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How important is correct grammar to you?


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When I first started learning a foreign language at school , there was a lot of emphasis put on getting the right grammar, and it would take up so long that after a couple of lessons you could say one sentence, and you could say it properly in all tenses and so on, but at the end of the day you only knew one sentence. I think that conversational skills are much more important than getting the grammar right the first time. I think that you should learn to talk the language , and then all the pieces will fall in place. I think that this is something of a controversial opinion so I was wondering, what do you guys think about this?

I totally agree with you. Grammar is important because it is the language that makes it possible for us to talk about language. Grammar names the type of words or word group that make up a sentence. As human beings knowing about grammar offers a window into the human mind and into our amazingly complex mental capacity.

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Grammar is important but we must not become slaves to it. It must be kept in mind that the purpose of grammar is to help in understanding the message of the writer. So, in other words, the purpose of grammar is only in written language, and only to improve communication.

I agree. I think like many things, people tend to lose the message or the purpose of a certain tool after a while and focus too much on the tool itself. I know I fall victim to this attitude sometimes and I try to correct it as much as I could whenever I find myself doing it. You made a very good point that it's just something to use to better understand each other and as long as the message is conveyed as clearly as the speaker meant it then it should all be alright.

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When I first started learning a foreign language at school , there was a lot of emphasis put on getting the right grammar, and it would take up so long that after a couple of lessons you could say one sentence, and you could say it properly in all tenses and so on, but at the end of the day you only knew one sentence. I think that conversational skills are much more important than getting the grammar right the first time. I think that you should learn to talk the language , and then all the pieces will fall in place. I think that this is something of a controversial opinion so I was wondering, what do you guys think about this?

I agree with you that conversational skills are more important. After all, when talking to natives, you need to be able to keep up. Grammar is what you need to pass exams or to not look bad when talking with foreign natives.
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I had bad grammar in text messages. wen sm1 types letas lyk this I get very irritated. I mean, it's a qwerty keypad and you won't lose any seconds of your life by typing the words correctly.

You do lose seconds in not using short-hand writing when texting. Remember, there are folks who have a dozen folks texting and replying to all at once.  :wink:
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Grammar matters to me personally, I get a little irritated, especially if the person speaking is supposed to be a native speaker of that language. Students or people who can't speak the language that well, who apolige for it, don't bother me at all though, and they love it when I correct them so they get better!

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My grandmother used to say that the only way one can mess up with whatever is mastering such a thing first.

This can be applied to languages too. You can mess up with your native language or a second language to have fun or go along with people, but is one's duty learn the correct grammar to make use of languages appropriately when needed, and this is more commonly needed for people aiming to be "someone in life."

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Correct grammar is very important to me. I take pride in the language that I have used all of my life. It doesn't take long to type everything out, use punctuation, and double-check what I've written.

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I don't find correct grammar or speaking very important, I think the most important is that we communicate well. Having this said, at a professional level it's very important that we express ourselves correctly, depending of course of our area of activity.

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Grammar is very important because it determines if you're speaking correctly or not. If I was speaking incorrectly I would love that people point that out to me or else I'll just keep making the same mistake.

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I am what people call a "grammar Nazi". I believe it's very important to use grammar correctly, first of all in order to be understood and also because if we don't correct our mistakes, there a high chance we will teach our kids to speak/write using the same mistakes until we damage the language completely.

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It is important for me to practice good grammar all the time, mainly because I have learned English since I was a young girl.  Therefore, there is not much excuse for me for not learning it well enough, since I have more than 30 years of exposure to the language. 

I am more tolerant to people of another culture, who do not really consider English as their second language.

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For me, understanding is the main goal. Grammar greatly aids this, especially when vocabulary is missing. If someone were to say, "where is the room with water?" it would be quick to understand that they mean bathroom. If someone were to say, "room is with water where?" it would be more tricky.

In my opinion, I feel that people should keep grammar in mind and try to be grammatically accurate but it isn't the worst crime if they slip up. The main thing is to try.

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Requiring correct grammar is such a prescriptivist stance, but when learning a new language, I think it can be necessarily to learn the "correct grammar".

(Slang to me has its own "correct grammar" too :P)

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I think grammar is important to having complete understanding of a language. However, I don't think it's extremely important if you only need the language for a trip/ vacation. Grammar is vital for in depth conversations, writing, and jobs. Also, if you plan to move to a country you should definitely try to perfect the grammar.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think it's appropriate for correct grammar to be observed whenever I'm writing or speaking to other people. Although this actually depends. If I'm deliberately using incorrect grammar for, say, entertainment, then I guess it's alright.

But when it comes to learning new languages, and for formal purposes, I believe it's a definite must for me to be able to use appropriate and correct grammar. This is especially the case with new languages - I definitely have to learn how to use certain words correctly, and to find out their appropriate flow in a sentence, so I could effectively learn the language.

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I am not a native speaker myself so my grammar is not that perfect, even the native speakers do have lapses in grammar but in both professions I am engaged in having good to excellent grammatical skills is indispensable. I teach English to Koreans which means I also need to correct their grammar along with their pronunciation and I am also a freelance writer in English. As a writer though not just of articles but as well as creative writing and considering myself as a modernist writer and poet, I sometimes defy the rules. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's very important in creating a good first impression, for example. When you're writing something that's going to be presented to people you don't know, you should put extra emphasis on correct grammar.

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At first, it wasn't such a big deal. But seriously, even punctuations go a long way when it comes to meanings. So it's best to be careful and be on point on this matter.

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Good grammar is very important, as it makes you look a little more educated and intelligent.  It is also very important if you are going for a new job as this is something that employers look at when hiring new employees.  I think one of the key factors in learning a new language is to get the grammar right as well so that people can understand the thought you are trying to express.

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Correct grammar is almost vital to me. It really grates on my nerves whenever I see someone using incorrect grammar, especially when I know that person is a native speaker of said language. The same applies to spelling, as well.

The most recent cringe-worthy case I can think of at the moment is when I caught someone trying to say the word "albeit," but instead said "all be it."

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To me, it's definitely not as important as doing justice to the message, which always comes first (even though I do have excellent grammar, if I do say so myself).

But honestly, just let the language evolve!

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