Definition of grammar in US English:

grammar

noun

  • 1The whole system and structure of a language or of languages in general, usually taken as consisting of syntax and morphology (including inflections) and sometimes also phonology and semantics.

    • ‘By studying that language, by learning its grammar and syntax, one can unlock its subtle mysteries and gain a better understanding of the world.’
    • ‘In my experience, few English teachers know anything at all either about English grammar or about linguistics.’
    • ‘And John, I hope my grammar and syntax meet your very high standards.’
    • ‘To understand writing requires knowledge of English grammar and syntax.’
    • ‘Short-term language therapy was recommended to help with grammar, syntax, and auditory discrimination.’
    • ‘Try to imagine a world without language; a world where words, grammar and syntax suddenly become meaningless.’
    • ‘Certainly very few women before the 20th century shared the education of men who learned their grammar and syntax from the classics while women picked up what they could of both from men.’
    • ‘They care about grammar, syntax, usage, denotation, connotation, etymology.’
    • ‘Each of these languages features a highly inflected grammar.’
    • ‘According to his theory, humans produce language through a deep structure that enables them to generate and transfer their own grammar to any other language.’
    • ‘In fact, in 11 years of Ontario education, I have never been taught even the basics of grammar and sentence structure.’
    • ‘While these languages shared phonology and grammar, they had entirely different vocabularies.’
    • ‘Despite similarity in syntax, vocabulary, and grammar, the contemporary languages are mutually unintelligible.’
    • ‘It also has a close relationship to Japanese in general structure, grammar, and vocabulary.’
    • ‘Because the source and target languages are different in vocabulary, syntax, and grammar, it involves compromises.’
    • ‘In terms of grammar, syntax, and spelling there are no important differences between the two, but the pronunciation and sound are different.’
    • ‘The vocabulary may be altering more quickly than ever before - but the underlying grammar and syntax remains essentially the same.’
    • ‘To analyse language and to define language disorders most linguists divide language into four domains: phonology, grammar, semantics, and pragmatics.’
    • ‘There's at least one major error of spelling, punctuation, syntax, grammar or construction in every sentence.’
    • ‘Shakespeare explored and exploited to the full the potentials of the English language of his time, coining new words and bending grammar and syntax to serve his poetic and dramatic ends.’
    syntax, rules of language, morphology, semantics
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1usually with modifier A particular analysis of the system and structure of language or of a specific language.
      • ‘This grammar is the first pedagogic grammar to integrate syntax and lexis using corpus data.’
      • ‘Note again that the rules of Chomskyan grammar are intended to explain the ability and the intuition of the native speaker of the language.’
      • ‘The lesson here is that you actually need to have a pretty good control of descriptive grammar before you can intelligently engage in prescriptive grammar.’
      • ‘Functional Grammar (FG) is a descriptive and theoretical model of the organization of natural (spoken and signed) language.’
    2. 1.2 A book on grammar.
      ‘my old Latin grammar’
      • ‘Nevertheless, the notion was well recognized in older grammatical theories, in school grammars of Latin, for example.’
      • ‘Although it does carry standard grammars and dictionaries for the biblical languages, I've owned them all for over thirty years now and they are of no interest to me.’
      • ‘The friars and their native assistants produced an immense number of grammars, dictionaries, catechisms, confessional manuals, sermon outlines, chronicles, and even religious dramas.’
      • ‘This book actually contains two grammar books: a primer for younger children and a grammar for older children.’
      • ‘This version is the one most familiar to students of Old English literature, since it appeared in most Old English grammars and readers.’
      • ‘Traditional grammars always tell you that adjectives are defined as words that modify nouns, and adverbs can be defined as words that modify other parts of speech - they modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, and prepositions.’
      • ‘New grammars and dictionaries of the Old Icelandic language enabled the Victorians to grapple with primary texts, supported on occasion by contact with distinguished Icelandic scholars resident in Britain.’
      • ‘Almost entirely in the specialist literature: in the big reference grammars of English, in college textbooks, and the like.’
      • ‘Jamaican Creole, for instance, has grammars and dictionaries as well as de facto norms, but there is no standard Jamaican Creole.’
      • ‘This interest gathered serious strength during the Italian Renaissance, inspiring travellers such as Pietro della Valle in 1626, to bring back what proved to be Coptic grammars and dictionaries from the Middle East.’
      • ‘In the later Middle Ages it became the linguistic basis of the scholastic speculative grammars, particularly in the University of Paris.’
      • ‘Traditional grammars say that sentences express complete thoughts.’
      • ‘They don't look anything up in serious grammars or dictionaries.’
    3. 1.3 A set of actual or presumed prescriptive notions about correct use of a language.
      ‘it was not bad grammar, just dialect’
      • ‘Speaking as a moderator, I'd rather have correct spelling and grammar, as it makes comprehension easier, and am happy to deal with requests for corrections.’
      • ‘But if it's Jamie speaking, it might be purposeful because she's 5 and doesn't always use correct grammar.’
      • ‘Use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation at all times.’
      • ‘Nowhere did one find any of the sloppy grammar and syntax so much loved by today's pseudo intellectuals.’
      • ‘While I agree that correct grammar is always a minimal requirement if you desire mutual understanding, I think that you are avoiding my point.’
      • ‘No hyphen, no comma or anything - but I couldn't do that to you on the blog because bad punctuation and grammar drives me crazy.’
      • ‘There are guides to correct grammar, spelling and punctuation and examples from great writers.’
      • ‘The student must write these using correct spelling and grammar or the answer will be counted wrong.’
      • ‘OK, so the grammar's awful, but the storyline hinted at in those few words could be fascinating.’
      • ‘It wasn't bad grammar, I meant exactly what I said.’
      • ‘Use of these strategies does not result in better writing styles and more correct grammar, but it helps writers solve problems and discover new ideas.’
      • ‘The youth press is, all too often, a place of bad grammar and inelegant sentences.’
      • ‘My applications were struck out on technicalities and for not using the correct jargon, or for bad English grammar, but this should not have precluded me from having my case go to trial.’
      • ‘There is little in terms of correct grammar and pronunciation that listeners can learn from them.’
      • ‘In both your resume and cover letter, proper grammar and correct spelling are indispensable.’
      • ‘Standard English, with correct grammar, is spoken in formal situations.’
      • ‘The bad grammar, lack of punctuation and capitalisation are his trademarks.’
      • ‘All journalists I know correct a bit of bad grammar in an occasional quote, out of courtesy to the source and reader.’
      • ‘I just want to apologize for my bad grammar, but I'm trying!’
      • ‘Here again, type using proper sentence structure, grammar and spelling so your request is understood.’
      • ‘Sal only ever resorted to the use of bad grammar and words such as ‘ain't’ when he was seriously hurting or stressed.’
    4. 1.4 The basic elements of an area of knowledge or skill.
      ‘the grammar of wine’
      • ‘Because classroom training is, of necessity, strict, the impulse to play with the grammar of ballet has to be located within choreography courses or in other parts of the syllabus.’
      • ‘What follows is a painstaking analysis of the grammar of war, the way an army thinks, and what happens to the cities the author has so beautifully described in his other books when they get in the way of generals.’
      • ‘Seeking realism, the programme uses the grammar of factual television: when a new character enters the room, the screen freezes and their name and job-title is typed on the screen.’
      • ‘Fluency with calculation is the basic grammar of mathematics.’
      • ‘They must also understand the grammar of written music in order to express these sounds as symbols on paper.’
      • ‘In short, theology is the grammar of religious discourse.’
      • ‘Nobody uses the grammar of film with more economy and precision.’
      • ‘Like a language, the military art has its own lexicon, grammar, and syntax.’
    5. 1.5Computing A set of rules governing what strings are valid or allowable in a language or text.
      • ‘A tree corresponding to the Newick string was generated by our grammar.’
      • ‘These six rules define the grammar of a two-function calculator designed to process input strings.’
      • ‘I plan on continuing with the online grammar / editing conferences next semester.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French gramaire, via Latin from Greek grammatikē (tekhnē) ‘(art) of letters’, from gramma, grammat- ‘letter of the alphabet, thing written’.

Pronunciation

grammar

/ˈɡramər//ˈɡræmər/