Top 5 Grammar Tips For Your Teenager
What is grammar?
This is a question that so many students have asked me and continue to ask, as they do not understand the importance of grammar in their writing.
In school, this is not addressed clearly, especially in high school:
Why is grammar important in their writing?
Why do they need to use it?
Grammar is the backbone of the English language, where it is a sequence of words used to create a sentence.
You could say, it's like maths when you have to create the correct formula, so it makes sense. Grammar is similar when it comes to using a variety of grammar terms so you can create the correct sentence that would also make sense.
Grammar is a set of rules and guidelines to help you use language correctly.
It’s the same with learning a specific occupation. You have to know the basics of any language.
Grammar is the root of language, so we have to use it properly.
So it is strictly a set of rules in language. Like any set of rules, it helps you to be more formal, clear and concise.
That’s what we need in our everyday speech because if we don’t have it, others would not know what on earth we are talking about and they might not take us seriously.
Remember: The small details are sometimes more important than the most obvious. And grammar is one of those things that is usually brushed under the rug, but it is so key to our everyday speech.
Also, we all struggle with using appropriate grammar, and this can make you feel self-conscious. Especially if English is your second language.
So, how can you help your teenager with grammar at home?
If you are homeschooling your child or they are in school, these tips can help you get started:
- Understand the 8 parts of speech
This word is used when naming a place (Italy), a person (Sally), or a thing (table).
When a word tells us about someone else’s name it is a noun.
Usually, you can put the words ‘the’, ‘an’, ‘a’ in front of a noun except for names of people or places.
Four Types Of Nouns
Nouns that tell you a specific class or thing
- Toby’s Treasure Chest
When it is familiar to everyone
Describe a group of people or things.
Faculty – A group of teachers
Class - A group of students
Community – a group of people
Describe something that is not tangible and you cannot touch, taste, smell, hear or physically see.
A noun can be masculine (Headmaster), feminine (Headmistress), common (lecturer) or neuter - (pen).
Common/ neuter is neither masculine nor feminine
This word replaces the name of a person or thing and takes the place of the noun. E.g., he, him, his, she, her, me, you, they, them, etc.).
Claudia is a great dancer, look at her fantastic moves
Joseph loves cooking; he made the best pizza yesterday.
It is my birthday today I am 16 years old.
The purpose of pronouns is to not repeat the same nouns over and over again so you can have a variation.
A ‘doing word’ that describes an action (kick, run, jump, climb) of a person (Tracy climbed the mountain) or object (The trees were dancing in the wind).
Words that tell you more about a verb. E.g. John cheered excitedly at the football match.
PLEASE NOTE: Some adverbs don’t always end in ‘ly’ E.g. afterwards, well, up, so, better, best, even, far more etc.
This word tells where another person or thing is concerning one another. E.g. The storyteller sat in front of the class.
Words that join clauses and phrases together
But, nor, yet, and, so, when etc.
8) Interjection (or Exclamation)
Words that are used to express exclamations. E.g. Wow! Hi! Bye! Oi! Oh!
Identify a variety of sentence structures
- Spot mistakes in writing examples
These type of exercises can be very useful to help your child problem-solve and spot grammar mistakes in a piece of writing.
This can encourage them to spot errors in their writing too!
- Use correct present, past or future tense
Tense is from the Latin term “Tempus” which means time. So it tells you the time of when the verb took place.
Our children tend to struggle with finding the right tense for a story, or they use multiple ones for the same story and it doesn't make grammatical sense.
- Correct grammar in conversations
Now when I say correctly what they are saying, I don't mean every time they open their mouth because that might give them a complex.
But from time to time, especially if they need to use appropriate grammar in a professional or public setting, correct them if they are using incorrect grammar in their speech.
Maybe they need to prepare for the following professional setting:
A Public speech
A job interview
Writing a letter
Sending a professional email
- Use quick and simple grammar resources
There are so many resources online that you can use especially for Grammar, but the question is where do you start.
I highly recommend Twinkl because they offer unlimited access to complete lesson plans and resources for just £4.99 a month and you don't have to be a teacher!
They offer resources for teenagers mostly between the ages of 11 - 14 years old. However, you could use these resources as an icebreaker for teenagers 14+ as they tend to forget the basic grammar terminology sometimes.
So to conclude,
Top 5 Grammar Tips For Your Teenager
Understand the 8 parts of speech
Spot mistakes in writing examples
Use correct present, past or future tense
Correct grammar in conversations
Use quick and simple grammar resources