A good grasp of English grammar is necessary to speak and write in English with confidence. Although there are plenty of exceptions to the rules, learning the rules of grammar is the first step toward mastering the English language.
It takes years of exposure and practice to learn all the rules of grammar. However, for a beginner, there are multiple methods available -- online and offline -- that can help you learn English grammar fast.
Go to a bookstore and buy an English grammar book written for non-native speakers. Learn basic verb conjugation and conjugate simple verbs like "to be," "eat" and "go." Begin with the present tense before moving to past, future and past participle tenses. For example "to be" in the present tense conjugates as: I am, you are, he is, she is, it is and they are.
Start with basic sentence structure -- subject, verb, object -- and build on it. Do not attempt to learn everything at once. Learn how adjectives, prepositions and adverbs are used in a sentence to modify nouns and verbs.
Learn to punctuate. Common punctuation marks include the comma, the period, the hyphen, the colon, the semicolon, the dash and quotation marks. Practice using each punctuation mark in a sentence. Consult a grammar book for punctuation rules.
Read as much as possible. Seeing the rules you learn used in sentences reinforces your understanding. Read anything in English you can lay your hands on including newspapers, magazines and books.
Test your knowledge of grammar with copious amounts of grammar exercises. This will complement the reading. Find exercises in a grammar book or online, and check your grammar proficiency. Do not be wary of making mistakes, but when you make them, revisit the rules and learn from them.
Avoid common grammar mistakes. Read Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" to learn about common mistakes and how to avoid them. The first edition is available online.
Consult the English department of the local university and enroll in an English language course. Check if English as a Second Language classes are offered in your area.
Hire a tutor to teach you grammar. The best way to find a tutor is to advertise through an English newspaper in your area. Universities are also a good source for tutors.
Kiran Gaunle is a freelancer based in New York. He started writing professionally in 2006. He has written research reports for the UN Development Programme and the "Kathmandu Post." Gaunle is working on a book of short stories and a novel. He holds a Master of Arts in international political economy and development from Fordham University.