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Difficulty in knowing/understanding grammar terms?


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Does anyone else have to look up what a lot of grammar terms mean? I notice that on this forum and other language forums everyone can easily talk about and understand grammar. I couldn't even remember what basic grammar terms, such as vowels and verbs, meant even though we did study them in school and I always did well in English class.

So I've been having to look these things up constantly, I keep a tab open on a glossary of terms. I keep mixing things up and having a hard time getting a good grasp on these things. I'm finding it a bit confusing and it's definitely slowing me down on studying my target languages. I'm hoping that after a little while it'll be like second nature to me.

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Quite often, since I never paid a lot attention to grammatical terms in general and when I learn English I did it on my own.  I know that grammar rules offer a lot structure, but some people actually have it harder when they try to learn English this way.  I'm one of those persons, and that's why I could never learn English by following grammatical rules printed in books.

I often need to refresh my memory by looking up some grammatical terms in my own language, just to remind me, since I didn't learn my language that way, neither did I learn English paying attention to grammatical rules.  In my opinion there is nothing to be ashamed about; we all learn in different ways :)

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I understand the basic stuff like "past tense" or "verbs", but things like "conditional...." I don't know.

I'm sure I can use them, I just don't actually know what the term means. When I was taught in school, we didn't learn the grammar terms. We just learned how to use it.

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Well, I think most people won't be aware of what grammatical rules they are following, atleast eventually you will be "so good" at english/the language you are speaking that you'll just "know" right away how it should sound when it sounds correctly. Without having to think of these fancy grammatical words.

I don't have much problem remembering some basic rules, but atleast for Japanese, I'm focusing only on understanding it passively (reading/listening) and not at all on speaking/writing. Therefore I focus mostly on being able to recognize grammatical things, and understand why they put that word there and why they put that particle there, and so on.

With that beign said, I had no problem remembering all the weird grammatical words and things when I was learning German, and german sure has a very funny grammar system.

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I think that the basic grammar like nouns, verbs, adjectives and tenses are things that will stay with most people since we use those in our everyday communications. However, others might be a problem and people might find themselves looking up their meanings and usages all the time so in think you are not alone.

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Hey kate23

I used to have the same problem in the past. However, at one point of my studies at university, I decided that it is absolutely crucial to understand all the grammar-related vocabulary, so whenever I came across a grammar term that I was not (anymore) familiar with, I looked it up in a dictionary. There are lots of great dictionaires out there, even on the Net :=) However, if you are serious about understanding and mastering grammar, you might want to buy a "physical dictionary". Something like that might come in handy:

http://www.amazon.de/A-Dictionary-Grammatical-Terms-Linguistics-ebook/dp/product-description/B000PMG3MC

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I guess I've been using proper grammar for so long that I hadn't really thought of the actual rules for years. I realize I still remember a few, but also realize I've forgotten plenty too. I suppose I just got so used to it that I just use it without thinking. I read and write all the time so it's easy for me to keep in practice.

But, if you really want to know all the rules then getting a grammar text book or dictionary should work fine.  Otherwise, I suggest reading a lot...both fiction and non-fiction. Notice the way the words, sentences and paragraphs are put together. Read enough and it'll stick with you on a more subconscious level.

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After few years, I still concern about my grammar usage when I'm writing so I often double check a lot of words and sentences from online dictionary.

I also will refer people who know better than I do before publishing my article even though I have already done a research.

Reading a lot can help me understand and improve my knowledge in language I'm using but still I can never truly trust myself without a second or third opinion when I'm writing for public.

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It happens most often when you are already familiar with the grammar without having them understood. Because really language is meant to be used rather than be studied, most native speakers can just use a language without having to understand their construction. It comes out naturally to them without having to think how to construct and whether their grammar is right or wrong.

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I still have a good grasp of some basic terms such as passive and active sentences and synonyms, etc., but I've had to look up a few of them for posting as well. I always knew I'd forget these terms eventually someday, but I've always made sure to learn the structure beyond the terms, which in my opinion is substantial enough.

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I could empathize with this sentiment as I've also started learning the English language at an early age and despite that advantage, I still have difficulty recalling grammatical terms, rules, restrictions, and exceptions. I also tend to depend on my ear when using the language when my statements sound right. It's not a perfect method but it lets me carry on fine.

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I have to, in my native language too, so don't fret. Grammar is tough to remember, we just tend to "know" it. I'm learning Spanish and I have to constantly look up what some grammar terms mean (preterite, anyone?)

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Grammar can get esoteric at times due to the numerous terms that are used to describe various parts of speech and other mechanics of sentence structure.

I think it is important to learn the terms, and as needed to brush up on them.  There are some good resources online.  A comprehensive site which covers grammar and much more is Purdue University's OWL -- which stands for Online Writing Lab. 

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/

What I really like about the site is how they have made it so user friendly and beyond that actually fun to use.  I'm always learning something new every time I visit. 

It's one of my favorite resources. :)

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I do this a lot, because I don't keep track of all the grammar terms being thrust at me in school - because I've kind of learned what I know most about grammar from my constantly writing and kind of "getting the hang of things." This means, I can "write" properly, but I can't "teach" how I write, haha.

This means I always have to research the terms I've been hearing, only to realize that I've been doing the exact same thing. Or I can search for a term I've never heard before, and then realize that I've been doing something wrong. The hard part is that people expect us to keep on remembering all these terms and concepts when in fact, we're not even sure as to what extent are we going to use all the lessons we've been learning.

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It is hard sometimes to really be on point with grammar. I have been speaking English since I was a child and until now I still fall into grammar mistakes. I didn't even realize the whole subject verb agreement thing until my girlfriend pointed it all out to me.

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