Why must everyone understand Grammar first before learning to speak?

  • 2
    I have to say that I think this question is not a good fit for ELL. It's very broad, asks for things which are largely opinion-based, and asks for basic resources rather than an answer to a specific question.
    – stangdon
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 15:57
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    To avoid such horrible verb constructions as "must should know". A grammar can teach you that after a modal verb follows a bare infinitive and not a second modal verb.
    – rogermue
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 18:51
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    The answer to your question which was mysteriously closed - (I suspect by people who don't teach and haven't studied language acquisition, but have decided for themselves that the answer is too broad), is that it is not necessary to have any conscious understanding of grammar to learn a second language - or your first either. There are completely different ways of learning languages. Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 21:08

2 Answers 2


One reason is so that you do not write sentences such as

Why must an English learners should know Grammar first?

While the point of language is to communicate, and I can interpret what you mean by your sentence even though it contains more than one grammatical mistake, this might not be true for every sentence you write. If you want to express complex ideas you will need to learn how to use correct grammar.

But you do not necessarily have to learn grammar first. Many language classes or courses teach grammar and what you can do with it at the same time.

It's true that many language classes or courses employ methods that concentrate or seem to focus entirely on grammar, and this is unfortunate, because it dulls the learning. Language is for communicating, so if you learn only the tools (the grammar) there seems little reason to call that learning a language.

I recommend BBC Learning English, which does a good job of teaching grammar and how to use grammar to communicate at the same time.


Some people are more intuitive than others.

Most children are extremely intuitive when it comes to language. Any language.

As you get older, you become set in your ways, accustomed to certain rules, etc; you can no longer grasp how a language that's new to you works without a manual. Either you don't hear its music, or perhaps the music doesn't make much sense to you. Children imitate without questioning. Adolescents are less trusting, and adults question every little thing. Your experience gets in the way.

When a child learns to ride a bicycle, there isn't much explaining his instructor, whoever he or she happens to be, needs to do. A grownup faced with the same task absolutely needs to be explained at least the basics: his or her grownup experience tells them that when they start falling, they need to lean away from the fall, steering in the opposite direction. In reality, the exact opposite is true, and this needs to be explained.

If you're 12 or older, you'll need a grammar book, no question. You'll also need to read and memorize some children's poetry (by Milne, Kipling, and Robert Louis Stevenson, to start with).

I don't think you'll have a problem finding a grammar book on the web. There are thousands of them. Most of them are at least okay.

  • +1 Just ask any 4 year old what parts of speech are. What they say is still understood...
    – Peter
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 22:48

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