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What is Grammar in English - Everything EFL Teachers Need to Know

What is Grammar in English - Everything EFL Teachers Need to Know | ITTT | TEFL Blog

English language grammar has a whole lot of definitions that focus on sound rules, words, sentences, and the combination and interpretation of other elements to make complete sense. To achieve this, the International TEFL and TESOL Training Lessons outline several aspects of the English language, such as parts of speech, present tense, past tense, future tense, phrasal verbs, and passive voice.

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Just as blocks are important in building a house, parts of speech are important in grammar formation and creation. They are the building blocks of grammar used for sentence formation and creation to make complete sense.

For example, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." "The" - definite article, "brown" – compound adjective, "fox" – noun, "jumps" – verb, "over" – preposition, "the" - definite article, and "dog" – noun.

Nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, articles, gerunds, and interjections.


Words used to name anything, such as "boy," "cat," and "Japan." They exist as common, proper, compound, abstract, collective, countable, and uncountable nouns. They follow principles for plural formation and identification in a sentence or speech.


Words used instead of nouns, like "I," "you," "he," "she," "it," "we," "you," "they," "mine," "yours," "ours," "my," "who," "which," "everybody," "everyone," "each other," "one another," "either," "neither," "someone," "something," "somebody," "somewhere." Pronouns also exist as personal, possessive, reflexive, relative, distributive, and quantitative pronouns.


They are doing words, such as "go," "dance," "eat," "read," and "write." Verbs can be transitive with an object (e.g., "They are pushing the lorry"), intransitive without an object (e.g., "The lion roars"), or infinitives verbs after "to" (e.g., "to laugh," "to sleep," "to move"). Verbs exist in base form, past simple, past participle, and present tense. They can also be classified as regular, irregular, and auxiliary verbs.


They are words that describe nouns, like "clean" in "The city is clean," "dark" in "the dark forest," "new" in "the new couple," "fat" in "the fat guy," "small" and "red" in "the small red, round bag." Adjectives can be used to compare two or more nouns in comparative and superlative forms. For example, "John is taller than James," "Fifita is the fattest in our class."


Words used to add meaning to an action as it occurs. They exist in different forms, including manner, place, time, degree, frequency, attitude, linking, viewpoint, and limiting. Adverbs are normally located in a sentence after a transitive verb object, immediately after an intransitive verb, between an auxiliary verb and a main verb, etc.


Words that show the relationship between nouns, pronouns, and other words in a statement or sentence. They exist as time/date prepositions (e.g., "at," "before," "since," "after"), movement prepositions (e.g., "from," "to," "into," "onto," "over"), and place/position prepositions (e.g., "in," "at," "on," "by," "behind," "beside").


Words used to join words or sentences. They perform the following functions in a sentence: joining words in the same class (e.g., "and," "but," "also") and joining clauses of sentences (e.g., "They hate me because I am stubborn").


The "-ing" form of a verb used as a noun, like "swimming" in "Swimming is good for health" and "dieting prevents obesity."


The definite article "the" and indefinite articles "a" and "an."


Tenses indicate the time for which an action occurs. Tenses are divided into three main classes with subdivisions for each class: present tense, past tense, and future tense. Each of these classes has simple, continuous, perfect, and perfect continuous tenses.

The Present Tenses

Illustrate a present action, habitual action, unchanging situation and facts, commentaries, directions and instructions, captions on newspapers, present stories, and historical sequences. These actions can exist in the present simple (e.g., "I dance," "I don't dance," "Do I dance?"), present continuous (for actions in progress, emphasizing frequent actions, background events in a present story, or referring to a regular action around a point of time), present perfect (relating the past to the present, e.g., "I have eaten," "you have eaten," "she has eaten," "they have eaten"), and present perfect continuous (for communicating an incomplete and ongoing activity or describing a recently completed and uninterrupted activity).

Past Tenses

Demonstrate an action in the past, such as "I wrote," "I did not write," "Did you write?" Past tenses, like present tenses, exist as simple past, past continuous, past perfect, and past perfect continuous. Verbs in the past tense can be regular (adding "-ed" to create their past and past participle forms, e.g., "cook," "cooked") or irregular (taking a different form for past and past participle, e.g., "catch," "caught," "take," "took").

Future Tenses

Show actions happening in the future. Future tense has numerous forms, including future simple, future continuous, future perfect, future perfect continuous, "be going to" + infinitive, present simple, and present continuous. The future tenses take the form of various usages, such as "When will you stop?," "I will put the phone on the shelf," "It will clear before evening." "Will" and "shall" are mostly used in future tenses: "I shall," "you will," "he will," "we shall," and "they will."


These are verbs used to express obligation, probability, permission, ability, and advice. Some examples of modal auxiliary verbs are "may," "might," "need to," "must," "have to," "have got to," "should," "can," "could," "be able to," and "would." Modal auxiliary verbs have present/future and past forms.


To achieve the goal of successful teaching and learning of English grammar and answer the above question, the Engage, Study, and Activate methodology of teaching could be the best option.


In conclusion, understanding grammar is essential for effective communication in the English language. By grasping the various components of grammar, such as parts of speech, tenses, modal auxiliary verbs, and methodologies, we can construct meaningful sentences and convey our thoughts accurately. Developing a strong foundation in grammar not only enhances our writing and speaking skills but also enables us to comprehend and appreciate the nuances of the language. So, let's continue to explore and deepen our understanding of English grammar, as it serves as the backbone of effective communication.

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