English grammar can be tough, especially for some students who are still learning the fundamentals of the English language. Even professional writers or people who enjoy reading English literature still have a hard time getting all the rules right. As such, many parents find it important to enrol their children in English home tuition, so they can master everything about the language more easily.
If you are a parent who wants your child to be proficient in English, or a student who still struggles with some English grammar lessons, you have come to the right place! This article enumerates 3 of the most common English grammar quirks that some students find difficult to comprehend or master.
1. Subject-Verb Agreement
Subject-verb agreement is one of the most basic lessons in English, but surprisingly, many students still make a lot of mistakes about it. The most essential rule of subject-verb agreement is that both the subject and its verb must be either plural or singular. A plural subject should take a plural verb, while a singular subject should take a singular verb.
For example, in the sentence, “The child is in the park,” the subject “child” is singular, so the verb that follows it, which is “is,” should also be singular. According to experts, the reason why subject-verb agreement seems complicated for some learners is that they often have trouble determining the subject in the sentence, which the verb needs to agree with. Therefore, to avoid making mistakes regarding subject-verb agreement, students must first learn how to identify the subject in a sentence.
2. Perfect Tenses
Most beginners and even intermediate-level learners have some issues getting used to the various tenses in English. For many students, perfect tenses can be particularly difficult to get right. Perfect tense is basically a classification of verb tense that is used to describe finished or completed actions. It covers past perfect tenses, present perfect tenses, and future perfect tenses.
The past perfect tense is a verb tense that is used to describe actions that were finished before a certain point in the past. The present perfect tense, on the other hand, is used to talk about past actions that are related to or continue into the present. Lastly, the future perfect tense is used for actions that will be finished before a certain point in the future. Essentially, understanding the type of actions being described by each perfect tense will help students master this English grammar lesson.
Here are examples of the three perfect tenses:
Past perfect tense: “I had felt it.”
Present perfect tense: “I have felt it.”
Future perfect tense: “I will have felt it.”
The wrong use of prepositions is quite common among many English learners, even the advanced ones. The term preposition refers to a word or group of words that is used before a pronoun, noun, or noun phrase to indicate time, place, location, direction, and spatial relationships, or to introduce an object.
Oftentimes, the incorrect use of prepositions has become fossilised for many English speakers, which is why this mistake is very common. In language learning, fossilisation is the term used to describe when you get into the habit of committing a specific mistake – so much so that it becomes quite difficult to change. Prepositions are tricky. To become good at using them, it is vital for students to learn prepositions according to their function. Prepositions of time, place, and movement are the most common ones.
Here are some examples of common prepositional use errors:
Correct: “The delivery arrived here just in time.” Incorrect: “The delivery arrived here just on time.”
Correct: “There is a difference between home piano lessons and piano school lessons.” Incorrect: “There is a difference in home piano lessons and piano school lessons.”
Correct: “It depends on her mood.” Incorrect: “It depends from her mood.”
There are several grammatical quirks of the English language that make it quite tricky and challenging to learn at first. However, by constantly reading and practicing, you will surely master English grammar and become a pro at speaking English flawlessly in no time. If you think you need professional assistance in learning the English language, you should consider signing up for an English home tuition in Singapore.
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