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WHAT IS GRAMMAR

Original post made by Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows, on Jul 14, 2014

There is a lot of commentary on this forum regarding ones grammar. This forum is not the place to discover correct grammar. Yet, the critics come out of the wood work, so to speak, post their criticism anonymously then creep back into the wood work. They never offer up their version of what would be the correct grammar. Probably because they do not know what what is correct.

Grammar is the system of a language. People sometimes describe grammar as the "rules" of a language; but in fact no language has rules*. If we use the word "rules", we suggest that somebody created the rules first and then spoke the language, like a new game. But language did not start like that. Language started by people making sounds which evolved into words, phrases and sentences. No commonly-spoken language is fixed. All languages change over time. What we call "grammar" is simply a reflection of a language at a particular time.

Do we need to study grammar to learn a language? The short answer is "no". Very many people in the world speak their own, native language without having studied its grammar. Children start to speak before they even know the word "grammar". But if you are serious about learning a foreign language, the long answer is "yes".

*Except invented languages like Esperanto. And if Esperanto were widely spoken, its rules would soon be very different.

Comments (5)

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 14, 2014 at 9:29 am

grammar school is where somebody learns about Latin...plus if you attend and only learn a few things about Latin, you're not gonna get job...that's how it is in Califas


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Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Jul 14, 2014 at 9:56 am

I've never much cared for nit-picking "grammar Nazis", but the truth of the matter is that readers do make judgements about the quality of your education based on your grammatical mistakes. If I read a post or email or note written by someone who clearly doesn't understand the difference between "your" and "you're" or who writes a lot of sentence fragments or run-on sentences, I notice that and it's a factor in my evaluation of the person. These kinds of grammatical errors are covered in the 2nd grade. Educated adults should not be making them.


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Posted by Teacher
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2014 at 11:32 am

Grammar is intimately bound up with a language. Grammar is the underlying structure of language, and meaningful speech/writing is not possible without it. [Portion removed due to disrespectful comments toward another poster.]


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 15, 2014 at 9:52 am

Jack is a registered user.

The title of this post needs a question marků


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Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 15, 2014 at 10:02 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

It's very telling that Teacher would have her comment banned for disrespect.
Community of character, teacher. Is this what your union leaders promote?


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