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Grammar and Idioms For Young People

Writing in English

Why do second language people struggle with writing? The three main reasons are:

1) Trouble with prepositions (in, on, from, with, to, at, behind, before, after, over, under, through, and more)

2) Trouble with articles (a, an, the)

3) Trouble with advanced verb tenses ("He might have been going." "I would have had time.")

Many prepositions are tied (through common use, not necessarily a logical reason) to certain verbs, nouns and adjectives. For instance, we say "in defeat," "with care," "work toward" or "dream about." Some books have great reference lists for these combinations, but a lot of it is also practice.

The articles (a, an, the) also have many rules developed through common use and that are not so logical. For instance we say "the flu," but we do not use "the" with a named illness like "heart disease." Or we use "the" with names of rivers, but not with lakes: "The Mississippi River is far from Lake Tahoe." Like prepositions, these rules can studied, but also just require a lot of practice.

Advanced verb tenses are actually easier than prepositions and articles. There are clear rules you can follow to use them.

If you struggle, remember this: Language came first, grammar second! From languages that were fully in use, people chose to define rules based on what was common. And as languages evolve through use, the rules change.

Send us your writing and get it edited. Using this method, you can gain confidence with the phrases that you commonly use. This will be a great step forward. See online classes: writing.

Learn English Pronunciation and Writing

If you enjoy writing--a daily journal, business notes or literature, combine that interest with classes in pronunciation. You can get your work edited while speaking it out loud and getting feedback about the clarity of your voice. You can send us your writing by email and then include it during your lessons for no extra cost.

Sign up for one-on-one video Skype classes or in-person lessons. We also offer editing for professional documents, such as business forms, student essays or dissertations. For all options, go to online classes.

speakmethod.com: english pronunciation and grammar practice.