How do I learn the grammar of a language?

For many people in the English-speaking world, grammar can be a bit scary. You can probably tell a noun from a verb, and might have some idea about adjectives and even adverbs, but maybe not much more. You might also have some vague ideas about not splitting infinitives or not starting sentences with words like and or because. So when language courses or teachers start talking about noun cases, genders, moods, subjects, objects and such like, you might feel a bit lost.

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If this is the case, don’t panic! Grammar doesn’t have to be intimidating, and you don’t necessarily have to learn all the grammatical terms and rules. What matters is being able to apply the rules and being able to recognise them when others use them.

There are a number of approaches to learning grammar – one is to learn the rules, to practise using them, then to try to apply them in normal language usage. Another method is to start learning the language without worrying too much about grammar, then to try learning some of the grammatical rules once you have some familiarity with how the language works in practice.

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