Is it important to know how to use grammar correctly?

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Do you know the difference between you’re and your?  Do you use “its” and “it’s” properly? And how about all the variations on their, there, they’re?

The Education Secretary Nicky Morgan says all children should be able to spot mistakes like this by the time they’re 11. Not everyone agrees with her though. A leading broadsheet columnist says that as long as we can make ourselves understood, it doesn’t really matter.

What are your views?  Does the misuse of the English language irritate you?  Are you a stickler for the correct use of grammar at all times? Does it really matter?

Is it important to know how to use grammar correctly?

1135 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Stoic
29th Apr 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes it's important. But before I ramble on, I must stress how poor I am at this important language structure. I often stand corrected by my wife and my two daughter, who could I'm sure, have been school teachers. Being far from an academic myself in the educational sense, I do a fair amount of reading and am sure this has a large influence on how things are supposed to be put together. Nothing strikes you more than a bolt from the blue than to read a letter or at least some script of some sort and find it is littered with inaccuracies. You are immediately brought to the fact that this person has somehow missed out on some basic English lessons. Or have become so lazy and indifferent to how the language should be used, so betraying to all they correspond with how uncaring and untidy they are. Showing how perhaps they are to other things, not only writing.
peteaxe
20th Apr 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
There are different grades of schools and different standards of teachers. In schools where the majority of children are not expected to go on to university or any other higher educational facility there will be no emphasis on all aspects of grammar. A basic ability to ably communicate is taught and is enough to fulfill the teachers obligation and duty.
celtwitch
10th Apr 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
Is proper important like innit?
mercury
28th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Of course grammar's important! How can you even ask? We're now in a position where some English teachers are unable to spell or punctuate properly, so what chance for their pupils? English is a tricky language to learn and I do sympathise with people who struggle with apostrophe usage and the various ways to spell words that sound the same but surely we should aim higher than to just say who cares, and "as long as people understand me."
SHOEFLY
30th May 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
I sent a school letter back, with the correct spellings...
lindz64
31st Mar 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I'm right up there with you Mercury! Perhaps many years ago when I was taught in a class of 40 - 44 pupils there were less outside pressures but 'who cares' was a phrase you didn't dare use and we didn't speak to our teachers as though they were our mates. It seems to me that today, anything goes and that's a real worry
marmark1
12th Mar 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
First of all,I have to say I'm not the most literate of people,BUT,surely if everyone speaks there own way,there is going to come a time when nobody understands a word that's said.
geeljay
12th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Bad spelling and pronunciation is the worse for me. i.e George Bush and 'nucular' etc.
geeljay
12th Mar 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
Like most, I would prefer grammatically correct expression. However, when I took my grand daughter's teachers to task about the letters I had seen, (from grandchildren), I was told that their top priority was to teach communication, Fortunately the grammar improved, as the children read more, and I now am fortunate to have some nicely written letters. I wont get on to textspeak!
Robert2706
7th Mar 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Major employers are disgusted at youngster lack of good grammar and the next generations need to be taught properly for their future prospects. Trouble is most teachers cannot spell properly or understand grammar thanks to Labour's past record in education. What was it Blair promised? Education, Education, Education. Pity he did not bother to fulfil yet another promise.
wpshark
7th Mar 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
Oh by the way, here is a teaser......
Can you make a sentence that is properly constructed and has real meaning, but has nine consecutive "hads" in it?

Answer will follow tomorrow.
wpshark
8th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
John,where James had had "had", had had "had had", had had the teacher's approval.
wpshark
7th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Whatever happened to "standards"? We have dumbed down to such an extent that even our language is now "politically correct". Shame, you can't let the little children fail because it just might scar them. Oh Please!
countrylass
2nd Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Of course it's important to use grammar correctly, and punctuation. That is part of our education of the English language and we should maintain it.
Gwydion
1st Mar 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
I suppose this reflects my age but I'm appalled by the deterioration in spoken English over the last few years. Here are a few: youse (no such word), off of (Americanism), would of instead of have (just unbelievable). As a linguist I do understand how languages change, but it's very sad.
tel-boy
22nd Feb 2015
5
Thanks for voting!
What is below is not really about correct grammar, but it might entertain you.

UP
You will laugh about this word “UP”
This two letter word in English has more meanings than any other two letter word, and that word is 'UP'
It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v]

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election (if there is a tie, it is a toss UP) and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.

At other times, this little word has real special meaning.
People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.
And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is blocked UP.
We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.
We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of the word UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.
If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.
It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with UP to a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it soaks UP the earth, when it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now . . . My time is UP!

Oh . . . One more thing: What are the first things you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?
Wake UP, Shut UP.

Did that one crack you UP?
Where would you wind UP without it!!

Now I’ll shut UP
nanabet48
22nd Jun 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
And what is more confusing is when you hang your coat UP but in reality it hangs DOWN!!
Archiebald
24th Feb 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
mavis.el-menshawy
21st Feb 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
As a teacher of Literacy and English as a Foreign Language, I believe that grammar is very important in our language. Without correct grammar we lose meaning in our speaking and writing. We need to support our educators in the process of using and teaching grammar to our young people. However, we should be aware that language will always develop over time and with technology we now have the facility of using text language etc.
Young people will pick this up. It is part of their development but at the same time they need to be made aware of the importance of learning and using correct English in other situations.
Kezziedog
22nd Feb 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
??? SAINSBURY*S What does this mean SAINSBURYS IS ?

No Sainsburys name of a place ....
SovereignInventory
20th Feb 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
Unfortunately it only seems important to "our" generation. The constant use of 'text speak' in addition to the standard of vocabulary in the media, TV, etc is deplorable. I'm sick of hearing 'mockney' accents and people who cannot speak correctly on TV.
Sapphire
19th Feb 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I feel it can be necessary to have a good grasp of grammes, though I know it is difficult for my two sons as they are both dyslexic. Yet my son is self employed carpenter, plummer etc and my youngest is being trained as a manager. I am a very proud mum to see what they are achieving with the problems that they faced. X
misterblueskye
19th Feb 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I find that the level of spelling,pronunciation of words is getting worse,even the press cannot spell ,pronounce correctly,on the news recently a reporter put an before a word stating with H ,as he spoke he dropped the H,an urricane was on its way, I must have cursed for what seemed an age.
Archiebald
19th Feb 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
While I think its very impotent I have an issue as I have always been dyslexic and word blind and so my grammar is far from perfect. Difficult to get right if you have this.
biker babe
18th Feb 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
Some words these days are used completely out of context!
little owl
18th Feb 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
Our English Language is a beautiful language and is already being ruined by those using shortened forms on the new technology. Just as well as speaking good English it is important that everyone knows how to use it correctly which is spoiled with bad grammar. The mobile phone is probably the biggest culprit of how not to use English and our young people are falling further and further behind in their ENGLISH examinations but can you be surprised.
paisley pattern
18th Feb 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I hate to admit it, but my grammar has gone downhill since the age of texting. However, I do pride myself in having good grammar most of the time.
daydreams
18th Feb 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
The school I went to back in the Fifties, placed great emphasis on the use of good English, spelling, grammar, punctuation and so on. I hate the use of abbreviations these days, half of them mean nothing to me.
HJR58
18th Feb 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
It's important to me. I went to a Grammar school so there was an emphasis on literacy. Some if the spelling/grammar I see on Facebook is quite shocking. It must be due to in some measure to teaching, but also to laziness and perhaps to changing priorities?
I wonder what prospective employers make of some applications they receive?
cuddles48
18th Feb 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
I hate bad grammar, it infuriates me when I am reading a book and incorrect words are used to begin sentences as well..I have helped bring up our grandson and when I've tried to teach him what I learned the teacher said "times have changed"
With that attitude things will never improve..
JanT
17th Feb 2015
6
Thanks for voting!
I think it is very important to use correct spelling and grammar. It is a pet hate of mine to use abbreviated words and see the use of wrong words e.g 'there' and 'their' 'peace' and 'piece'. I am not sure schools focus on this as it was in our day.
JaneyW
17th Feb 2015
7
Thanks for voting!
All languages have changed and evolved over the years and this has to be expected and accepted. However, I do get irritated by grammatical errors such as using 'of' instead of 'have', e.g. 'should of' rather than 'should have' and the wrong use of apostrophes which can change the whole meaning of a sentence. English is a very complex language and it's very important that its correct usage continues to be taught throughout children's schooling.
lindz64
31st Mar 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Sorry JaneyW, there seems to be a contradiction in your comment. Firstly you said "this has to be expected and accepted" and then you said "it's very important that its correct usage continues to be taught..."??. Is it just me or have I missed something?
alisonhc
17th Feb 2015
6
Thanks for voting!
I hate to see this lack of correct spelling, grammar and syntax. This was "dinned into" our generation, and I cringe at some of the awful examples I see nowadays! My family say I can't read a newspaper without tutting every few seconds!
lindz64
31st Mar 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Lol, me too alisonhc x
Peter
17th Feb 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I think this is a very important issue. I used to interview graduates and was shocked at how few of them could put together a decent CV and application letter.

Many of their applications were littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors and I have to admit that these went straight into the bin! If they couldn't get it right on something as important as a CV why would I think of letting them loose with our important contacts and customers?

I agree that schools should be putting more focus on this area or else text speak could become the norm in business as well as the playground.
Bazeley
17th Feb 2015
5
Thanks for voting!
I think learning grammar (and spelling!) is really important but I sense that with all the auto-correcting that is now possible we all have got a bit lazy. I also agree that with the amount of text shorthand the younger generations may not see the value.
Baxi
17th Feb 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
Correct grammar and spelling is vital. A comma in the wrong place can totally change the meaning of a sentence, punctuation is terribly important. Here's an example:

"Automatic washing machines. Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out."

That one is funny, but the reality is that legal cases have been won and lost on where a comma is in a sentence.

Spelling and grammar are fundamental to communicating correctly. Why is there a culture today that learning should be effortless? There is such satisfaction to learning something new and understanding it.
Jo Kingham
17th Feb 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
Yes I think it is very important although I'm not sure how much of a focus it is in schools these days? I think the problem is compounded by the fact youngsters today spend so much time on electronic devices, messaging and texting that they use far too many abbreviations, slang words and short cuts. These have a place but when writing generally I think we should use the correct grammar and spellings and encourage the younger generation to do the same.

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