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3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Grammar

Grammar is a powerful tool. Used correctly, it can help readers understand your point of view, and avoiding grammar mistakes in your writing lets you present your best work. To improve your grammar, you can review basic grammar rules, enhance your skills through reading, and proof your writing by reading it aloud.

By
Varsity Tutors, as read by Mignon Fogarty,
grammar tips

Looking to strengthen your writing and grammar skills? Keep reading to learn three easy ways to improve your grammar.

1. Set aside time to review the basics

It has likely been some time since you took a class that covered punctuation, verb tenses, and the other basic rules that compose English grammar. If you don’t feel completely confident in your understanding of grammar, give yourself a refresher course. There are many basic grammar rules you may want to review, including the following:

  • Don’t overuse apostrophes. Learning the rules for this common punctuation type will enhance your writing significantly. Remember that apostrophes are not used to make a noun plural. Instead, they’re used to show possession—such as Joe’s car—or in a contraction, where the apostrophe replaces the missing letters—for example, it’s in place of it is.
  • Understand where to use commas. Commas serve to clarify meaning and to separate thoughts within a sentence. They’re also commonly seen after introductory clauses or to separate a description.

2. Spend time reading

Reading a wide variety of materials will not only expose you to different writing styles and ideas, it’ll also help you improve your grammar. As you’re reading, pay attention to how sentences are structured and how they vary in length. Note how the writer uses specific phrases and punctuation to emphasize their message, and identify ways you can incorporate these types of techniques into your writing. In addition, examine how the writer uses his or her style to set the tone of the piece while still following grammar guidelines. By studying how others write and use specific grammar styles, you give yourself an opportunity to strengthen your writing in new and exciting ways.

3. Proof your writing by reading it aloud

An excellent way to improve your writing and grammar skills is to read your writing aloud. When you read your own words aloud, it helps you spot issues not only with your grammar, but also potential redundancies or issues in the general flow of your work. It’s easier to catch a run-on sentence or an awkward phrase when you hear it out loud. Once you find any problem spots in your writing by using this editing method, you’ll be able to focus on replacing these words with more natural-sounding language. Another editing method to try is having another person read your writing out loud to you. This may be even more effective, because you’ll be able to benefit from another person’s grammar and writing skills.

When working to improve your writing, the first step to take is to strengthen your grammar skills. When improving your grammar, it’s important to be sure you understand the basic grammar concepts. Additionally, enhance your skills through editing techniques like rereading your writing out loud and having others review your work.

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