Make friends with grammar and shift from FORM to FUNCTION

Adult learners often complain that they spent too much time learning grammar in school.

At the same time, they keep asking for (and need) grammar clarification, because they still make mistakes and they want to speak using more correct grammar.

They find it hard to get the right balance. And for many, understanding English grammar often means frustration.

What if I tell you that it is possible to “make friends” with English grammar? 😀


Grammar is there to help and support us to express our ideas with more precision and clarity. We don’t HAVE to learn every grammar point in order to communicate efficiently, but the more we know, the more accurate and detailed we can get, and the more aligned we will sound with what is considered correct and standard grammar.


When learners ask me to explain the Present Perfect for instance, first I ask back:

“What do you know about the Present Perfect now?”


Very often the first answer I get is this: it’s HAVE + 3rd form (Past Participle).

This shows that learners are mostly focused on FORM, not FUNCTION. 💡

  • Form is about how we compose the grammatically correct phrase
  • Function is about why and when do I use this grammar

1-Minute Tip ⏳

When learning grammar, see it as a useful guide, rather than a cold, unfriendly travel mate.👇

Shift your focus from FORM to FUNCTION.

Instead of trying to dig for the FORM you once memorized in school, try answering these two questions first when you need to clarify a grammar situation:

  1. What do I want to express?
  2. What tool exists / tools exist in English to say this?

Train your mind to this approach.

At first it may be a slow thought process. But if you make this functional approach into a habit, it will later help you to use grammar in a more fluent way, and change it from something that you feel you must learn into something you are happy to learn.

This way grammar will become a more practical and dynamic thing. You can be less worried about memorizing structures without really understanding why that grammar point is the best choice for a given language situation.

The content I share with you is from my 20+ years teaching experience. I don’t use AI to compose or think for me.


👋 Hi, I’m Gábor.

I can help your business go international. How? I`ll help you build English speaking fluency for your business needs in simple ways.

💬 Message me for a free chat. I’ll be glad to listen and help you discover your best personalized learning roadmap. 🎯

As always, thanks for being my newsletter reader!

Talk to you next time. 🙂

Gábor 🙂

Connect | Gábor Légrádi | MA, RSA/CTEFLA

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