5 Important Rules of Grammar for Spoken English

There are rules of grammar for spoken English.

Basis of Learning English Grammar

With the number of native English speakers and second-language English speakers, English is the most widely spoken language in the world today.

Having a good grasp of grammar is one of the first steps in learning a language, so it’s no surprise that English learners must devote time to learning its grammar.

The five basic components of grammar in English are:

  • Phonology
  • Morphology
  • Syntax
  • Semantics
  • Pragmatics

Understand the Characteristics of English Language

Students of English grammar gain an understanding of what characteristics distinguish the language from others.

English as a Second Language (ESL) students frequently acquire grammatical rules in English by comparing them to their home language’s grammar.

Native Spanish and Arabic speakers who learn English grammar will be surprised to learn that every English word is gendered.

Learn the Right Way to Spell and Say Words

Grammar’s most important tasks include defining, theorizing, and teaching the right way to spell and say each word. Phonology and phonetics are about how words should sound when they are written.

The Origin, Meaning, and Application of Words

Morphology is a study of how words are made, what they mean, and how they are used in sentences. Grammar will explain rules for adding prefixes and suffixes to existing words and how their meanings change with these parts added.

Sentence Structure and Meaning

Syntax and semantics are parts of grammar that deal with how sentences are put together and what words mean when they are used together. To be more specific, English grammar teaches that the basic rule for making any sentence in the language is Subject + Verb + Object.

Spoken English Grammar Rules and Examples

Many have trouble speaking English fluently. Speaking is different from reading, writing, and listening. Without speaking practice, someone with good writing, reading, and listening skills will struggle with fluency. Most English learners struggle with speaking because they focus on grammar. 

You must invest time learning English. Grammar, vocabulary, idioms, and colloquialisms are practiced. Spoken English is more than theory!

1. The Appropriate Use of Tenses

Tense is a verb-based way to describe the time and, in some cases, the continuation of speech.

There are four distinct tenses: simple, perfect, continuous, and perfect continuous.

Each of these have subtypes which are the present, the past, and the future. It is important to use the correct tense when speaking so that the sentence is not difficult to say or understand.

1.1. Simple Tense – Present

This is a term used to describe an action occurring in the present moment or a habitual truth.


  • I read the novel.
  • My mother bakes every afternoon.
  • The sun sets in the west.

1.2 Simple Tense – Past

It is used to denote an action that happened in the past.


  • He played soccer every day after lunch.
  • His uncle used to tell them stories.
  • We played basketball.

1.3 Simple Tense- Future

It describes an action that will be done in the future.


  • I shall go to work.
  • He will make the furniture.
  • My father will travel tomorrow.

2.1 Continuous Tense

A continuous tense is something that can always be done right now and also can be done in the future

2.1.1 Present Continuous Tense

It is used when an action is being continued or is about to resume.


  • I am watching a film.
  • We are going home tonight.
  • He is cleaning the house.

2.1.2 Past Continuous Tense

Past continuous tense is used to denote when the action has been ongoing for some time.


  • I was singing.
  • He was having lunch.
  • It was shining.

2.1.3 Future Continuous Tense

This tense is used when an action is thought or assumed to be taking place in the future.


  • I shall be dancing tonight.
  • The event will be taking place in Las vegas.

3.1 Perfect Tense

A perfect tense is used to denote a completed action in the past (I have gone). It can also be used to convey that a situation has been ongoing for a long time. For example: ‘The war is being fought for a long time.

This tense is also used to note an unusual event which is impossible to know the exact time of (He will be killed).

Perfect tense indicates that certain actions are more rooted in the past than others (I always loved you), or to emphasize future actions (I will not go).

2. Use of Regular and Irregular Verbs

Regular and irregular English verbs exist. Regular verb conjugation follows a pattern; irregular verb conjugation does not. A verb’s regularity depends on its past and past participle forms.

2.1. Regular Verbs

In the past and past participle forms of regular verbs, you add “-ed” at the end. People often call these “weak verbs.”

2.2. Irregular Verbs

The past and past participle of irregular verbs are formed differently.

There are mainly three kinds of irregular verbs.

2.2.1 Verbs in which all three forms are identical.


  • Put- put- put
  • Cut-cut-cut
  • Read-read-read

2.2.2 Verbs where two forms are similar.


  • Beat-beat-beaten
  • Stick-stuck-stuck
  • Spin-spun-spun

2.2.3 Verbs where all the three forms are different.


  • Blow-blew-blown
  • Arise-arose-arisen
  • Freeze-froze-frozen

There are verbs that are both regular and irregular. These are distinct and easy to recall. 


  • Burn – burnt – burnt (irregular)
  • Burn – burned – burned (regular)

3. Use of Prepositions

Prepositions relate nouns, pronouns, or noun-equivalents to other sentence terms. Object is a noun, pronoun, or noun-equivalent. Speaking correctly requires prepositions.


  • Put the plate on the table.
  • He is tired of fetching water.
  • The sun is above our reach.

4. Conditional Sentences

When you talk about things that might or might not happen, you use Present simple instead of ‘will’ + Infinitive future. These sentences must typically begin with conjunctions like as “if,” “when,” “as soon as,” “unless,” and so on.

5. Subject Pronoun vs. Object pronoun vs. Possessive pronouns

A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun or a noun-equivalent. Pronouns are divided into three groups based on their function or role: subject pronoun, object pronoun, and possessive pronoun.


  • He is talking about Sarah’s hat.

Here, Sarah is the subject pronoun. The relationship is expressed through a possessive pronoun.

In case when ‘Sarah’ is replaced with ‘she’, it becomes an object pronoun.

To Wrap Up

Many people are self-conscious when speaking English. They emphasize the importance of correctness, grammar, and vocabulary. As a result, people think about a number of things while speaking.

Their ability to communicate is limited, and they stumble over words. When you compare your English level to what you want to accomplish, speaking English is really challenging.

When you first start speaking English, it does not come naturally. It requires ongoing and consistent practice.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

How to Write Great Dialogue That Your Readers Will Love

As a writer, there are times you’ll have to write dialogue in your essays or fiction. In such a case,…

May 26, 2022

Grammar Tips for Writers — Writing Compelling Content

Having a talent for writing, whether it’s writing academic essays or writing fiction is great. Talent will only take you…

May 26, 2022

Bad Grammar: Confusing Common Grammatical Errors to Prevent

As a writer, you can’t avoid errors due to bad grammar. However, making mistakes doesn’t make you a bad writer. What…

May 26, 2022

Possessives: boss’ or boss’s grammar

Boss’ or boss’s has been a topic of debate for a very long time. Schools typically teach that words ending…

May 26, 2022

“Were” Vs “Was”: Correct Use And Examples

Have you ever wondered which word fits into a sentence — were or was? You’re not alone. Were or Was:…

May 24, 2022

How to Improve Your Grammar By Speaking

Grammar can be confusing for many students learning English. Correct grammar is important to both your writing and speaking. Why…

May 24, 2022