A Few English Language Grammar Rules that Can Confound Non-Native Speakers

Although it is among the most widely spoken languages in the world, English is not always easy for non-native speakers to understand.  Indeed, no matter how much 2546011.com study and practice you might have, learning to speak the English language can be quite a daunting task.

And this not, necessarily, because the fundamentals of English are particularly difficult. Indeed, English has Germanic roots and does borrow from the Romance languages quite often.  But that is not what makes the language so complicated.  Actually, there are a few English grammar rules—rules you might not even realize you follow if this is your native tongue—that somewhat confound non-native speakers.

COMPOUND POSSESSION

Already, this probably sounds confusing. Think about it this as “more than simple possession,” wherein “simple possession” would be a singular term.  For example, the difference between “mine” (singular) and “ours” (compound).  Here is an example:

    • Laverne’s and Shirley’s apartments are messy

vs

    • Laverne and Shirley’s apartments are messy

The first is an example of two people who, individually, own apartments; and each of these two apartments are messy.  The second phrase, though, is an example of two people who jointly own many apartments and all of these apartments are messy.  

ALTERNATIVE SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT

Subject-verb agreement is one of the most important aspects of grammar that you need to learn, as it is the basis of all proper sentence structure.  Using the existing example:

    • Laverne cleans the apartment

vs

    • Laverne and Shirley clean the apartment

As you can see, the conjugation of the verb “to clean” changes based on the noun (in this case changing from singular to plural).  

As with all rules, though, there are exceptions here. For example, if you use a compound subject in a singular way. For example:

    • Biscuits and gravy is on the menu tomorrow

vs

    • biscuits and gravy are two things we need to buy for breakfast tomorrow

ADJECTIVE ORDER

All English speakers follow this quirky grammar rule but most probably never learned how to do it.  As a fluent English speaker, basically, you will always list your adjectives in this very specific order.  The order is as follows:

    • opinion
    • size
    • age
    • shape
    • color
    • origin
    • material

An example of this might be:  “favorite, little, new, long, red, brick, metallic fire engine”.

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