I love grammar. I know, most people don’t and with that claim they often give me those looks as if I had lost my mind 😉 All those pesky rules with their irritating exceptions could drive anyone mad.
I like to listen to foreign languages and recognize grammatical patterns, such as conjugations for example. It’s fun and easy to do for me, but I know … grammar is not everyone’s cup of tea. You might be relieved to know, though, that improving your grammar and writing skills doesn’t require a lot of hard work.
With that in mind, one cannot improve grammar in just one day. It takes time and it’s a learning process, but with the following 6 tips you should be able to ace those grammar skills.
1. Read More
By reading books you’ll not only learn more grammar but you’ll also enhance your vocabulary. That doesn’t mean that you need to get the dictionary out every 5 seconds – that takes all the fun out of reading – but many new words can be understood within the context.
When you read, you will repetitively see basic grammar structures. Without having to study them they will become a part of your writing.
2. Listen More
Yes, listen to what others are saying. Pay attention to input from teachers, tutors, or friends who have good grammar skills. Get feedback and learn what your mistakes are. Learn why you make those mistakes and how to avoid them.
3. Write More
The more you write, the more your mistakes will dwindle. It will turn from a painful struggle into an effortless venture. First, write for yourself. For example, journaling is a great way to practice. At the same time you could write down your achievements for each day – not necessarily grammar related, it could be anything.
The goal is to write more and when you note your accomplishments and things that you are grateful for, not only will your grammar skills improve but also your confidence and inner happiness – basically you’d kill two birds with one stone (or you’d feed two birds with one scone – which is an animal-friendlier idiom that I like much better 😉 )
4. Proofread out Loud
When you read your written text out loud, you will hear what it sounds like and you will more easily notice if there’s any missing information or something that “doesn’t sound right”.
Reading it in silence is not the same thing. When you read your text in silence, you are less likely to discover your mistakes.
5. Pack a Grammar Manual
If you need some extra help or are in doubt, a grammar manual is always handy to refer to.
In case of confusion,
your manual provides the solution.
6. Practice Makes Perfect
There are grammar exercises available online. You can google “free online English grammar exercises”.
You can also download them and do them on paper. Online tests and quizzes are also great practice and if you make a mistake, they usually indicate what it is and why it isn’t right. By understanding our mistakes we can learn and better our grammar skills.
All of these 6 tips have one thing in common: practice. The best way to learn is not by memorizing rules – although it is important to know the rules – but by learning as we go, learning while doing it.
You don’t master the craft of carpentry by studying names of tools and types of wood – although the knowledge is also essential – but by making chairs, tables, and what-have-you. If they don’t come out right the first time, you note your mistakes and learn from them. Then you create better chairs and tables.
It’s the same for grammar. Practice, understand your errors, learn from them, and improve.
32 thoughts on “How to Improve Your Grammar and Writing Skills – 6 Easy Tips”
Thanks for your great article Christine,
Many years ago I lived in Japan as an assistant English teacher and I was amazed at how much time and energy they put into learning grammar. I felt they spent a lot more time and emphasis on grammar in their school system that I did as a native English speaker in the Australian school system. Reflecting on your concise and easy tips I can see that the best way to learn and improve grammar is by practicing – by writing more, reading more etc and not by memorising rules. This is something I feel the diligent Japanese schooling system was very focused on.
For us now as bloggers, these are very good tips. Another thing I do is use the grammar checkers in Google Docs or Word – wherever you create your documents. Some of the grammar checking there is very helpful too.
I agree. Although it is important to know the grammar rules, the best way to learn is by practicing.
I also use Google Docs and Word spell checker, in general they have good suggestions. Grammarly also has a grammar checker and I really love it. It shows the error, explains why it is wrong, and gives you better suggestions.
Practice, practice, and practice some more….
I use the ‘Grammarly’ app for everything I write and would be lost without it!
Reading more and writing more are good tips. However, I’m not sure that listening more is always beneficial. I guess it depends on who you are listening to. I know many people who, even though English is their first language, are not always able to string a couple of sentences together without making grammatical mistakes… me included 🙂
Reading out loud is definitely beneficial, but not always practical as I do a lot of my writing while sitting in cafes.
I am happy to notice that my writing skills have improved dramatically over the last three years that I have been writing content for my own website…. and who knows, maybe in a few more years time, I will be able to make my point with fewer words than the long posts I normally spew out these days 🙂
Thanks for sharing these tips.
Yes, reading out loud is probably something you should do at home, not in a café 😉 unless you want everyone to give you weird looks 😉 or you feel like entertaining the crowd 😉
It’s true that listening only helps improve our grammar if we listen to people who know grammar. That’s why I mentioned tutors, teachers, professors, and sometimes friends with good grammar skills too, but I wouldn’t always listen to everybody either. As you said, it depends on the person’s level.
very useful tips in this article, thanks! I love your emphasis on practising. By now I know from experience that you are right. For years I told myself I couldn’t write properly because I don’t understand grammar and language rules. But I have the luxurious position that my husband is very good in grammar and he always proofreads my texts. That has been so helpful that nowadays I have as many comments and suggestions on his texts as he has on mine. 🙂
Apart from Grammarly, which is a great help, I also have the extension Wordtune. This gives suggestions for alterations of a sentence. It is marvellous as an addition. Do you know it?
It’s wonderful that your husband proofreads your text. This surely helps a lot 🙂
I also use Grammarly but I haven’t heard of Wordtune yet. I will check it out.
Hi Christine, These are definitely things that have helped me I think. Reading books and writing on a regular basis has definitely been beneficial over the past few years. I actually think it good to check out other blogs as much as I can for inspiration.
Although, one thing, you missed Grammarly – I know it’s bad I know, but for me – as a free tool this makes a huge difference. I think I read before the best way to write is to just write and not go back over your mistakes till the end. Basically, write everything rough to the end – draft it out and then go back over to correct mistakes. I mean I like to get like the first part good actually but everything else I just like to get down and rehash everything once I’m done.
We all do it differently. Writing out a first draft until the end is a good method too. You can proofread it when you’re done. If you correct while you write you may lose the thread or you may take longer. Writing it all out and checking it later works well too, for blogs, but also for books.
Grammarly is great, I love it! I am using the free version now, and the free version offers enough for bloggers.
You’ve covered every simple way to improve writing, and I think they will work well on people. For instance, for the first two years of building my website, I wrote like a writing machine. I made many spelling and grammar mistakes during the first two years, but I learned to improve and overcome difficulties.
You definitely need massive practice or tools to help you master writing, such as Grammarly, a writing assistant. I love using it to check my words and sentences within seconds, and I cannot write without it anymore.
Grammarly is awesome and a great help for any blogger and author. I am glad to hear that your writing has improved. You have a great website!
I used to hate to write…..especially essays and research papers. I was a master of procrastination. However, after teaching grammar to students, I have learned to appreciate the art of writing. You are spot on with these tips on how to write effectively and with proper grammar. Practice is the key. Also reading a lot most definitely helps. I wrote a blog on “passing over” from motherhood to empty-nesting and I found it most enjoyable. In fact, I got many favorable comments. Now I post articles on gardening and have greatly improved my writing just from practice. I’m so glad you posted this article. It seems many people really struggle with grammar. Giving them these six easy guidlines and tips will greatly improve their skills. But they do need to practice. Thanks for this great post!
I’ve read several of your articles on gardening. I love them, they’re interesting and always helpful. 🙂
Thank you for your comment!
Very helpful one!
English is not my native language and I repeatedly suffer from grammatical errors very often. Choosing perfect wording and vocabulary for the inner expression is definitely the most serious issue that I mostly face; besides the punctuation and article errors can’t be underestimated.
As you suggested here, Grammarly is definitely a good solution, but not the best unless you purchase the paid version. On Internet, I have seen several other add-ins but I never rely on those. I personally believe, reading and writing are the best options for improving grammar and writing skills as you already mentioned in your article.
Finally thank you once again for sharing this very useful article.
I am happy that you found this helpful 🙂 I think that the free version of Grammarly is quite complete for bloggers. I have been using the free version and I love it. Have you tried it?
You’ve covered all the bases with your tips – doing more reading, listening and writing, proofreading out loud, grammar checking and of course lots of practice.
This may be perculier to me, but I find that it is easier to proofread a printed copy of a longer article. It’s amazing the errors I find and how I sometimes end up moving paragraphs around to improve the flow of information. Grammarly does a good job but it will not reorder paragraphs for you, but it is a very good tool which I also use.
Thanks for the tips
Many writers recommend proofreading a printed copy of a longer article or even a book, and I agree. when it’s printed you will more easily spot errors that you wouldn’t see on your laptop.
It’s true that Grammarly doesn’t re-order paragraphs, but I like that the Premium version re-arranges sentences for you to make them more fluid.
Thanks for your comment!
These are all valuable tips! Reading others’ works will make a huge impact on improving grammar. Seeing how their writing flows or doesn’t flow can help you to learn more. I also use Grammarly and it’s amazing. It’s improved my writing so much and has helped me learn unnecessary punctuation, unnecessary descriptive words, and more. Apart from my website, I’ve also joined Medium to connect with other writers and expand my writing! I’ll link it as my website below if you want to check it out 🙂
Yes, Grammarly is really good at teaching about punctuation and pointing out overly descriptive sentences. It shows you the error and explains why it should be corrected, so while it corrects your mistakes it also teaches you. I love it!
ThanQx Christine 🙂
with my Poetry and Childrens Books
I Create my Own Grammar and Structure Rulze.
Mostly Capitalizing Wordz and Ofen with No FullStopz.
My Love of Grammar.
Changed once I Realized I waz Policing Other’s Mistaske.
Peace and Light <3
I love your Grammar and Structure Rulze! 🙂
This is a wonderful article on improving your grammar.
You point out very important tips on writing and using better grammar.
As an author, I realize how important it is to use perfect grammar and to make sure everything you write is proofread.
Thank you for laying out the 6 steps so comprehensively.
Thank you, Barbara! I’m happy this was helpful 🙂
Hi, Cristine! Thanks for this reminder. English is not my native language (although I am fluent in 5 languages total), so I see the importance of knowing the grammar. At the same time, it is always more challenging for me to write great and mistake free content as for those, having English as native language. I agree with your tips and they can hugely help anyone struggling with grammar. I use also Grammarly. It is the best writing tool available and definitely a must have for any writer.
Great that you’re also using Grammarly. Everyone who uses it always speaks highly of it. I’m happy you agree 🙂
Very good advice Christine.
When English is not your first language it is good to know this.
They say you become like the 5 people around you, well then there is little hope if I do not make an effort!.
Reading out loud is the best. When you hear the so to say mistakes out loud, it is better to detect.
Will follow your rules to make it better.
Thank you for a valuable post!
Yes, I also sometimes read out loud what I write. When you hear it, you will easily detect mistakes and hear if the wording sounds natural.
Thanks for your comment!
I LOVE English. I’ve been blessed with a love for reading and writing since I was a little kid. I am also fortunate that I learned the Hebrew language at a very young age. Learning the Hebrew language helped me to develop my ability to conjugate and understand English better (weird, huh?). Anyway, I like reading my emails out loud. It helps me catch my mistakes. Practice, practice, practice! Great post.
Like you, I’ve also loved reading and writing since I was a little kid. I remember how amazed my relatives always were at the hours I spent reading 😉
Reading out loud is a good practice to catch mistakes.
Interesting that you learned the Hebrew language. Do you speak it fluently?
Thanks for your comment!
Hi Christine, Thank you for this great article. I have always loved grammar, but since I live in the Netherlands and the language is very similar to German, I mix grammar and words up and make more mistakes. English is not my mother tongue, but I love it very much. Living and working in Dublin, Ireland, has helped me a lot with speaking and understanding. I use Grammarly, but I need to watch the correction because it completely makes other sentences very often. But without Grammarly, I couldn’t write in English, I guess. However, practice is essential, and my writing gets better. I have corrected many articles which I have written in the beginning. And often I thought, wow, what a bad article! 🙂
Living in an English-speaking country helps a lot! I’m glad you’re also using Grammarly. It really is a great tool 🙂
Thanks for commenting!
Wow very informative article and great tips to teach others how to catch on to basic skills reading , listing, proof reading out loud. These are all skills that I need to achieve myself and want to be on top of our writing and grammatical errors.
We agree with you, by writing more it can increase your chances of use proper english, along with finishing sentences correctly.
The list here can go on and on, but we are going keep this one bookmarked and refer back to it along our journey, because one can also forget.
Hi Matthew and Deloris,
Thanks for bookmarking this! Have a great day!