Basic English Grammar: Rules for Kids

Learning grammar is very important, but it can also be challenging. However, the more you study and learn about grammar, the better you tend to become at it. To help you, some basic grammar rules are explained below. Keep reading to find out more.

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Grammar Rules for Kids

Common Grammar Confusion

With so many different rules to know, it's easy to make mistakes from time to time. In fact, there are some common rules that tend to confuse a lot of kids. If you're one of them, don't worry. Some information has been provided below to help you improve your use and knowledge of grammar.

Adjectives vs. Adverbs

Adjectives are words you use to describe nouns or pronouns. Adverbs, on the other hand, are used with verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. They answer the questions how, when or where. Many adverbs end in -ly, but that is not always the case. Check out the examples of each below.


The yellow kite flew off into the blue sky.
Melissa was excited when she received the gigantic teddy bear for her birthday.


The yellow kite flew off quickly into the blue sky. (How did it fly? - quickly)
Melissa hugged her new bear tightly and refused to let it go. (How did she hug? - tightly)
Jake worked hard to get all his homework done. (How did Jake work? -hard)

Who vs. That

When dealing with the question of whether you should use who or that, remember 'who' refers to people and 'that' refers to things or groups. Rereading the sentence to find out if the subject is a person or a thing will usually help you. Some examples have been provided below.

Using Who

Rachel is the one who called the police.
The boy in the black shirt is the one who opened the gate illegally.

Using That

I'm a member of the committee that is responsible for raising money.
I don't like being in buildings that smell like smoke.

Basic Punctuation

There are numerous types of punctuation you need to know, but three basic ones are periods (.), question marks (?) and exclamation points (!). All three have their own rules of use. These rules are given below with examples.


Periods go at the end of complete sentences that are statements and after indirect questions.

Complete sentence:

The cow jumped over the moon.

Indirect question:

He asked if you knew who stole the cookies.

Question Marks

Question marks go at the end of direct questions and sentences that are half statement and half question.

Direct question:

What are you doing today?

Half statement and half question:

You don't really care, do you?

Exclamation Points

Exclamation points go at the end of sentences to show emphasis. They can express admiration, alarm, surprise, excitement or even anger.

I can't believe you did that!
Slow down!
That's wonderful!
I never want to see you again!

Capitalization Rules

There are many rules for you to learn about capitalization, but knowing some basic ones will give you a good start on your grammar skills. First, always capitalize the first word in a sentence. Second, capitalize all proper nouns such as people's names, states and countries. Third, be sure to capitalize the days of the week and months. Examples of each are provided below.

First word:

Tacos are delicious.

Proper nouns:

Johnny and Tim went to Japan this summer.

Days of the week and months:

This year my birthday falls on the first Tuesday in January.
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