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    #1

    Why is my grammar so poor?

    In my early days of high school. I got into trouble, and did not follow the rules. I was a pain for most teachers. Years have gone by, and experienced the outside world. Frankly I have regret not learning what I needed in high school. Maybe I just grew up in the wrong school(Alot bad things occued)

    I'm just losing hope if I can ever catch up to academic standards. My grammar is poor, I have no clue what the heck I'm doing wrong? I love to read, and write. Every time I try to publish something seriously. I'm heavily criticized or mocked basically not taken seriously but as a joke.

    The basic rules I learned about grammar..

    > Read it out loud and if it does not sound right. It needs to be corrected
    > A sentence ends in a period after a idea/thought of the subject as ended.
    > Paragraphs usually end in 5-6 sentences. On the other hand I hear people state paragraphs only end when a whole subject has ended. Which in my idea of thinking it can lead up to 10 or more sentences.
    > A coma (,) is for paused moment.
    > Never start because with a sentence
    > there is always an U with a Q

    I just have no clue what I'm doing wrong. I'm learning about verbs,nouns but all it talks about is action or whatever it states. I need help fixing this problem. Does this take years to learn? what do I need to do or what books do you suggest for me to learn.

    I just hated language arts, because I'm a type of person that I cannot focus unless it interested me. None of the material in those classes never interested me.

    Over the years I learned to deal with the irrelevent material or non-interested material. Maybe try to make up something related to the topic to make it worth while of my interest. Either way I'm working on focusing getting this problem I'm having with grammar fixed once, and for all. Just move on.

    After all this writing I just did, what is wrong with my grammar above ^^ it seems understandable to me. I don't know about you folks. Thanks for the help, actually any help will be apperciative.

  1. Gnome's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Why is my grammar so poor?

    Dear 33percent,

    I'm not a teacher. I do not claim that I know what I'm speaking about, yet I'll still make the attempt in congratulating you and praising you. You're not a hopeless case! Actually, this post proves that you are naturally intellectually advance. Most of your peers do not recognize fault, and thus, they restrain themselves. You, on the other hand, have made the bold proposition: you believe that you're doing something wrong. Your judgement has illuminated you, and now that darkness doesn't seem so dark.

    Here are my recommendations to you. Read Montaigne's essays. I highly recommend his essay on education, translated by Donald M. Frame. You can find this essay in a collection published by Walter J. Black, Inc. Most used book stores will have this copy laying around. Then read Hutchin's Address, or The Great Conversation. It's an excellent book that will prepare you for the meatier stuff. After reading those two books, you need to buckle down and read a MLA style, grammar book. I suggest something light to start out with like The Holt Handbook. Finally, go to college. High school is not the end of your formal education, nor should college be an end. Your personal education (or intellectual expansion) is the end. You will always be learning new things, and if you refuse to change yourself and expand your mind, then you will subject yourself to natural ignorance.

    So my checklist for you is as follows: read Montaigne, read The Great Conversation, read a grammar book, go to college, and liberate yourself from a sleepy ignorance. You have the power inside you to take over your life. Do it.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Why is my grammar so poor?

    I disagree with Gnome. If you follow that advice you will be constantly worrying about the style of what you write, and may end up writing pretentious rubbish. What you wrote shows that you have a good command of the English language. You make some errors in writing, but so do many people. Reading a translation of a book written in the 16th century will not help you in the early days.

    If you enjoy reading, take some book that you have enjoyed, and read it again. This time look at how the writer constructs his/her sentences. Note how some sentences /paragraphs seem to be particularly effective, and try to think how the writer used the words to make them effective.

    I have commented on some of your rules:

    > Read it out loud and if it does not sound right. It needs to be corrected There is something in this. If you had read this aloud: In my early days of high school. I got into trouble you might have noticed that you have one idea here. The first seven words are not complete in themselves. They just give the time of what follows. So, the period after 'school' should be a comma.

    Then try : Years have gone by, and experienced the outside world. Notice anything? Who experienced the outside world? You have forgotten to tell us. I am sure that if you said that in natural conversation you would say, "Years have gone by and I experienced..." If you would say it, write it.

    > A sentence ends in a period after a idea/thought of the subject as ended. Say this sentence carefully, especially the underlined parts. Do you normally say 'a idea' or 'an idea'? Write it. Do you say, "the subject as ended," or, "the subject has ended"? Write it.
    What the rule says is basically right - see my comments on the first rule.


    > Paragraphs usually end in 5-6 sentences. On the other hand I hear people state paragraphs only end when a whole subject has ended. Which in my idea of thinking it can lead up to 10 or more sentences.
    As you have written this, 'which' continues the thought of what went before. You therefore need a comma, not a period, after 'ended'; you should also leave out 'it'; 'which' has already done the job.

    As regards the length of paragraphs, they can vary in length. They should normally cover one closely related series of ideas, and this may well often turn out to be five or six sentences. However, a paragraph can be as short as one sentence, or as long as ten. # The longer the paragraph, the more difficult it becomes to read, so you may need to break up one paragraph (as you see it) into two shorter ones. This will make the whole thing easier to read. Some people might have broken this paragraph into two at the place where I put the #.

    > A comma (,) is for paused moment. This is useful as a rough and ready guide.

    > Never start because with a sentence Where is the period?. Now read the sentence again. Does it really make sense. Do you really want to start 'because'? Try to rewrite it so that it says what you want it to say. I have put my suggestions at the end of this post. Do not look until you are happy with with your new version.

    The rule itself: try not to start with a conjunction ( a linking word such as 'and' or 'but'), because they usually link to an idea that has gone before, and are therefore part of the same sentence.

    However, 'because' can link to a following idea. Both the following sentences are fine:

    1. You wrote to UsingEnglish because you are worried about grammar.
    2. Because you are worried about grammar, you wrote to UsingEnglish.

    If you are happier with #1, then stay with it.


    > tThere is always an U with a Q. Nearly all words containing Q have U after it.
    When you are reading out loud, do you say, "a U" or "an U"?. You almost certainly say "a U", because you pronounce it as, "a you", so write, "a U".


    I just have no clue what I'm doing wrong. You are actually doing a lot of things right!

    Going to college might help, if you have the time and money, but don't worry too much if you haven't.

    In England there are sometimes adult evening classes to help people with their writing skills. Are there any in your area?

    Don't be fooled into paying money for a correspondence or internet course in writing. Some of these charge hundreds of dollars, and do little more than tell you what is in a book costing a fraction of the price.

    So, the first thing to do is slow down. Re-read your writing thinking of some of the ideas I have suggested. And TRY to be a little more positive about yourself. Your writing is not up to the standard expected of a professional writer; it is not up to the standard you want. However, it is clear and easy to understand, and it shows that you are NOT unintelligent. If you can accept that, you have made a good beginning.

    Good luck.


    p.s. my ideas on, "Never start because with a sentence."

    Never start a sentence with 'because'.
    Never use 'because' to start a sentence.

    [/QUOTE]

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Why is my grammar so poor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnome View Post

    Actually, I do agree with some of what Gnome wrote:

    I do not claim that I know what I'm speaking about, yet I'll still make the attempt in congratulating you and praising you. You're not a hopeless case! Actually, this post proves that you are naturally intellectually advanced. Most of your peers do not recognize fault, and thus, they restrain themselves. You, on the other hand, have made the bold proposition: you believe that you're doing something wrong. Your judgement has illuminated you, and now that darkness doesn't seem so dark.
    5

  4. Gnome's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Why is my grammar so poor?

    fivejedjon,
    I respect your position and expert opinion. Your response is an example of your vast knowlegde in the English language; however, I disagree. Disregarding Montaigne as worthless due to his age is silly. Montaigne's writing is rich with both content and examples of proper grammar usage. Surely, there is more to learn from such book. I am not advocating the love of style, but instead, I urge the reader to love learning. Maybe I have failed to communicate this idea, and I feel that I have. Despite it, I fear that those who wish to learn can not be consumed by the mechanics of English. An earnest learner should instead be compeled to dig into the English language himself.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Why is my grammar so poor?

    I agree with the spirit behind virtually everything you wrote, Gnome. In time, and it may not be too long, 33% may gain a great deal from Montaigne.

    At the moment, however, he is, despite his clear sense and intelligence, making some basic errors in written English. He knows this, and wants to get out of the hole in which he appears to find himself.

    You write, "I fear that those who wish to learn can not be consumed by the mechanics of English". A noble sentiment, but it will not help 33% in the immediate future.

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    #7

    Re: Why is my grammar so poor?

    Thank you for all your replies regarding my issue of grammar. Gnome, I'm going to consider picking up the books you listed in your post. Not entirely for grammar purposes, but for a good read relating to the roots of english itself. Besides I'm writing essays for college.

    I started to read about the basics of grammar itself. Seems like nouns, and verbs or grammar in general is the instrument being played. The words are the key notes on how it sounds; the understanding is played based on a idea.

    The greater the understanding is, the more beautiful the music is orchestrated. Apperciate your feedback too fivejedjon, and you critizing my rules of grammar; that I do welcome.

    What books do you suggest for learning grammar? I do plan to going back to college. Indeed one of the classes I'm going to take is grammar/writing. I love to write, but no one is going to take me seriously. A small problem that I disregarded soon become a larger problem as for today.

    I did learn one thing with nouns and verbs. If the sentence has a singular subject it has to have a singular verb vi versa. Now for what I wrote above, and how was the grammar this time? If you could point out any corrections. Greatly apperciate it. Thank you all.

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    #8

    Re: Why is my grammar so poor?

    May I say that, compared with your first post, this one is incomparably better! An amazing improvement already. You even used a semicolon correctly (in my opinion).

    Now, I suggest you use a spell checker because it will pick up typos such as "apperciate" (which should be "appreciate").

    There are other small mistakes but I'll let others comment on them. Or perhaps you can spot them?

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    #9

    Re: Why is my grammar so poor?

    As well as looking into the specifics of grammar, why not try reading some opinions and ideas about language and style in general?

    Like this one: George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," 1946

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    #10

    Re: Why is my grammar so poor?

    You have gotten a lot of valuable advice, 33%. I think you're going to improve!

    I have one question. You said you loved reading. What kind of books do you read?

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