morphology means the change in forms of words according to context.

Syntax, on the other hand, refers to the arrangement of words and phrases to create logical and meaningful sentences. In simple words, syntax refers to the word order in a sentence.

Even if most people overlook this component of English grammar, it is extremely vital to focus on the same in order to be proficient.

We might know several thousand words along with their exact meanings but if we do not know the manner in which those words’ forms change in a particular dialogue, then knowing these make no sense!

Phonology of Utterance (Phonological Level)

Till the time you reach here, only after reading everything that is written above, you will get a fair idea of how grammar comprises what word choice you make, how you arrange it in your communication, and in which sense the receiver understands it.

But there is another thing which needs to be taken into account while understanding grammar, specifically English Grammar – Phonology.

The name itself is an indication of this particular component of English Grammar being associated with the concept of sounds in speech.

Phonology may or may not include phonetics which consists of acoustic (the manner in which a sound is perceived) and articulatory (relating to sound formation) properties of sounds.

It is this system which studies how different sounds come together to produce a speech. Technically speaking, phonology is the study of fundamental components of contrastive relationships among the speech sounds.

What to do once you know what the Basics of English Grammar are?

Now that you know all the important things which you need to know in order to use English like a pro, think of what to start with!

Obviously, it would be best to start with pragmatics which involves identifying the different parts of speech of English Language.

And in case you are wondering why you need to ‘Learn English’ in the first place, then you can refer to our article ‘Is Learning English Still Important in 2020’.

Shall you have any queries, feel free to get it cleared by contacting English24x7 is a one-stop solution for all English language and Immigration related services!

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