Learn the Most Important Rules of the English Language

In linguistics, the rules of English are the principles that govern syntax, word formation, pronunciation, and other features of the English language.

In prescriptive grammar, the rules of English are statements regarding “correct” or conventional forms of words and sentences in English.

One of the difficulties students face when learning a new language is that they need help comprehending basic grammar rules. While English language grammar rules are easier than in some other languages like Chinese and Japanese, small grammar mistakes have the potential to change the meaning of what you want to say.

There are hundreds of English grammar rules, but the most notable rules relate to parts of speech and sentence structure. If you have been searching the internet to find the answer to the question, “What are the basic English grammar rules?” then you have come to the right place.

ResearchProspect experts have written extensively about the most important rules of the English language to help you connect grammar rules with sentence structure and parts of speech, including conjunctions, propositions, adverbs, adjectives, verbs, pronouns, and nouns.

Learn the most important rules in the English language in this comprehensive guide and follow them to write better.

Top 12 Basic Rules of the English Language

  1. Sentence Punctuation

A sentence must always start with a capital letter and end with punctuation, mainly a full stop or a question mark.


What is your name? - Ending with a question mark

My name is Adam. - Ending with a full stop

What a beautiful name! - Ending with an exclamation mark

  1. Sentence Structure

The sentence structure of a simple statement sentence to follow is Subject + Verb + Objective.


Henry drives a Bentley.

Stephen saved Newyork.

  1. Subject-Verb Agreement

Use a singular verb for a singular subject and a plural verb for a plural subject.


Mariah works in retail.

Hannah and Mariah work in retail.

  1. Subject + Verb

The subject and verb are compulsory in every sentence. Some sentences do not include the object.


Mariah works.

The baby is eating.

The guests arrived.

  1. ‘Its’ vs ‘It’s’

Do not confuse ‘its’ with ‘it’s’. They are entirely different words with different meanings. ‘Its’ refers to a possessive noun without a defined gender. ‘It’s’ is the abbreviation for ‘it is’.


It’s too late to get home.

The cat ate all its food within a day.

  1. Their, There, and They’re

Many people need clarification on the three words. Although they sound similar but are completely different from each other.

‘Their’ is a possessive noun and a third-person form of they. ‘There’ is used to describe a specific location. ‘They’re’ is the product of two words, they and are, and is used to shorten them.


Someone forgot their phone on the table.

You can find the best coffee there.

They’re trying to rob the bank.

  1. The Difference Between ‘Then’ And ‘Than’

‘Than’ is used to compare two things. It is a conjunction used to compare two words, phrases or sentences. ‘Then’, on the other hand, is an adverb that indicates something that happened after one thing.


Mariah is more hardworking than Hannah.

We will eat first and then watch the movie.

  1. Proper Noun

Use a capital letter when writing a proper noun, even if it is midsentence. A proper noun represents the name of a specific person, place, animal, etc.


My name is Sarah.

Mai lives in London.

Ali was driving a Bentley in New York.

  1. Use of Many/ Much And Few/ Little

‘Many’ and ‘few’ are used with countable nouns, whereas ‘much’ and ‘little’ are used with uncountable nouns. Countable nouns can be counted—for example, a dozen apples, five bottles, etc. Uncountable nouns cannot be counted by a human being—Eg, rice, stars, etc.


How many apples are there in the basket?

How much money do you have?

There are few students in the class today.

There is little progress in the economy.

  1. Apostrophe S

Apostrophes (‘s) are used to show possession of someone. When referring to a single person, Apostrophe + s is used. When multiple owners, use s + apostrophe.


Sarah’s car. (singular)

Students’ success. (plural)

  1. Use Of Semicolon

When trying to join two ideas, always use a semicolon.


His cat is hyperactive; it won’t sit still.

  1. Regular Verbs vs Irregular Verbs

The past participle and tense of regular verbs are formed using -ed (walked), -d (hopped), and -ied (cried). They follow a rule of conjugation. Irregular verbs form their past tense in a different way (ate).

Examples of Regular Verbs:

She tried hard to finish her homework on time.

Joey lived across the hall from Monica.

The traffic police stopped the car.

Examples of Irregular Verbs:

He broke the vase.

She kept her children away from the monster.

Hannah ran towards the mountain.

Importance of Learning the Rules of English

English is the world's top most popular official language, with over 60 countries using it in their offices. It is eminent to learn the basic rules of English to communicate well on a daily basis, especially due to the rise in globalisation. It not only allows us to speak ad write better but also helps in understanding other people.

Frequently Asked Questions

A comma and semicolon are both used when you want to put a break between words. The pause using a semicolon is considered more potent than the comma.

A comma is used to separate two words or phrases.

Example: ‘I ate a burger, pizza, and fries at the party.’

A semicolon is used to separate two independent clauses that are related or to separate items whose items are separated by commas.

Example: ‘The second grade was given the blue, red, and white colour; the third grade was given orange, purple, and yellow colour; the fourth grade was given brown, violet, and indigo colour.’

‘You’re’ is a contraction of ‘you are’ whereas ‘your’ is a possessive adjective representing something belonging to ‘you’.


Can I take your pen?

You’re beautiful.

‘Have’ and ‘Has’ both represent possession in the present tense. ‘Has’ is used with he, she, and it. ‘Have’ is used with I, they, we, and you.


I have a notebook.

They have been detained.

We have been making a mud castle.

She has a tattoo on her hand.

He has gone too far.

It has been more than an hour.

ResearchProspect ensures that academic writing follows all the English language rules. Therefore, we have strict quality control. We do proofreading and editing of every document before making the final delivery. Moreover, most expert writers here are professional academics and are familiar with the basic rules of the English Language.