The 10 Most Important English Grammar Rules

Grammar is the backbone of any language, and English is no exception. While it boasts a vast array of rules, understanding the most crucial ones can provide a solid foundation. Here are ten grammar rules that every English learner should know to communicate effectively.

Rule 1: Subject-Verb Agreement

When crafting a sentence, ensure the subject and verb “agree” or match. Singular subjects need singular verbs, while plural subjects require plural verbs.

  • He runs every morning. (Singular)
  • They run every morning. (Plural)

Rule 2: Correct Tense Usage

Ensure you’re using the right tense for the situation: past, present, or future.

  • I was (past) at the mall.
  • I am (present) at the mall.
  • I will be (future) at the mall.

Rule 3: Proper Placement of Modifiers

Modifiers (like adjectives or adverbs) should be placed next to the word they are describing. Misplacement can change the sentence meaning.

  • Incorrect: She almost drove her kids to school five days a week.
  • Correct: She drove her kids to school almost five days a week.

Rule 4: “Its” vs. “It’s”

“It’s” is a contraction for “it is” or “it has”. “Its” is a possessive form.

  • It’s raining outside.
  • The cat licked its paw.

Rule 5: There, Their, They’re – Knowing the Difference

  • There: Indicates a place. Place the book over there.
  • Their: A possessive form. This is their house.
  • They’re: A contraction of “they are”. They’re going to the movies.

Rule 6: Using Apostrophes Correctly

Apostrophes indicate possession or contractions but not plurals.

  • The dog’s tail. (Possession)
  • Don’t touch that. (Contraction for “do not”)
  • Incorrect: Apple’s are on sale.
  • Correct: Apples are on sale.

Rule 7: Proper Sentence Structure

Avoid sentence fragments (incomplete sentences) and run-ons (two sentences fused without proper punctuation).

  • Fragment: Because it was raining.
  • Complete: We stayed inside because it was raining.
  • Run-on: It’s cold I need a jacket.
  • Correct: It’s cold. I need a jacket.

Rule 8: Differentiating Between “Fewer” and “Less”

“Fewer” refers to items you can count, while “less” refers to uncountable quantities.

  • There are fewer apples in the basket.
  • There’s less water in the jug.

Rule 9: The Difference Between “Who” and “Whom”

“Who” is a subject pronoun, while “whom” is an object pronoun.

  • Who is going to the store?
  • To whom should I address this letter?

Rule 10: When to Use “Me”, “Myself”, and “I”

  • I made the dinner.
  • She and I went to the movies.
  • He gave the book to me.
  • I baked the cake myself.


Mastering these essential grammar rules will significantly enhance your English writing and speaking. Remember, practice makes perfect. As you continue to use the language, these rules will become second nature. Happy learning!

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