- Why English grammar ISN’T necessary to speak fluent English;
- Why the most complicated grammar constructs are actually quite SIMPLE;
- How to use your brain’s natural ability to absorb grammatically correct speech patterns without analyzing them;
- How to use all the above to improve your spoken English!
I know for a fact that many of you, my non-native English speaking friends, are struggling with English grammar.
You’ve been studying grammar for YEARS only to discover that it doesn’t really help you speak fluently.
YET you’re sticking with it.
You’re hoping that there will be a point in time where you start speaking fluently once a significant amount of English grammar has been acquired.
But guess what?
Such a time will never come ❗
Read about my 5 year long journey to English fluency HERE to see that the moment I STOPPED caring about grammar was the moment I started speaking fluent English.
And keep reading this article to see WHY you don’t have to know formal English grammar rules in order to speak fluently 😉
Why Grammar ISN’T Necessary in Order to Speak Fluently
Extensive grammar studies is pretty much a given in any primary and secondary level English curricula, and very few people ever dare to question the effectiveness of such English studies.
In reality, almost all that time spent on acquiring grammar rules is time WASTED, and it doesn’t really contribute into your ability to SPEAK in English fluently.
Just bear with me for a second, and I’ll explain everything to you!
What Seems Like Complex Grammar, is Merely a String of English Words!
Let’s take, for example, the following English sentence:
Didn’t I tell you to stay at home and finish off your homework you hadn’t handed in for three days straight?
Now, you’re thinking:
“Surely I simply HAVE to know how grammar operates in order to say a sentence like that! If I didn’t know that the verb “to do” acts as an auxiliary verb to help create interrogative sentences as well as that the Past Tense demands the verb “to do” adopt its Past form “did”, I wouldn’t even stand a chance of saying something remotely similar!”
Well, it’s simply not true!
Take this word combination: “Didn’t I tell you to…” and repeat it ten times in a row.
Common, let’s do it! 😉
Now that you’ve said out loud ten times in a row – “Didn’t I tell you to…” – you should realize that it’s merely a string of words coming out of your mouth in a fluent and native-like fashion.
You’re not applying grammar rules, you’re not analyzing this short sentence, you’re just taking it for what it is – just a word combination.
So that’s what you should being with – AN ATTITUDE CHANGE.
But the Combination of Various Grammar Constructs is Infinite! I’ll Never Learn Them All…
If you start looking at the downsides of learning English word combinations and memorizing them as a way of developing your English fluency, you may indeed become overwhelmed by the number of expressions and phrases you have to acquire.
Plus, if you factor in various grammar constructs such as “Didn’t I tell you…” or “Hadn’t handed in for…”, the sheer number of such and similar word combinations is mind-boggling indeed! 😡
Hold on, my friend.
If you start seeing the whole English fluency improvement thing in such a light, you’ll never become a truly fluent and confident English speaker!
What you’ve got to do instead is the following:
TAKE A FEW GRAMMAR CONSTRUCTS AT A TIME.
Learn the following English word combinations representing certain grammar rules WITHOUT ANALYZING them but simply memorizing them:
“Didn’t I tell you to…”
“Stay at home and finish off your homework…”
“You hadn’t handed in for three days straight.”
Repeat the above word combinations a good few times – until you can say them out loud automatically, without any thinking whatsoever.
Now, stick them all together in one long sentence and repeat it till it comes 100% naturally to you.
So, now are you NOT speaking 100% fluent English without even thinking about the grammar concepts behind your speech?
But of course you are ❗
Would you be able, however, to transfer the same skill onto ANY English sentence you’d have to say in ANY other situation?
Well, not really…
But don’t worry – the most important aspect of this whole exercise, as I already pointed out to you is to take things slowly and focus on a few grammar constructs AT A TIME. 😉
Today you’re learning this particular sentence.
Tomorrow you’re going to learn something different.
The compound effect over a longer period of time is going to be astounding, my friend!
But here comes the best part of the whole thing:
Your Brain Will Start Utilizing These Word Combinations in Other Situations, Too!
Let’s take, for example, one of the phrases you acquired: “Stay at home and finish off your homework” (correct usage of the preposition “at” and the phrasal verb “to finish off” is naturally incorporated within the phrase without you even thinking about it!)
Initially you’ll be using this phrase in the original context of doing homework.
Later on, after a good few repetitions, your brain will quite naturally learn to alter this phrase and adopt it to new situations:
“Stay at WORK and finish off your ASIGNMENT.”
“Stay at the HOSPITAL and finish off your TREATMENT.”
Basically your brain is going to swap words around while at the same time retaining the original sentence structure “Stay at… and finish off…”
And this, my friend, is when you truly realize that fluent speech is possible without knowing grammar rules and stipulations ❗
You learn X number of English phrases, but in turn you’re able to use them in Y number of different ways.
The more phrases and grammar constructs you learn, the more things you can say fluently, and the more fluent your English becomes overall.
Am I Saying ALL GRAMMAR IS BAD?
No, that’s not the point I’m making.
Grammar can’t be GOOD or BAD.
Grammar is what binds the words together and determines how they interact with each other in a natural speech.
The point is the following – you don’t have to be CONSCIOUSLY aware of how certain grammar rules operate!
If you start to apply certain grammar concepts onto your speech as you speak, your speech becomes hesitant and you’ll often get stuck for words simply because you’ll be analyzing your speech from the grammar standpoint instead of speaking automatically.
If, on the other hand, you just learn English sentences that CONTAIN the necessary grammar in them, the whole thing happens naturally – you simply learn how to say a certain thing without questioning it.
How This Principle is Incorporated Within the English Harmony System
English Harmony System contains well over a thousand English phrases, sentences and idiomatic expressions that you’re required to repeat, memorize and use in dialogues thus imprinting them into your mind and enabling you to use them automatically in your speech.
Over a longer period of time all those English speech patterns become so prevalent in your speech and also writing that you don’t have to spend any more time THINKING about what you’re going to say in terms of grammar and word order in a sentence – you simply open your mouth and say whatever it is you want to say because you’ve developed the so-called “gut feeling” for correct and natural English.
But Is That Really So? Can You REALLY Speak 100% Fluently Without ANY Grammar Whatsoever?
Recently I got an e-mail from one of my customers asking if totally fluent and natural speech is really possible using those phrases and expressions ONLY without ANY GRAMMAR involvement whatsoever.
The point he made in the e-mail was the following:
Fair enough, using English phrases is all nice and well, but surely when it comes to ASKING QUESTIONS, we are simply forced to analyze the sentence and apply grammar rules because word order in an interrogative sentence is different! We just can’t help BUT use grammar rules!
And then he goes on to provide a very good example – he wanted to respond to his friend’s question by saying “How can I not be disappointed” which took him some time to CONSTRUCT in his head – there wasn’t a ready-to-go phrase provided by the English Harmony System that he could have used automatically.
Also, he reckons that surely some analysis and grammar application is necessary creating sentences when answering sudden, unexpected questions where you simply don’t have a ready-to-go answers floating around your head…
It’s a very valid concern, and here’s my answer to this question:
IT TAKES TIME AND PLENTY OF PRACTICE!
When you just start learning English phraseology and using it in your conversations, quite naturally you can’t expect it to permeate your entire speech immediately.
It takes time.
You learn your first string of English words.
Then the second, followed by the third one and so on and so forth.
You can’t, however, expect to speak automatically and fluently about any topic yet – simply because your phraseology is only building, so your speech is still going to be hesitant and you’re going to apply certain grammar rules as you go along.
When you’ve acquired a decent English phraseology, your speech is going to become more and more fluent because most of what you’ll want to talk about is going to consist of word strings you’ve already learned and used at some stage!
IT ALSO TAKES SOME OBSERVATION ON YOUR PART!
Even the sentence “How can I not be disappointed” is a totally valid English word string in its own right!
So whenever you come across a sentence that you struggle to say out loud without much thinking, please follow this simple plan:
- Write it down;
- Later on make sure you got it right – personally I like using Google for this;
- REPEAT IT, MEMORIZE IT, AND USE IT IN YOUR SPOKEN PRACTICE to make sure it imprints into your brain – it’s as simple as that! 😉
So basically you have to realize that ANY English word string – any sentence, phrase, expression – can be learned so that you can use it automatically, without much thinking.
Next time around you’re catching yourself hesitating while creating an English sentence from scratch in your head – such as “I should have told her to wait for me!”, for example – just make some effort to repeat it a good few times and use it a number of different contexts:
- I should have asked him to help me…
- I should have begged her to forgive me…
- I should have shouted at you to look at me…
After a number of repetitions, this grammar pattern is going to stick with you, and you’re going to be able to use it in your conversations so much more effectively.
Did you enjoy reading this article, my friend? 🙂
Then share it with your friends on Facebook, leave a comment below and also don’t forget to check out the English Harmony System which incorporates all the above principles and allows you to speak fluent and natural English!
P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!