Why Learn Grammar?

Hi, there! Some time back, someone had asked me the meaning of ‘bad mouthing’, I had answered, ‘to speak badly about someone behind the person’s back’. At that time I had not known that I’d experience this myself soon. (Lol) It is kind of funny, after so many years of working with top brass of people and the best of companies, I hear such stuff. I guess, I’ll just adhere to Oscar Wilde and be happy, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about!”

Now, you people must be wondering, that is, if you are new learners of English, ‘what is to speak behind someone’s back?’ Well, it means to speak badly about a person in his or her absence. Obviously, it is not a good thing and we must not get used to it. Actually, speaking behind a person’s back is habit forming, people actually do it because they are habituated to it. And, you and I, we know how bad habits easily make us their victims. So why try them out in the first place, the best thing is to avoid them.

What are the synonyms of ‘bad mouthing’?


So, you see it is best to avoid all the above words or phrases.


Why did I say ‘phrases’ and not ‘sentences’? What is the difference between a phrase and a sentence? Since I am talking to you about sentences and phrases, let me also tell you about something called Clauses. All this will be a bit technical, but then, once in a while, we must do some grammar too. What do you say? So are you ready?


Let us start with a phrase:


Words that can be grouped together, but without a subject or a verb, are called a phrase.

Phrases can be very short – or quite long. Two examples of phrases are:


“Sour grapes”

“Cry wolf”

“Carry on”


Phrases can’t be used alone, but you can use them as part of a sentence, where they are used as parts of speech, like idioms.


Let us talk about a clause, now?


clause is a group of related words containing a subject that tells readers what the sentence is about, and a verb that tells readers what the subject is doing. A clause comes in four types; independent, dependent, relative or noun clause.

I shall discuss Clauses with you in details some time later, for now just check out the definition.


Lastly, what is a sentence?


A complete sentence has a subject and predicate, and can often be composed of more than one clause. As long as it has a subject and a predicate, a group of words can form a sentence, no matter how short.


E.g. “Did you have dinner?”


More complex sentences can combine multiple clauses or phrases to add additional information about what is described. Clauses may be combined using conjunctions – such as “and”, “but” and “or”.


E.g. “She saw the boy but decided that she did not want to marry him.”


This is about Phrases, Clauses and Sentences. Why should we learn grammar? For written English, especially, correct English is necessary and correct English can only be written if you know correct grammar. Hence, we will do grammar, so that you become excellent users of English. But don’t worry, we will do grammar only once in a while.


This is it for today.


Key in your mails to me on: surabhi.pillai@gmail.com


Keep smiling…


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