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Are there writing techniques that can be used to lessen the amount of grammar required?

I.e. that by using some techniques one needs to consult fewer grammar rules. And also do less checking on them.

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  • Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer.
    – Community Bot
    Nov 14, 2021 at 0:21

2 Answers 2

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Write short sentences. Make the sentences simple. The grammar you need is limited.

If, for contrast, you were to use more complicated and longer sentences, then you are also far more likely to have to use more exotic grammatical structures.

But there is a general principle: read a lot. You will get a feel for the grammar of the language and, after a while, will get it fairly right even without checking things up all the time.

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  • Intuitive, but is it possible to gain good readability that way?
    – mavavilj
    Nov 13, 2021 at 11:51
  • Preferences certainly vary, but please consider the advice of reading a lot. That helps. And reading out loud what you write.
    – Tommi
    Nov 13, 2021 at 15:21
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Writing for readability

One of your comments names readability as a target. If I understand correctly, you want to make sure that the text you write is easily understood, and fear that grammar mistakes make that impossible, and you're quite correct.

When writing a text that turns out to be useful for an "external" audience, stay within your comfort zone, use only vocabulary and grammar constructs that you are sure of, that you don't have to think about, that come naturally.

If you need to look up grammar rules, re-phrase the sentence to use a simpler grammar. If you use "book grammar", your text will most probably suffer from sounding artificial to a reader, with negative effect on readability. If you can't express your ideas without a grammar book at hand, then you need to practice more before targeting an external audience.

Improving grammar skills

When writing as an exercise for your language teacher, feel free to leave your comfort zone, to get feedback about your writing to gradually improve your skills.

I'd generally advise against learning grammar by looking up grammar rules in text books. The human mind is much better in learning from examples than from rules.

So, I'd suggest to read genuine texts with attention to the grammar used, like "Oh, that's a construct new to me - let's see if I find more examples like that". And maybe you want to collect example sentences for later rehearsal.

Personal readability experience:

As a native German, I've often seen technical manuals written by non-Germans that weren't readable at all, because of

  • typos
  • wrong usage of words
  • grammar mistakes
  • formally correct, but grossly convoluted grammar
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  • I wonder if it's any strategy to collect structures that are most usable in the text style and then become fluent in using those. Or whether this is "unnatural".
    – mavavilj
    Jan 6, 2022 at 11:32

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