Correct basic grammar simply means your writing is clear and understandable. It may surprise you to know that the vast majority of people do not use completely correct grammar when writing.
At the end of the day it is not necessary to know all the rules. Writing is a functional tool for people to communicate with. All that really matters is that the reader understands the meaning.
The best way to check your written work for basic grammar errors is to ask yourself, does it sound right? When reading each sentence be honest with yourself and trust your opinion. If a sentence sounds wrong change it. At the end of the day it may not be grammatically perfect but who cares. As long as your writing is clear and understandable.
If you do your written work on a computer you can have it read back to you. There is free text to speech software from Natural Reader. This is such a big help for proof reading documents. It makes it easier to hear if a sentence needs improving. It also helps you build the confidence to proof read documents by yourself.
To improve sentences that don’t sound right you first need to know what a correct sentence is. Click here for How to Write Correct Sentences. Once you know the main principle of subject and verb you have the essential knowledge to correct your writing.
Below are some examples of sentences that just don’t sound right. They will have an explanation of what is wrong with them and how you can fix it.
'There is thousands of people here tonight.'
You may be able to tell that there is something a little bit wrong with the sentence above. Sometimes the little words can make all the difference to the basic grammar. Let's change the ‘is’ to an ‘are’ to see if it sounds better.
'There are thousands of people here tonight.'
There is of course a grammatical reason why the second sentence is correct. However I don’t want to over load you with grammatical rules and information. All you need to do is make sure a sentence sounds right. This way you will be automatically correcting most of your mistakes.
‘We would really like you to come with us to our old house to help us move some of the stuff that we haven’t finished moving yet’.
Sometimes when you read over a sentence it will sound too long and jumbled. If you get a sentence like the one above try rewriting it using fewer words but without changing the meaning.
'Please can you help us with the rest of the moving at our old house?'
‘I want to get my degree so that I can become a teacher once I’ve pass my degree I can start the teacher training’.
Sometimes if a sentence sounds too long you may be able to break it into two smaller ones.
'I want to get my degree, so that I can become a teacher. Once I’ve passed my degree I can start my teacher training.'
If a sentence sounds clear, to the point, and understandable then the basic grammar should be fine. Even if there are a couple of grammatical errors it doesn't matter as long as the reader understands what you mean.