These Clever Grammar Tricks Can Give You a Head Start on Your ESL Program

intensive English program in Canada

Are you considering coming to Canada to study English as a second language? If so, you’ll have the chance to improve many of your English language skills. You’ll improve your academic reading, writing, public speaking, and more! Your studies will also include plenty of instruction on English grammar.

English grammar can be difficult. Even native English speakers have trouble with its many rules. Fortunately, while many grammar rules need to be learnt through memorization and practise, there are some easy tricks you can use to avoid making common mistakes.

Keep reading for three tricks you can use to improve your English grammar!

When to Use “I” or “Me” During Your ESL Program

When learning English, it can be difficult to remember the correct way to refer to yourself in a sentence. Do you know which of the following sentences is correct?

A. “Me and Jenny went to the restaurant.”

B. “Jenny and I went to the restaurant.”

The correct answer is B. The words “me” and “I” are both singular pronouns. This means that they can both be used to refer to yourself in a sentence. Many native English speakers as well as students in English as a second language school struggle to remember which word to use in a sentence, but there is an easy trick to it!

If you’re trying to write a sentence like the one above, remove the other person from the sentence to determine if it still makes sense. Does “Me went to the restaurant” sound right to you? If not, you’re correct!

The reason why the first sentence is wrong is because “me” is an object pronoun, which means it’s used as the receiver of the action verb in the sentence. For example, “Jenny told me to come to the restaurant.” In this case, you are the one being told, which means that you are the object of the sentence and “me” is the appropriate pronoun to use.

The word “I” is a subject pronoun. When you use it in a sentence, it means that you’re carrying out the action, like in the example “I went to the restaurant.”

Knowing when to use “I” or “me” will help improve your English proficiency
Knowing when to use “I” or “me” will help improve your English proficiency

How to Write Numbers Correctly During Your ESL Program

When it comes to writing numbers, even some native English speakers don’t know the correct rules! However, writing numbers is actually pretty easy.

There are two ways you can write numbers: writing them as numerals (1, 2, 3) or spelling them out (one, two, three).

But which option should you use? There’s a simple trick for remembering when to use numerals and when to spell out the number. If the number is from zero to nine, write the number using letters (one, two, three). If the number is 10 or higher, use numerals (10, 11, 12).

There are a couple extra tricks that you can remember, too. If the number is the very first word in a sentence, you should always spell it out. Also, if you’re writing a list that includes numbers that are below and above 10, it’s best to keep them all the same and use numerals.

If you forget these tricks before starting your ESL program, don’t worry! You can always ask one of our friendly instructors for extra assistance.

Use FANBOYS to Remember Coordinating Conjunctions

In English, there are two structures that can be used to make a sentence: independent and dependent clauses. An independent clause can stand alone, like in the sentence “I ate the apple.” A dependent clause like “If I ate the apple” can’t stand alone because it is not a complete thought. Sentences can be formed several ways. They can be:

  • An independent clause
  • A dependent clause combined with an independent clause
  • Two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction

When making sentences with two independent clauses, you must use a comma followed by a coordinating conjunction to link the two together. But how do you remember coordinating conjunctions? A quick trick for remembering them is to use the acronym “FANBOYS.” Each letter represents one conjunction: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So.

For example, “I ate the apple, so I wouldn’t be hungry” is a complete sentence with two independent clauses. In this case, they are linked together by the coordinating conjunction “so”.

If you’re thinking about enrolling in an intensive English program in Canada, these tricks are sure to help!

Want to learn more? Contact CultureWorks today!