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Knowing the basics of practical grammar makes you a better writer because it gives you tools to diagnose and solve problems. Instead of just feeling that a sentence is probably right or wrong, you can say for certain whether and why it is. Knowing the basics of grammar also means that you can write for people who were taught it without feeling at a disadvantage. It is indispensable for writing to a professional, publishable standard.
The four types of words (or “parts of speech” as they’re usually called) that are most useful to know about are:
We have given them in this order because, practically speaking, this is the hierarchy of their power and utility. You should prefer verbs over nouns, nouns over adjectives and adjectives over adverbs. Doing this keeps writing active, interesting and easy to grasp.
You can tell which type a word is by looking at what it does in the sentence. See the individual entries for guidance on how to do this.