This article asks why is grammar important in writing and communication.
Some say grammar doesn’t matter anymore, especially in a society where texting and using slang terminology is popular. After all, who has time to worry about misplaced modifiers with all those emojis to choose from? We think that’s terrible writing advice.
In a professional context, correct grammar is a critical skill. It’ll help you write more compelling job applications, proposals, articles, and books. Moreover, it demonstrates to readers that you care about the English language. Basic grammatical errors also demonstrate sloppiness and a lack of attention to detail. It can put clients and employers off from working with you, so it pays to use the best grammar checkers online.
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7 Reasons Why Good Grammar Important
Grammar is important in communications, writing, academia, journalism, work, and many different areas of life for multiple reasons. Here are seven.
1. It Demonstrates Professionalism
Whether looking for a new job, marketing a product or service, or writing, how you speak and write impacts how people perceive you. Having good grammar helps you come across as more intelligent, educated, and professional. Poor grammar can put off clients, particularly if you’re a writer. A single mistake isn’t a big deal, but many grammar errors suggest poor attention to detail.
Elon Musk reportedly fired some of his employees for typos and grammar mistakes in important communications. So, if you plan to lead others, good communication skills and good grammar are assets to foster.
2. It Helps Get Better Grades
When you submit an essay or a research paper with grammatical errors, it can detract from the quality of your research or arguments. Your words become less powerful when filled with grammar problems. An assessor or tutor will mark the paper down simply because of these mistakes, even if the quality of the paper is good overall.
So, if you want to succeed in college or grad school, written grammar skills are key for writing essays that achieve good grades. To get help with this aspect of English writing, use the best academic writing software.
3. It Encourages Better Communication
Sometimes it’s acceptable to use colloquialisms and ignore grammar rules when writing to a family member, sending a text, or even some personal social media messages. However, recipients outside of your inner circle might not understand the intentions behind this type of writing. They might even find an email rife with errors offensive. The best way to ensure somebody understands your meaning is by following basic grammar rules.
4. It Sets the Right Tone
Some wonder why is grammar important in business. Good grammar is the best way to ensure customers or colleagues understand you. If you’re writing a business proposal, an update to a boss, or something for a customer, best set the right tone. Usually, that involves writing something confident and positive that’s easy to read. Imagine if a customer support rep messaged a reply full of punctuation errors! That type of sloppiness could damage the reputation of the business in question.
5. It Enables More Enjoyable Writing
Grammar is important in writing if you want a reader to spend time consuming your work and ideas. Consider texting. Now, texting a friend with poor grammar is fine, but try reading pages of text speak. It’s not much fun!
Proper grammar is key if you want to write an engaging story, blog post, or even a book for a wider audience than your social circle. Some writers can break these rules, for example, poets and literary fiction authors, but the rest of us should make things easier, not harder, for readers. You might also be inspired by our list of benefits of studying English grammar.
6. It’ll Help You Figure Out What Rules To Break
As important as grammar is, sometimes it’s okay to break certain conventions or rules. For example, short phrases, rather than complete sentences, can work well on social media and for dialogue in genre fiction books. Similarly, some writers play around with capitilization rules depending on the style guide. However, it’s better to understand what these rules are before you decide to break them. And if you do break them, be consistent.
7. It Improves Your Listening Skills
Using grammatical principles correctly improves a writer’s ability to understand others. They can interpret the sentences and structure of a speaker’s words or writing, even if there are mistakes in it. A writer knows what to watch out for and listen to. They can also understand their intended meaning and respond accordingly.
What Does Good Grammar Mean?
Good grammar means writing or speaking so that your choice of words is understandable and follows the basic rules of sentence construction, punctuation, and spelling. But how can you tell if you have good grammar or need to improve in this area? Here’s a closer look at what “good grammar” means.
Communicating Clearly Using Written Language
You can communicate clearly in the written language if you have good grammar. You know how to use words and punctuation to convey your meaning in a way that most readers can understand. That’ll help you entertain, inform, educate, or entertain readers more quickly.
Communicating Clearly Using Spoken Language
Not only does grammar play a role in written language, but it also plays a role in spoken language. While grammar rules are less strict when speaking, grammatical errors in speech are still critical.
Too many grammar mistakes and spoken language become distracting. That makes it hard for people to follow your meaning. That said, it depends on the context and who you’re speaking to.
Understanding and Applying the Rules of Grammar
Finally, having “good grammar” means having the ability to both understand and apply common rules and uses of grammar. While rules are not always set in stone, the basic concepts are worth understanding and using properly. After all, it’s one thing to know what an apostrophe is but another to understand where to place it.
What Are the Most Important Grammar Rules?
Grammar, especially in the English language, comes with many perplexing rules. Some are important to follow, but you can ignore others depending on the context. In another article, we profile many of the most important grammar rules but focus on the below essentials if you want to improve your writing skills.
1. Proper Use of Commas
In written language, the comma is a small mark with a big job. It is easy to over or underuse the humble comma. Here are some common mistakes involving commas:
- Comma Splice – The comma splice is a fancy name for a run-on sentence. It is a sentence that combines more than one sentence or idea into one, without a comma or conjunction.
- Introductory Clauses – Introductory clauses that are unnecessary for the sentence to make sense should be offset by a comma. If they aren’t, the sentence becomes confusing. Here is an example: Because it was late, the family went home to put the kids to bed.
- Names of Direct Address – When you are addressing the person you’re talking to, you must set the name off with a comma. Remember, we don’t want to eat Grandma, we just want to invite her to the meal.
- Coordinate Adjectives – Coordinate adjectives are multiple adjectives that modify a noun and can change their order without changing the sentence’s meaning. These need a comma. For example, you would need a comma between “The fast, sly fox,” because fast and sly both modify fox and could be switched. Conversely, no comma is needed between, “The shy little boy” because little must precede boy to make sense.
These are just an example set of rules worth noting. To be a strong writer, you must understand how and when to use commas while learning sentence structure. Read our guide about when to use a comma.
2. Subject-Verb Agreement
Subjects and verbs in sentences must agree in number. If you have a plural subject, you need a plural verb, and vice versa. Sometimes this gets tricky in sentences where the subject doesn’t come right before the verb, so it’s something to watch for. Fear not: a good grammar checker will easily spot and fix these mistakes automatically.
3. Pronoun and Antecedent Agreement
An antecedent is a word a pronoun replaces. In the sentence, “John went to the store because he was out of milk,” he is the pronoun replacing the antecedent John.
The pronoun and antecedent need to agree in number and gender. They also need to be clear about who or what they are replacing. So, if you say, “Sarah and Anna went to the store because she was out of milk,” the sentence is incorrect because it is unclear who “she” is.
One of the most common pronoun/antecedent errors involves the pronoun their. In the sentence, “Each girl took their bag and went to the car,” the pronoun is incorrect. Even though there is more than one girl, both each and girl is singular. It should read, “Each girl took her bag.”
Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Examples include:
- Affect and effect
- Compliment and complement
- Their and there, and they’re
It’s relatively easy to mix up these words, particularly if you’re learning English or in a rush. Unfortunately, the result can confuse readers and make embarrassing mistakes. However, you’ll spot and avoid these mistakes more easily with patience and patience. If you need help, read our guide to common homophones.
How Can I Check My Grammar?
No one is going to write with perfect grammar all of the time. It’s not a big deal if you make a single mistake in most cases. Don’t pay any attention to the grammar nazis!
There are too many rules to follow, and it’s relatively easy to fix issues in most works. That said, if it’s important (like a job cover letter), consider a grammar checker before pressing send or clicking publish. Here are two great options that we recommend to writers and those learning the basics
Grammarly is a good choice for fixing mistakes Grammarly is a free online grammar-checking program you can use to check anything you’re typing. Simply upload your content into the browser, and it will check your grammar and help with proofreading. It also offers various mobile apps and software plugins.
Grammarly offers a more in-depth paid option if you want even more grammar checking or are not an English native speaker. You can also switch between American English and British English.
ProWritingAid is another popular choice ProWritingAid is another tool to consider. It checks for grammar mistakes like the ones above and also supports plagiarism checks. It also has style reports for improving your writing. ProWritingAid works well with apps like Scrivener. It also has detailed reports that fiction writers may enjoy
It will even help you avoid overusing certain words or phrases within the English language. Both of these tools can also help with spelling mistakes. But if you need clarification on what tool to use, check out ProWritingAid vs Grammarly comparison.
What Are the Benefits of Learning Grammar?
So why should you spend time and energy to learn correct grammar and ensure you use it correctly in written works or everyday life? Good grammar can help you become a stronger communicator.
Get your basic grammar skills right, and you won’t have to worry about your message being perceived badly for the wrong reasons. You can become a trusted professional and someone people consider well-educated.
Here’s the key takeaway about the importance of grammar today: Understanding the basics improves your communication skills. That can translate into more clients, jobs, readers, and even money. On the other hand, bad grammar is kind of like bad breath; it’s off-putting.
All that said, don’t let the grammar nazis deter you from putting yourself or your work forward. Find a balance between perfectionism and done. If it’s a text, who cares? If it’s a job cover letter, you probably should. Learn some grammar rules before you break them.
We tested dozens of grammar checkers, and Grammarly is the best tool on the market today. It'll help you write and edit your work much faster. Grammarly provides a powerful AI writing assistant and plagiarism checker. Anyone who works with the written word should use it.