The English language is complex, so it can be hard to keep all those rules in your head. You need a strategy.
Try these grammar strategies:
- Catch phrases. People use odd phrases to help them memorize things. The phrase My Very Elderly Mother Just Sat on Uncle Ned can help you memorize the order of the planets. You can do the same to help you memorize grammar. For instance, F.A.N.B.O.Y.S stands for each word that can help you fix a comma splice. For, and, but, or, yet, and so are coordinating conjunctions, that, when paired with a comma, can join together two independent related clauses. A song works just as well!
- Eyes open, eyes closed. This is a classic, with a twist. Write down the rule you want to memorize twice, and then write it once more while closing your eyes. By closing your eyes, not only do you see if you can memorize the rule, but the silly way in which you are doing it will make you memorize the rule. Plus, your hand writing will be hilarious.
- Comic. Oddly enough, you can find a lot of comics about grammar. Newspapers and online publications often have comics. The Oatmeal also has some amazing grammar comics that will help you memorize the rules.
- Learn from mistakes. We all spend copious amounts of time on the Internet, and we're often looking at something that makes us laugh. One way you can learn the rules of grammar is by laughing at mistakes. You can find memes and snapshots everywhere of people misusing grammar. If you can learn to laugh about a grammar mistake, that means you are actually memorizing the rule at the same time, because you remember what it looks like when it's wrong.
- Grammar jokes. Along the same vein as looking at memes, you can learn many grammar jokes. Humor will help you learn. For example, jokes like What do you say to comfort a grammar nerd? They're, their, there will make you laugh, and make you learn.
- Listen to the same song. Pair a song with a rule. Listen to one very memorable song while you keep reading about that rule, looking at examples of that rule, or even writing it down. When you go to use the rule, just think of the song, and you will find the rule will start to come to you... and a song will be stuck in your head.
- Find a friend. If you know someone who also struggles with grammar, ask if they want to learn grammar rules with you! You can quiz each other in the hall, or check each other's papers. Sharing an experience with a friend always makes things better.
- Flash cards. The absolute classic memorization stratagem. Get some index cards, write down the rules, and quiz yourself.
- Practice. The only way you will surely memorize grammar rules is to make sure you keep using them. When you are writing, remind yourself to check your work, and push yourself to learn the rules by being true to them.
[Creative Commons Lisence: Damien Ayers, non-commercial, https://www.flickr.com/photos/omad/ ]