Top 20 Grammar Rules

Here is a helpful list of 20 grammar rules. Following these rules will help you write better English. For more information, scroll down to read more about each of these.

  1. Begin a sentence with a capital letter.
  2. End each sentence with a period, question mark, or exclamation mark.
  3. Prioritize the active voice in most sentences.
  4. Use the passive voice, selectively, to deemphasize the subject.
  5. Separate items in a list with a comma.
  6. Combine two independent clauses with a semicolon, when the clauses connect.
  7. Place a colon before a list or explanation.
  8. Enclose direct speech or quoted text in quotation marks.
  9. Indicate possession or create contractions with apostrophes.
  10. Ensure subject-verb agreement in sentences.
  11. Ensure pronoun-antecedent agreement in sentences.
  12. Use the correct verb tense in sentences.
  13. Use parallel structure in lists and comparisons.
  14. Place modifiers correctly, keeping them close to the word they modify.
  15. Join independent clauses with coordinating conjunctions.
  16. Create complex sentences with subordinating conjunctions.
  17. Introduce relative clauses with relative pronouns.
  18. Use the correct case for pronouns (e.g., I, me, my, mine).
  19. Match nouns correctly, including plural and possessive forms.
  20. Use articles (a, an, the) correctly in front of nouns.


Beginning a sentence with a capital letter is fundamental. It signals the start of a new thought and aids in navigating the text. Similarly, ending each sentence with proper punctuation, such as a period, question mark, or exclamation mark, provides clear closure and indicates the nature of the statement.

When constructing sentences, prioritizing the active voice makes them more direct and dynamic. However, there are occasions where using the passive voice selectively can be effective, especially when the focus is on the action rather than the subject.

Separating items in a list with commas ensures clarity, making it easy to distinguish between individual elements. In addition, combining two independent clauses with a semicolon can be a powerful tool when the clauses are closely related yet could stand alone as separate sentences.

Placing a colon before a list or explanation helps introduce additional information, while enclosing direct speech or quoted text in quotation marks clearly indicates that the words are taken verbatim from another source. Indicating possession or creating contractions with apostrophes is also crucial for conveying the intended meaning.

Ensuring subject-verb agreement and pronoun-antecedent agreement are essential for grammatical consistency. Likewise, using the correct verb tense and parallel structure in lists and comparisons contribute to the coherence and flow of the text.

Placing modifiers correctly is important to avoid ambiguity, as is joining independent clauses with coordinating conjunctions to build more complex sentences. Creating complex sentences with subordinating conjunctions adds depth to your writing, and introducing relative clauses with relative pronouns provides additional information about a noun.

Using the correct case for pronouns ensures that they fit their role in the sentence, while matching nouns correctly in terms of plural and possessive forms is necessary for accuracy. Finally, using articles correctly is essential for specifying nouns and providing clarity to the reader.

By mastering these 20 grammar rules, you can significantly enhance the clarity and effectiveness of your writing. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep writing and applying these rules to become a more proficient and confident communicator.