To learn spoken English grammar, we must use different methods than were used in our English classes in the past.
For just as it’s impossible to remember and use memorized vocabulary in a real conversation, it’s also impossible to quickly remember and use grammar rules that were consciously memorized.
Recently, on our Member Forums, we got a good example of this. A member complained that there were so many rules and exceptions regarding the use of articles (“a”, “an”, “the”). He couldn’t remember all of them and couldn’t understand when to use which article, and when not to use an article.
The problem is, in spoken English, native speakers use articles in almost every sentence. If you look at an English grammar book, you’ll often find 3-5 pages or more on articles– full of rules and exceptions.
So, is it possible in a real, fast conversation to think about 5 pages of grammar rules before speaking EVERY sentence? Absolutely not. Of course not. There simply is not time. The conscious mind cannot think about and use so much information in such a fast time.
But our unconscious minds can. They can process multiple streams of information instantly.
However, the unconscious mind works much differently than the conscious mind, and it learns much differently. It doesn’t learn by memorizing lists and “rules”. It learns by understanding patterns intuitively.
Which means that listening to easy, understandable, repetitive English is the best way to teach the unconscious mind. If you just do this and relax, your unconscious mind will figure out even the most difficult grammar. The problem is, when you start trying to analyze and consciously understand, you block the unconscious mind and return again to slow and ineffective memorization.
So, learning spoken grammar requires some confidence and some relaxation. You must trust the process enough to just relax and let it happen automatically, without analyzing or worrying.
Learn spoken English grammar by listening to very easy English– repeating it as much as possible, with as much emotion and movement as possible.
Over time, you’ll understand more and more and it will feel effortless.
Eventually, you’ll totally master spoken English grammar- without any attempt to memorize “rules”.
This is the path to truly mastering spoken English grammar.