If you had asked me before this semester if I thought I was good at grammar I probably would have said yes. I’m not saying I knew everything but I thought I was pretty good at it. I knew what I needed to know to be able to write papers and such with correct grammar. But now I’m taking a grammar class and I no longer believe that.
This class is meant to teach grammar and how to label every part of sentences, seems like a simple enough concept. And for the first few weeks of class it was fairly easy. All the normal grammar devices that were taught in high school, simple enough. Underline the subject, double underline the verb, write labels above the prepositions and object of the prepositions, stuff like that. But after the first test everything changed!
We started discussing verbals. For those who don’t know verbals are the gerunds, participles, and infinitives. Things I heard about plenty of times and even label in high school classes before. But now we’re going so much more in depth. Each verbal functions as a verbal and possibly another part of speech, meaning there can be gerunds that are also direct objects or objects of the preposition. And then those gerunds can have direct objects and indirect objects of their own. But it the directs object of the gerunds is an infinitive then that infinitive can have another direct object. The cycle just seems endless sometimes. Add in participles and I’m constantly second guessing myself. Let’s not forget subjects of the infinitives either.
There’s just so much more to grammar than I ever knew before. I mean I know I’m learning stuff and I’ll be better off for knowing all these intricate details of grammar but it can get so confusing sometimes. I want to say I know how grammar works but when I sit down to work on an exercise for that class I feel like I know nothing. Or at least I’m not one hundred percent certain about if I’m doing it right. The professor has taught the material and I know it all in theory but when I go to apply it I get so confused. Participles and gerunds can have the same ending which means I get them mixed up, making the rest of my answers for that sentence completely wrong.
I want to be good at this but the more I learn the less I feel like I know.