Wednesday, November 13, 2019

What is Grammar?

Definition of grammar: the rules that explain how words are used in a language. Different languages use grammar in different ways, but each has its rules for speaking and writing that have developed over a long period of time. Three important words that you will become acquainted with are:

syntax                  -              concerns the structure of words, phrases and sentences. Here you will study the eight basic parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections

morphology       -              is the study of words, how they are formed, and how they relate to other words in the same language. It analyses words and parts of words, such as stems, root words, prefixes, and suffixes.

semantics            -              concerns itself with the intended meaning of a word, phrase, or text.

Using the natural syntax of a language is important. You won’t want people to say, “Sure, I understand what you are saying, but in England we don’t speak in that way!” For example, in English we say, “How are you?” but in Chinese you say, “You good, eh?” The word order is different.  This is an illustration of syntax.

Morphology is something you should train yourself in if you want to develop a good understanding and recognition of words in a language. A good dictionary and maybe Google is all you need to get started.

Semantics deals only with the meaning of words and phrases Some people, especially politicians, prepare their speeches well in advance because the careless use of even just one word can cause difficult problems. Sometimes you might feel a little uncomfortable with a word, so it would be useful if you referred to a thesaurus to find a word that precisely matches your intended meaning.

So, there you are. You should study how the language is put together (syntax), word recognition (morphology) and the meaning of words (semantics)