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Should you spend all your time on grammar?

While the noticeable progress feels good, you will learn faster overall with the help of input and context supplementing your learning, instead of spending all your time on grammar. 

Languages are much more than grammar rules and you will not learn by studying grammar in isolation.

How important are grammar lessons?

The opinions of the language learning community on the efficacy of using grammar instruction vary greatly. 

Some consider it a needless distraction, useful only at the very beginning, while others consider it essential, and continue to study it well into the intermediate stages. Most people sit somewhere in-between. 

As a rule of thumb, you can get away with studying grammar less and less as you progress, but it will be helpful to occasionally or even continually refer to grammar explanations when you notice something and you are not sure why it is formed that way.

If you want to minimise the usage of grammar instruction, good technique is required. You will need to make sure you are noticing grammatical forms and incorporating native-like elements into your speech and writing.

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Here are a few specific tips:

– Learn as many words as you can

To learn grammar easily, the basic element of any language is words. Get a dictionary (or download one) and learn as many of them as you can. 

Use each new word as often as you can so you will remember it. Don’t worry about grammar until you are comfortable using the words you have learned, and can understand at least half of what you hear.

– Talk to people

A language makes you part of society. Trying to learn it without talking to other people is hard. Take any chance that comes to talk to people, even on the phone. 

You learn grammar as you listen to how other people use the words even if you do not know the rules. The more you hear the words used correctly, the more you learn.

– Ask for corrections

Most people do not like to tell you if you use a word incorrectly because they think you might get offended. Ask people to correct you when needed so that you can learn from your mistakes. 

When you have something edited and proofread, check it against your original document to see where you went wrong. Take note of all corrections and practice!

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