The Most Confusing Aspects of English Grammar

The Most Confusing Aspects of English Grammar
The Most Confusing Aspects of English Grammar

There are several aspects of English Grammar that are mighty confusing – even for fluent and native English speakers! Most every English speaking person has made grammar mistakes on more than on occasion if that tells you anything! Even as a professional writer I still have issues with several grammatical aspects. The worst one for me is the comma rule. Sometimes it is very difficult to figure out where commas go. The worst thing for me is the rule of three’s. For instance, if I wrote the following sentence, where would the commas go? “They ate ham, potatoes, and green beans.” Or would it be “They ate ham, potatoes and green beans?” This has always confused me and each English instructor has a different answer for it. And this is just one of many confusing aspects of English grammar! Below are some more.

Object and Subject Pronouns

The one that actually does something is the subject. An example is “She sees me.” He is the subject. The one that is having something done to them is the object. An example is “She see me” Pronouns are something that is quite possibly the most confusing thing in the English language. Below are common object and subject pronouns. S stands for subject and O stands for objects.







The bottom line is that if you are using a pronoun for a subject, it has to be a subject pronoun and vice versa.

Whom or Who?

This one has always gotten me as well. Typically I allow Microsoft Office to correct me on this one! How do you know which one to use? Well, the basic rule is this: The subject pronoun is who while the object pronoun is whom. Whom is an object so sentence would read like this: Who at all the cake?

Then I or Than Me?

This is a very frequent error in English grammar. A conjunction is an introduction to an independent clause, which means a subjective pronoun is than. So this would be incorrect: “She runs quicker than me.” It would be correct to say: She runs quicker than I. In the incorrect statement, it would read correctly as: She runs quicker then me. Than and then causes quite a confusion even among the best grammar Nazis!

E.G and I.E.

Many people think that these two are interchangeable so they use them that way. However, this is totally incorrect. E.G. means for example. “Please bring some party supplies. E.G., hats, horns, cookies. I.E. is a means of clarifying something. “We will be eating lots of fried foods, I.E. fried chicken, French fries, etc.

Bring and Take

Another really confusing aspect of English grammar is brought and take. Deciding on which word to use depends on the perspective in which it is being used. For instance, you and your boyfriend are going to a certain place you might ask your best friend “Will you take your iPod with you?” Or, you may ask “Will you bring your iPod with you?” However, this can still be confusing so some people use substitution words instead, like “Are you going to carry your iPod with you.” This can help you miss the confusion of the bring and take situation.

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  1. An easy way to clear up the “then/than” problem is to remember that “then” is about time, and “than” is about comparison. It is never correct to write, “She runs faster then me (or “I”).” That sentence is meaningless. It would be correct to write, “She ran, then I ran.”


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