Grammar

               Why do
we learn grammar? I am trying to find a good answer for the students in our
English Curso. While learning what technical categories words are grouped in
(adverb, preposition, conjunction, etc.) may seems like a pointless waste of
time, I maintain that a strong understanding of grammar is important for more
than passing high school exams.

               A crazy professor once told me that
grammar is the essence of being. While the statement may seem absurd at first,
our words and consequently our thoughts (at least to a certain extent) are
regulated by the grammatical structures which allow for their combination in
particular ways. Once we begin to think about how these structures are
organized, an endless number of questions may arise: what is the function of
the verb “to be” (what do we mean when we say “the tree is pretty”), why in Spanish do we say, for instance, “the cup fell
to me” (se me cayó), where in English we say “I dropped the cup,” why in
Spanish do we possess age, “I have x years” (tengo x años), where in English we
“are” age, “I am x years old,” why is it that when we translate from one
language to another, no matter how precise we try to be, something always seems
to change in the “meaning,” in the thought? It would seem that our grammar and syntax, the
way we arrange and relate words to each other, can affect the way we think and,
therefore to some extent, the way we “are.” So could it be that the crazy
professor was not as crazy as she first appeared? We’ll see what our students
have to say about it.

N. N. – Sustainable Roots Volunteer

Posted by ryanlynch