by Carlynn McCormick
A pitfall is a trap and traps should be avoided.
When it comes to grammar, perhaps the biggest trap is thinking grammar is a subject all on its own. It is not. Grammar is used to make verbal and written communication more understandable—it helps us put words together correctly. When we talk and write, we are using grammar. Grammar does not stand alone; it is part of communication.
Another pitfall is thinking grammar is hard or difficult—that is, like thinking it is hard or difficult to chat with friends. Having the idea that grammar is difficult to learn usually comes from the way it is taught.
Students are often told by teachers that grammar is made up of lots of rules and regulations, and that they should strive to memorize the rules and regulations. This is an unnecessary pitfall that should very much be avoided. Why fall into a trap and then have to climb out when you can simply walk around it? Grammar is not about memorizing things; rather it is simply the agreements that have been made to help us understand each other.
In English we say, “It is a very nice day.” We do not say, “It is a day nice very” because that is not the agreement. Agreements differ from language to language. Grammar in any language, however, is nothing more than putting words together in an agreed upon way. You already know many of the agreements about the English language because you have heard them so often. There are only two reasons to learn more grammar: (1) to get your unique thoughts and ideas better understood. (2) To help you better understand the thoughts and ideas of others.
Grammar is a very, very easy subject—it is used every time you talk or write. This is reason enough for anyone to love grammar!
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