What is Grammar: Grammar Definitions

What is Grammar?

The word ‘Grammar’ is a word used by many who have not actually cared to know what the word means. The word Grammar belongs to one of the levels of language study. There are three (3) basic levels of language study. These are:

  1. Phonology, which deals with the spoken forms and sound patterns of a language.
  2. Grammar, which can be subdivided into Lexis and Syntax. Lexis deals with words that make up a language; this is also known as Morphology. Syntax deals with the arrangement of lexis or words into phrases, clauses and sentences.
  3. Semantics, which deals with the different shades of meaning that we can generate from a language.

There are various notions about the concept of the word Grammar as it relates to linguistics or language study. We shall examine four different definitions or notions of ‘What is Grammar?’

Definition 1

The term Grammar describes the quality of the knowledge of a language possessed by a speaker as we see from their utterances.

This is why we say someone has a poor grammar when we consider their utterances, that is, we infer from the speaker’s utterances that the quality of the knowledge of the language possessed by that speaker is a poor one.

 Definition 2

We also use the word Grammar to refer to a book stating the morphological and syntactic rules of a particular language.

Definition 3

The word Grammar could also mean the body of descriptive statements about the morphology and syntactic structures of a language.

When someone says they are learning the grammar of English, this notion of grammar is what they are referring to.

Definition 4

We also use the word Grammar to mean the body of prescriptive statements about usages that we consider acceptable and those we consider unacceptable in a particular language.

We see Grammar in this sense as the art of speaking and writing correctly.

So when next someone talks about grammar, they could be referring to any of these definitions of Grammar! Do visit our Social Media Pages.



  • Jaymz Boanerges

    I am a teacher of English. I have a passion is to impart knowledge of the English language to the teeming populace globally; especially, students at all levels of education, so that they can acquire both linguistic competence and linguistic performance in the language, gaining mastery of and comprehending the nitty-gritty of the language.

37 thoughts on “What is Grammar: Grammar Definitions”

  1. I have always thought of Grammar as a system of rules and principles of the various word classes for speaking and writing a language.
    However, this article has substantially added to my repertoire of the topic discussed.
    Thank you!

  2. is it possible for an individual to be grammatically sound when it comes to written and find it difficult to express maybe due to accent

  3. This was so educative sir!! I realized from this article that grammar extends more than just the quality of an English word or sentence like I used to think it was! I am looking forward to more articles from you sir! Thank you very much

    • It simply refers to a book that contains the rules of a particular language regarding the formation and use of words and sentences in that particular language. It is more or less a guide book.

    • Not really; it has to do with rules guiding the use of any language. Most people make that mistake to think that Grammar has to do with speech quality. Quality of speech is accommodated under Phonetics and Phonology.

  4. Having gone through this post Sir I want to ask is it safe to say that grammar primarily refers or deals with the usage of words in a language be it English, French, Spanish etc ?

  5. Most Nigerians have issues with using the right grammatical structures, they just tend to use the words as they come.
    Nice write up👍


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