10 Must know English Grammars for English Beginners
Grammar is the study of words and the ways words work together. We study grammar so that we may speak and write English in clearer and more effective manner.
Here are the 10 must know English grammars
1 Present tense verb be: Sub + be + Obj
We always use a subject with a verb, e.g. They are teachers. NOT They teachers.
2 Question form: be + Sub + Obj + ?
In questions, put am, are, is before I, you, he, ect.
2.1 Are you Singaporean? NOT You are Singaporean?
2.2 Where are you from? NOT Where you are from?
3 a / an, the
Use a/an with singular nouns. E.g. a bag; an apple
Use an with a noun beginning with a vowel (a,e,I,o,u).
Use a with nouns beginning u when u=/ju:/, e.g. university.
We use the when the speaker and hearer know the thing we are talking about, e.g. Close the window = the one that is open.
We use the When there is only one of something: the internet, the sun, etc.
We use the before superlative adjectives: the biggest, the best, etc.
3.3 a or the?
Let’s have a pizza. The pizzas are very good here.
3.4 no article
When we talk about people or things in general. E.g. Men are more interested in sport than women.
With the following:
- Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc.
- Places: work, school, university, bed, home, etc.
- By + transport: go by car, travel by train, etc.
4 Present simple: Sub + Verb
We use the present simple for things that are generally true or that habitually happen.
3.1 Singaporeans like durian.
3.2 My husband works from 9.00am to 5.00pm.
5 can / can’t
Can + infinitive has different meanings:
5.1 I can = I know how to. I can’t = I don’t know how to. E.g. I can’t swim.
5.2 I can = It’s possible for me. E.g. I can help. I can’t = It’s impossible for me.
5.3 You can = It’s OK / it’s permitted. You can’t = It’s not OK/ It’s not permitted.
5.4 Can you…? = Please do it. E.g. Can you help?
5.5 Can I…? = Is it OK if I do it? E.g. Can I come in?
6 Present continuous: be + Verb + -ing
We use the present continuous for things that are happening now/ at the moment.
We also use the present continuous with longer periods of time, e.g. today, this week.
6.1 I’m working at home this week.
6.2 We’re having a party today.
7 Past simple of be: was/ were
We use was/ were to talk about the past.
We often use was/ were with past time expressions, e.g. yesterday, last night, in 1945, etc.
We use was/ were with born: I was born in Singapore.
7.1 Joyce was ill yesterday.
7.2 Joyce wasn’t in class yesterday.
7.3 The Beatles were famous in the 1960s.
8 there is/ there are
We use there is/ there are to say that somebody or something exists.
We use there is + a singular noun and there are + plural nouns.
When we talk about a list of things we use there is if the first word in the list is singular or there are if the first word of the list is plural.
8.1 There is a key on the table. It’s the key to the yard.
8.2 There are some pictures on the wall.
8.3 In the bedroom there’s a bed, two chairs, and a desk.
9 Countable/ uncountable nouns
There are two kinds of nouns in English: countable ( C ) and uncountable (U).
C = things you can count, e.g. apples. C nouns can be singular (an apple) or plural (apples).
U = thing you can’t count, e.g. butter, meat. U nouns are normally singular.
9.1 We need an apple and some butter. NOT we need an apple and two butters.
9.2 We need some tomatoes and rice. NOT we need some tomatoes and rices.
10 Present perfect: have/has + the past participle of the verb
We use present perfect when we talk about things that have happened in the past, but when we don’t say when.
We often use present perfect with eve (= at any time in your life) and never (= at no time in your life).
We also use the present perfect to talk about something that has recently happened.
10.1 I have seen that film.
10.2 She has never read a Russian novel.
10.3 My parents have arrived. They’re in the living room.
The grammar points here are for English learners who is in a beginner/ elementary level English class. If you are interested in taking up an English class to learn more, please click here. Also feel free to talk to our friendly staff at 62255988 if you want to know more about our English classes and school fees.