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Grammar Vs Function based English

The English language is used in communication (Spoken) in two ways namely grammar-based and function-based, more than 75 percent of spoken English is based on function-based sentences (phrases)  for e.g.

As long as ……

As soon as ……

In event of …….

Would you like to ……..

I would rather …….

These are called lexical chunks/word-group/phrases. These phrases can be used readily in any situation without bothering about the grammar or the structure of the sentences.  Phases are not based on grammar or structure, sometimes they may be grammatically wrong but accepted in Spoken English as a modern form of spoken English. In our blogs, we will be discussing both grammar-based English and Function based English.

Which is the easiest and fastest way to become fluent in English?

Learning phrases is the easiest and fastest way to become fluent in English because studying English grammar to acquire language proficiency is not only a long and tedious process but also a huge wastage of time and labor.

The West discarded teaching grammar in schools in the eighties, but still, in many Asian countries, including India, grammar is considered the Gospel of the English language.   Every year in India hundreds and thousands of graduates are rendered jobless due to their poor English skills, Reason: they have been trained in grammar, not in communication or language functions.

We know native English speakers speak fluent English without studying the grammar or structure of the sentences, native English speakers would use the following phrases frequently:

  • Long time no see
  • (A reply to how do you do?) is ‘how do you do?’
  • How is things?
  • Had you…..I would have…….

Please refer to the BLOG POST to see some important phrases.  If anyone is familiar with 1000 phrases he or she can become fluent in English in time.

Do we really need to study grammar?

Notwithstanding the fact that learning phrases would make anyone fluent in English, we still need to have a little knowledge of grammar, by grammar I mean functional grammar, not the theoretical one, that we studied in school.

While phrases can be handy to speak in any situation, functional or practical grammar would help us construct sentences that are not available in the list of phrases, besides functional grammar helps us to identify and correct errors in spoken sentences. Hardly we need one percent theoretical grammar in our day-to-day conversations.

Role of body language in communication

The basic function of using sentences in communication is to convey and receive emotions, feelings, ideas, wants etc. with other humans.  The type of spoken sentences are classified as:

  1. Declarative sentences.  e.g. The Sun rises in the East./ Elizbeth is my friend
  2. Interrogative sentence e.g. What is your name ? who is your Manager?
  3. Imperative sentences e.g. Don’t disturb./Please sit there/May God bless you.
  4. Exclamatory sentences etc. e.g. How cold the place is!/How tall the building is!

The above four kinds of sentences have their own structure, each of the above four kinds can be spoken in different moods.

In spoken English, there are five common types of sentences, and each sentence can be spoken in a variety of moods by using body language,  Please watch this video:

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