India is a country with hundreds of ethnicities. There are more than 122 major languages in our country and even more local dialects. The problem arises when children are made to study in a single foreign language, English. It is of utmost importance that the basics of the English language are covered flawlessly since most of our professional life revolves around its usage.
Learning the language would not also help you score in all the other subjects with English as the medium of study.
Here are a few simple yet sound language tips that will help you to score more.
- Subject-verb agreement:
This is one of the simplest English language rules that is so often misunderstood and misused. The subject and verb in a sentence need to agree with each other. Singular subjects go with a singular verb. Plural subjects need to go with plural verbs. It is as simple and easy as that.
Basketballs roll across the floor.
These clothes are too small for me.
- Watch the comma:
Commas are one of the most misused punctuation marks in English. Students find it hard to comprehend the right usage of the comma. And this does not only confuse school kids but even adults who are well-versed in communication don’t get it right. Most of the time, the purpose of the comma gets totally lost.
Using the comma right can save lives!
Incorrect: Let’s eat grandma!
Correct: Let’s eat, grandma!
Do you see the difference?
- Apostrophe apocalypse:
Another commonly misused punctuation is the apostrophe. It is astounding to see the kind of mistakes that people commit with a simple apostrophe. The apostrophe is used to refer to possessives. What students find confusing are plural possessives.
Use an apostrophe only when making your noun possessive.
the boy’s shoes
the President’s wife
We voted for higher teachers' salaries
- Spell check:
With the boom of the digitised era, it has become almost impossible to meet people spelling out their words correctly. The predictive dictionary has led to spellings in real time going down the drains. Watch the i’s and the e’s before you write down your words. Students should practise taking notes and also making flash cards for their exams to prevent spelling errors.
- Avoid SMS lingo:
The rise in the number of smartphones has unfortunately made language a sorry victim. Everyone is so used to SMS lingo that it is hard for students to use whole words even during an exam. Avoid the usage of short forms or slang words in your daily life, then maybe it'll be easier to apply on your exam paper.
- Short is always good:
Do not be misguided into believing that the more you write the more marks that you will get. Try to avoid lengthy and redundant sentences and words while writing. Ignore unnecessary modifiers or terms that do not add to the meaning or context of what you are trying to convey. Keep your sentences short and stop following the myth of “filling pages” during an examination. Your teacher is more likely to be pissed by long answers and extremely happy with crisp, to-the-point answers on your test.
It is not a difficult task to master any language if one gets the basics right. These simple tips should help you score high in the upcoming exams. Simple grammar errors can cost you a fortune on your test papers, even though you got your concepts right.
Pick a copy of Blueprint Education’s Exam Mate English guide to glide through your test and examination papers with ease. #MissionBoard2019
Written by Nitin Rastogi at our Meerut Headquarter