Which English Grammar Rules Can You Safely Ignore Ep 662

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Why Ignoring Some English Grammar Rules May Boost Your English Fluency?

Struggling to navigate the maze of English grammar? Confused by all the contradictory rules and exceptions? Want to sound more like a native British English speaker? We’ve got the perfect podcast for you!

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  • 🔹 Our latest episode demystifies TWO commonly mistaken grammar rules that even native English speakers get wrong!
  • 🔹 BUT we don’t stop there. We blow the lid off TWO grammar 'rules' that you've been taught to follow but are utterly wrong. That’s right – we're giving you permission to break these 'rules'! 👍🚫
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✔Lesson transcript: https://adeptenglish.com/lessons/grammar-english-myths-debunked/

I like the comma. It is a pause, a break in a sentence, which is a good thing.
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Want to boost your English fluency fast? Unravel the mystery of English grammar rules? Our lesson is your answer. We debunk myths, clarify the rules you must follow, and turbocharge your fluency. Become a confident speaker while unearthing secrets of English.

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Be careful of the words you say, keep them short and sweet. You never know, from day to day, which ones you'll have to eat.
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More About This Lesson

Unleash your English potential with our exciting language lesson! Navigate the intricate path of English grammar, debunk common myths, and master the rules to accelerate your fluency. Engage with us to transform your understanding of English and communicate with newfound confidence.

To handle a language skilfully is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery.
⭐ Charles Baudelaire

Things you will learn listening to this English grammar lesson:, you will discover:

  1. Understanding 'Subject-Verb Agreement' is key to sounding fluent in English.
  2. Learn how 'Split Infinitives' can actually enhance your language expression.
  3. Tips to correctly use 'I' and 'Me' - common mistakes even natives make!
  4. Master the art of using adverbs in 'LY' with split infinitives for an engaging conversation.
  5. Say goodbye to the 'Preposition at the End of a Sentence' myth!
  6. Here's how to use apostrophes correctly - a trick many English speakers miss.
  7. The right way to use 'Who' and 'Whom' - it's simpler than you think!
  8. Are you using the 'Conditional' correctly? Find out here.
  9. Unravelling 'Collective Nouns': Are they singular or plural? Both, perhaps!
  10. Intricate yet fun: the rules of 'Subject-Predicate Agreement'.

Benefits of our listen & learn approach to learning

This type of language learning journey offers a holistic approach to language. Besides merely debunking misconceptions and explaining rules, it focuses on:

  1. Enhancing English Fluency: The lesson engages you in an immersive learning experience, gradually improving your conversational ability and making you speak more naturally.
  2. Boosting Confidence: By dispelling common myths and clarifying the actual rules, this lesson provides the knowledge you need to converse confidently, free from the fear of embarrassing grammar errors.
  3. Refining Pronunciation: This lesson improves your listening skills, enabling you to comprehend and mimic the nuances of English pronunciation, ensuring clear communication.
  4. Expanding Vocabulary: Exposure to a wide array of words and phrases helps you express your thoughts more effectively by expanding your English lexicon.
  5. Accelerating Learning Speed: Through active engagement, the lesson stimulates faster language absorption, easing concerns about slow progress in English skills.
My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel--it is, before all, to make you see.
⭐ Joseph Conrad
  • Understanding English grammar goes beyond memorizing rules and words.
  • Active engagement, attentive listening, and practice in real-world scenarios are vital for improving fluency.
  • Attentive listening can greatly improve English fluency. Source: Krashen, S. (1985).
  • Explicit grammar instruction significantly improves English usage. Source: Norris & Ortega (2000).
  • Engaging with English just beyond your current level can accelerate proficiency. Source: Krashen, S. (1982).

Do not restrict your English learning to outdated textbooks. Our approach offers a dynamic, comprehensive, and interactive method that addresses your worries about missing essential English lessons. It's not just possible to learn English, it's thrilling. Break free from doubts and start your journey towards English fluency today.

Embark on your journey towards English fluency now! Subscribe to our lesson, bust grammar myths, master rules, and enhance your fluency. Don't wait, join us today!

Questions You Might Have...

Welcome to our FAQ section! Here, we'll guide you through the common questions and answers about our lesson. Think of us as your friendly helper, simplifying the mysteries of learning to speak English fluently.

  1. What is the goal of this Adept English podcast transcript? This transcript aims to enhance your English fluency. It achieves this by debunking common English grammar myths and clarifying the rules you need to follow to sound fluent in English. Listen attentively, it's a chance to learn more about the beautiful complexities of the English language.
  2. What are some of the common English mistakes discussed in the podcast? The podcast discusses common mistakes like 'rogue apostrophes' and incorrect usage of pronoun cases. By listening attentively, you can understand these errors and avoid them in your own English usage, thereby improving your fluency.
  3. Does the podcast support learning British English? Absolutely! The podcast provides insights into British English usage. As you listen, you'll be exposed to the intricacies of British English, helping you become more fluent and confident in using the language.
  4. What grammar rules are debunked in the podcast? The podcast challenges the rules of 'not splitting infinitives' and 'not ending a sentence with a preposition'. These are traditional rules often taught in English learning, but the podcast makes a convincing case for why they can sometimes be ignored.
  5. How can I improve my English fluency using this podcast? By listening attentively to the podcast, you can better understand and assimilate the correct usage of English grammar. You'll learn what to do, what not to do, and even when to break the rules! It's a comprehensive guide to enhancing your English fluency.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Apostrophe: A punctuation mark (') used to indicate either possession (e.g., John's book) or the omission of letters or numbers (e.g., can't, it's, class of '99).
  • Possession: In grammar, it's the relationship between a possessive pronoun or noun and the thing being owned (e.g., "John's book" - 'John's' is indicating possession of the book).
  • Plural: A term that refers to more than one person or thing. It is the opposite of singular, which refers to just one person or thing.
  • Pronoun: A word that is used instead of a noun or noun phrase, such as he, she, it, they, etc.
  • Infinitive: The basic form of a verb, often preceded by the word 'to' (e.g., to run, to eat, to drink).
  • Adverb: A word that modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb, often used to show time, manner, place, or degree (e.g., quickly, very, well).
  • Preposition: A word that shows the relationship of a noun (or a pronoun) to some other word in the sentence. Prepositions can indicate time, place, or relationship (e.g., at, in, on, over, under, to, from).
  • Cumbersome: Difficult to handle or use especially because of size or weight.
  • Monotony: Lack of variety and interest; tedious repetition and routine.
  • Rogue: Something that is different from what is normally expected, often used to describe something that is operating outside of control or outside of the usual rules.

Most Frequently Used Words:


Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

The mp3 audio and pdf transcript for this lesson is now part of the Adept English back catalogue . You can still download and listen to this lesson as part of one of our podcast bundles.

Transcript: Which English Grammar Rules Can You Safely Ignore

Two grammar Rules to learn to be ahead of English speakers and two grammar rules to ignore because they’re wrong!

Hi there. Today in this podcast, I'll cover two classic English grammar mistakes that native English speakers commonly make. And then, we'll challenge two grammar rules you may have been taught but which are simply wrong! And these incorrect grammar rules are sometimes even taught in British schools too! Sounds interesting? Keep listening for two rules you must follow and two rules that you can break because they’re wrong!

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

Get involved in our Spotify polls!

But before we jump in, something special. For our Spotify listeners, we're conducting 'polls' - that’s POLLS or ‘votes’. For example, in our previous podcasts, we asked your opinion on selling that whisky in a gun-shaped bottle from podcast 659.The question we asked was ‘Do you think selling whisky in a bottle with this shape and branding is OK? And 57% of you said you were OK with that and 42% of you didn’t think it was a good idea.

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And then the 2nd poll was from podcast 660, when I talked about the British wanting to own their own homes. We asked ‘Do you own or rent a home, or are you still living with mum and dad?’. Well, 52% of you own your own property, 23% of you rent and 25% live of you live with mum and dad. That was last time I looked and the numbers may still change. But it was great to have your responses, and very interesting to see different viewpoints and different results. So if you're on Spotify, make sure to participate - your opinion matters!

This week's poll is all about you - do you like grammar podcasts, YES or NO? Your feedback will shape our future content on Adept English, so do let us know! Tell us whether you would like MORE grammar podcasts or not? And try out this grammar podcast today to find out! We’ll be really interested in what you say.

Right - two grammar rules you must follow and two grammar rules in English that you can ignore because they’re wrong! Let’s start with two mistakes that some English speakers make all the time and which some English speakers hate to see!

Grammar mistakes to avoid 1 - Rogue apostrophes

Grammar mistakes to avoid 1 - Rogue apostrophes. That’s ROGUE. This grammar mistake is a written one and you sometimes see it on signs in the UK. You see the plural of a word like ‘sandwiches’, spelt SANDWICH’S instead of correctly, SANDWICHES. Ah, that apostrophe S here - that’s a horrible grammar mistake! Maybe the confusion is that you have to add an ES for the plural of ‘sandwich’? But no, you also see something like the word ‘drinks’ spelt DRINK’S instead of DRINKS. Why? You might see this on a sign outside a pub or in a shop sometimes. As I say, this is what’s known in English as the ‘rogue apostrophe’. It means that the apostrophe (‘) has ‘gone rogue’, ended up in the wrong place! The only time that you use an ‘apostrophe S’ is with possession - my father’s cat, apostrophe S, the cat’s whiskers, apostrophe S.

And notice when the noun is plural for the person or people who are doing the possessing? Here the apostrophe (‘) goes after the S. My parents’ cat - that’s ‘S apostrophe’ because I have two parents and ‘the boys’ teacher, ‘S apostrophe’ because there are a lot of boys. You don’t use ‘apostrophe S’ for plurals. So learn not to make that written grammar mistake and you’ll be ahead of many British English speakers!

Grammar mistakes to avoid - 2 - Case matters with pronouns

Grammar mistakes to avoid - 2 - Case matters with pronouns. When I learned Latin and German at school, I learned that nouns, pronouns and adjectives can change depending upon which part of the sentence they’re in. The proper name for that ‘part of the sentence’ - we call it the ‘case’, CASE of the noun. In languages like German and Latin, so many words change in that way - and even the adjectives change too. But this happens less in English. However in English these rules about ‘case’ do affect pronouns, that’s PRONOUNS. A ‘pronoun’ is something like he, she, it, him they, them etc. If the person represented by the pronoun is ‘doing the action’ in the sentence, is ‘the subject of a verb’, the pronoun is different from when they’re the ‘object in the sentence’.


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An example - if ‘he’ is doing the action, it’s he, HE. And if he’s having the action done to him, it’s ‘him’, HIM. You know that grammar rule, right? But British people get this one wrong sometimes, in spoken English and when they’re dealing with more than one person. For example, you might hear ‘My mother and me went to the cinema’. But this is clearly incorrect because you wouldn’t ‘Me went to the cinema’, would you? I think people confuse this because the noun ‘Mother’ doesn’t change. To make it correct - ‘My mother and I went to the cinema’. So ‘I’ when you’re the subject of the sentence, and ‘me’ only when you’re the object of the sentence.

Another example of incorrect pronoun case? ‘This is a photograph of she and I on holiday together.’ Again, you wouldn’t say ‘This is a photograph of I’, would you? You’d say ‘It’s a ‘photograph of me’ and it’s also ‘a photograph of her’. So correctly ‘This is a photograph of her and me on holiday together.’

Another example of this type of mistake with pronouns? ‘I think that’s a secret best kept between you and I’. So people make a similar mistake with prepositions. ‘Between’, BETWEEN is a preposition - and if you’re using a preposition with a pronoun, that pronoun isn’t the subject of the sentence, so it’s never I, he or she or we. In this sentence, if think the confusion comes from the fact that the ‘you’, YOU doesn’t change, but the ‘I’ does change. Anyway - correcting that sentence, it would be ‘I think that’s a secret best kept between you and me’.

Let’s get on to the rules you can break because they’re wrong! So…..

Rules that you don’t need to take notice of - 1- ‘Don’t split infinitives’

Rules that you don’t need to take notice of - 1- ‘Don’t split infinitives’. Have you ever been told that it’s a rule of English - ‘don’t split the infinitive? Well, I’m here to tell you you can do that - ignore that rule! Children in British schools used to be taught that - hopefully this has stopped!

What does ‘to split an infinitive’ mean? Well, an ‘infinitive’, INFINITIVE is the ‘to’ form of a verb. ‘To go’, ‘to run’, ‘to eat’, ‘to drink’ are all infinitives. And the way you ‘split an infinitive’? Well, you put an adverb in between. ‘To slowly eat’, ‘to quickly drink’. So you may have been told you mustn’t do that - but I’m here to tell you that split infinitives are perfectly OK, grammatically correct! They’re just putting the emphasis on the adverb, the describing word, rather than the verb. And there’s that famous split infinitive from Star Trek - remember the mission of the Star Trek Enterprise was ‘to boldly go where no man has gone before’? Perfectly correct grammar. So the split infinitive is OK - it’s not an error.

However, you do need to be a bit careful with the split infinitive. Only certain adverbs sound correct when they split the infinitive. You could say ‘To swiftly run’, but you couldn’t say ‘To fast run’ - you’d have to say ‘To run fast’. Confusing, isnt it? But a good guide - if the adverb ends in LY as many do, it’s usually OK to split the infinitive with one of these adverbs. And there are many examples of adverbs that don’t end in LY which can be used to split infinitives, such as adverbs to do with frequency - ‘to sometimes go’, or ‘to always go’, ‘to never go’ are all absolutely fine. But there are many adverbs that just don’t sound right if you split an infinitive with them. For example you wouldn’t say ‘to far go’, you’d say ‘to go far’. You wouldn’t say ‘to today go’, you’d say ‘to go today’. So a good rule to play it safe then - only split an infinitive with adverbs that end in LY. And then most of the time it’ll be correct.

Or you could make the choice just not to split an infinitive at all - and put your adverb in the normal place, after the infinitive - that’s safe. What’s bizarre about this one is that although British people might make spelling mistakes on simple things like a plural with an apostrophe S, this is much more complicated and knowledge of which adverbs can be used to split an infinitive - well, English speakers would just automatically know! Strange isn’t it? But actually that’s the power of ‘learning through listening’. British people would get this one correct every time, without any trouble, because to them it would just sound wrong. Learning through listening is extremely powerful - if you hear a piece of grammar enough times, you just know how to get it right automatically, without thinking about it! That’s why we encourage you to listen a lot.

Listening Lessons

Rules that you DON’T need to take notice of - 2 - don’t end a sentence with a preposition

Rules that you DON’T need to take notice of - 2 - don’t end a sentence with a preposition. Don’t end a sentence with a preposition - I was taught this in school. What does this mean? Well, the rule is saying that words like ‘on’, ‘up’, ‘to’ shouldn’t be the last word of a sentence.

Download The Podcast Audio & Transcript

However, if you want to ask ‘Where are you going to?’ - it’s really difficult to ask that in a different way. ‘To where are you going?’ perhaps - but hardly anyone who speaks English would say that - it sounds like Shakespeare or something! You might reply ‘I’m going to pick him up.’ Again, there isn’t a better way of saying that - the ‘up’ is fine at the end of the sentence. This rule is wrong!

And sometimes the suggested corrections to this supposed rule sound really cumbersome and awkward. For example, most people in English would say ‘Who am I speaking to?’ or perhaps ‘Whom am I speaking to’, though few people would use that ‘whom’ form. How else are you supposed to say this? The people who think that you shouldn’t end a sentence on a preposition would have you say ‘To whom am I speaking?’ But that sounds ridiculously old fashioned and hardly anyone one would actually speak like that. So please, just don’t worry about ending sentences with a preposition. It’s a rule that you can absolutely ignore!


OK - so that was a little mixed bag of grammar rules. I hope you were familiar with some of them - and also that you learned something new at the same time. Don’t forget to feed back on the poll on Spotify - whether you’d like more grammar podcasts or not!

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com




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