In oral communication, do you think correct grammar is important?

@Harold_ks (1674)
June 7, 2010 12:29am CST
Let's focus on oral communication or face to face conversation or talking with someone in person. Let's say in a situation when we are talking to people in not really formal occassion. Do you think correct grammar is important? Would you criticize someone if he/she will utter incorrect grammar? For me, I don't think grammar is really important, as long as it is understandable, it's fine with me. How about you, what are your thoughts about this? In oral communication, do you think correct grammar is important?
6 people like this
34 responses
@Cliff94 (49)
7 Jun 10
I wouldn't really care if someone was using incorrect grammar in an informal or even a formal conversation, as I know a broad range of people that use different grammar. That and due to the way most people that live near me talk anyway, good grammar can sometimes be thrown straight out of a ten story high window. I wouldn't criticise someone for their grammar, even if i didn't understand what they said. (I smile and nod, pretending to know what they are talking about. x3 ) Just because, I wouldn't like someone nit picking at me over grammar, so I don't do it to others.
1 person likes this
@sagar21 (1583)
• India
7 Jun 10
yep,I agree to that..most people often find it difficult to communicate esp in English ..because of the grammatical rules...but I think such frustration is not needed in informal occasions. what we need is to just convey the message..and if its satisfied then any incomplete sentence can do... have a great day/night...
1 person likes this
@eurekafemme (5881)
• Philippines
7 Jun 10
I used to be very extra careful with my grammars both in written and oral forms. However, I don't criticize people who are not so adept in the English language as I , myself is not perfect with my grammar as well. In other countries like China, they don't use linking verbs anymore in their language that's why when they speak foreign languages they use the most important words to use in order to convey a message. Say, Di cha(Chinese for let's eat) is understood in English as you(Di) eat (Cha). It isn't really necessary to speak in perfect grammar. My Aunt told me that only English writers do write and speak in English grammar.:-)
1 person likes this
• India
7 Jun 10
Well the communication is valid as long as both the sides doing it are able to comprehend what the other person is saying.Thus i also agree with your thought because if you are able to understand what i am saying inspite of the fact that grammar is wrong is called a valid discussion,but when you are addresing a formal situation the grammar plays a very crucial role in determining your personality and the impression you make on the listener.
1 person likes this
@urbandekay (18312)
7 Jun 10
Yes, but spoken English grammar is different all the best urban
1 person likes this
@saphrina (31739)
• South Africa
7 Jun 10
Forget the freaking oral communication, sweetie. Where the hell have you been all this time?? Grammar is important to some. But, i personally feel as long as people understand each other, i don't see any problem. I won't correct anyone, unless they ask me too. TATA.
@cloud31 (5811)
7 Jun 10
my angel back to normal!
@Harold_ks (1674)
7 Jun 10
Hi Saph! Yes, we have the same point of view. Grammar is not that important, as long as you understand what someone is trying to say. I had a vacation in Mars, lol just kidding. I have read one of your topics and I have a feeling that I was the one on your mind on that topic, lol, just kidding again. Well, I'm back but might go away again. Haha! Just take good care of yourself my friend and don't worry I am in good hands. Thank you for your presence here.
@saphrina (31739)
• South Africa
7 Jun 10
Hi IJ, anything but back to normal. I need a break very soon. Sweetie, you will never know if you were on my mind with that discussions now, will you?/ How as Mars, a bit cold i think.
@tomitomi (5441)
• Singapore
7 Jun 10
Hi Harold_ks! If you have it I think you wouldn't have to think much in using it. Instead you would probably have to think a lot to make it simpler when talking to one who doesn't know much English. English is my second or rather my third language. And for many years I grew up not speaking the language. When I first started I always appreciated the other person who tried very hard to make it simple enough for me to understand the English he used, let alone the grammar. You are right, Ultimately, as long as it is understandable it's fine. But a lot actually goes into making it 'understandable'. Thanks for the topic. Have a nice day!
• Philippines
7 Jun 10
you definitely got that right tomi. Let me put myself in a scenario, I'm a Filipino, we are known to use the English language as our 3rd choice in terms of language preference. We know how to speak the language yet there are certain events that we tend to pause and think about the words critically because of a simple problem, we don't know what the word means to say... So it would be nice if the one who stared the conversation would use a simple layman's terms for them to interact/ relay information accordingly.
@Harold_ks (1674)
7 Jun 10
Hi tomitomi! Yes, simplicity of the words used is more understandable and clearer. As I can see, we don't really need to used deep words specially in communicating with different races, basic words are better to use. I really believe that in oral communication, as long as you understand each other, correct grammar is not really a must. Thank you for your response and have a nice day as well!
@tomitomi (5441)
• Singapore
7 Jun 10
@ shadowluigi. Yes you have summed it up nicely. A simple layman's term would do it well.
@juicekodai (1122)
• Philippines
7 Jun 10
yes.. i beleive it is important for better understanding... wether in english or in our own dialect it still still best to use proper grammar.. english is just my second language but i try to use proper grammar so that the person i am talking to will have no trouble understanding me.. :)
@Harold_ks (1674)
7 Jun 10
Hi juice! Yes, using correct grammar makes the conversation smooth and clear. But we should just adjust to people who are not that fluent speaker. Me, I admit I am not that good in oral communication, but still, I always do my best to make myself clear and understandable. Thank you for your response.
• Philippines
7 Jun 10
yup that is true.. but in ourselves we have to do our best to be understandable.. i admit there are times that i dont use proper grammar and terms even in my own dialect... but at least we tried right?.. :)
@Harold_ks (1674)
7 Jun 10
Yes you are right, if we will keep on trying and practicing, we will become better and better until we can say we are already fluent enough. :)
• Malaysia
7 Jun 10
i'd say that grammar is very important, regardless of the mode of communication. it is through the right use of grammar in a language that your recipient or the person you're communicating to will be able to build up the right mental picture with regards to your discussion, points, etc.. usage of correct grammar also reflects upon the user. the more exposed and learned the person is in a language, the better the grammar is..
@Harold_ks (1674)
8 Jun 10
Hi mario! Yes, grammar is important but even not using correct grammar, one speaker can still be undestood. And actually basic knowledge of the language is sometimes enough to deliver what you wanted to imply. Simple words are more understandble actually. Yes, grammar is good but not that important in my point of view as I respect what people can do and cannot do. Thank you for responding.
• Malaysia
8 Jun 10
you're welcome Harold
@cloud31 (5811)
7 Jun 10
Hello Harold, I don't mind if somebody committed mistake regarding his/her grammar communicating with me.As I even can't help myself commit wrong grammar though, in some business thoughts when writing is concern I admit that I always do it quiet careful.But oral communication I don't give much attention and don't mind it much when people tend to utters a wrong grammar, because I don't have a perfect grammar either unless its deemed appropriate, to utter good and nice one. Welcome back in myLOt Harold!I think your holiday is over! And Great day !
@Harold_ks (1674)
7 Jun 10
Hi Miss C! That's a good attitude, we should really not criticize those people who committed wrong grammar especially those ones who are not really fluent on the language, instead we should adjust to them and be understanding. Yes, in writing formal letters, correct grammar is really important and we should really be careful on it. Thank you for welcoming me back. It's an honor to be welcomed by a charming lass like you. Thank you for your presence here and have a great day too! Take care! :)
@cloud31 (5811)
9 Jun 10
And that's how the way it goes!Thank you for that compliment! Enjoy your stay!over and over again!
• Philippines
7 Jun 10
Nice topic to discuss with Harold.. First of all i wanna thank you for raising such topic... Oral conversation is a mode of transmitting information from the Speaker to the Receiver. It was made in such a manner that one must convey the messages that the other person is trying to imply. Which definitely means that if a person can't understand what you are trying to say, then the problem will rise... Misunderstanding most likely arise afterwards... People tend to be more observant and eager in terms of listening to a person's topic considering that the topic is interesting for that person. Once there is an identified flaw, some people tend to be discouraged and annoyed with the intonation maybe or perhaps the grammar. But as a conclusion, people tend to understand the situation especially when the one's they are talking to are not that good in using english or what language... Hope this reply helped a bit...
@Harold_ks (1674)
7 Jun 10
Hi Luigi! Thank you for being interested with my topic. I can say I am not really good in speaking english language that's why I'm not good in oral communication. I agree with you that being a listener, we also consider the background or the skills of the speaker on the language he/she is using. For example, if we are talking to a person from a not known speaking language country, then we have to adjust with them, as a listener. We are not expecting him/her to speak fluently. But when the speaker is a well known person and came from a higher authority, we expect to hear grammatically correct speech. I agree with your conclusion, we are adjusting on different situations. Thank's for your reply. Yes it helps.
• Philippines
7 Jun 10
Thanks for liking my post. Apparently not every people in every conversation are there to listen. Every individual varies on how you deal or socialize with others in a certain community. Grammar is just noticeable when you do it on writing but when you already talk about interaction. It is hardly noticeable in such a way that they'll just make the wrong grammars just for laughs... lol... Enjoy your day...
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
7 Jun 10
Even if it is oral communcation, it is better that one speaks properly in an informal gathering too.If we are at home or with friends, we do take liberties with the language and mix English and our mothertongue or any other language for that matter. Can we do this in a class room or with an outsider or to our teacher? We cannot.This is what I do. In informal English and in oral communication certain one liners and nonadherence to rules do tak e place.This is permitted and I would follow this. But I would definitely not criticise anyone who does not talk grammatcally on informal occasions. Communication is alone important for me. No one is writing an exam to be awareded some grades or being given criticism and remarks.
@Harold_ks (1674)
10 Jun 10
Hi kalav! Yes, for our personal development, we should also enhance ourselves in speaking using correct grammar. Though the fact is like what you have said, it's not a graded recitation so the tendency is even the grammar is incorrect, it is still acceptable as long as it is understandable. Thank you for your response.
@megamatt (14327)
• United States
7 Jun 10
It is not as important as it is in written communication. However, there still should be some kind of effort made. Of course, one could argue that its much easier to see your mistakes as they are out in front of you on paper, as they are exiting from your mouth. There is no way to correct them, so there is very little time to think about such things when you're in the midst of a conversation. I really do not correct people when they say things that I believe are incorrect. For one, there are times where I might misspeak or say something a bit wrong. Therefore, I do not think I have that much room to talk. Still, when you're in the middle of a conversation, it does come off a bit rude to criticize a way talks. I think I'll leave that to the professional nitpickers.
@Harold_ks (1674)
10 Jun 10
Yes, wrong grammar can easily be seen in written than in oral communication. In oral, there is almost no time in correcting one's mistake since your tendency is to listen and let him finish what he is saying. We only make him pause if we misundertand something, like we can say "come again?". It's really rude to correct someone coz it may lose his focus on what he is saying. So what really important in oral conversation is being understandable, to deliver clearly what you intended to imply. Thank you for responding.
7 Jun 10
It depends on the time and the place. when I'm in seminars and symposia I tend to correct the speakers' incorrect grammar under my breath. In an informal conversation, I don't go out of my way to correct wrong grammar. I find it rude and in a way condescending if I do it. English is my first language and so I'm confident in my English. It just seems like lording it over them if I correct them right to their face. If I make the error on the other hand, I correct myself immediately. Which is not often, haha. Correct grammar has its own time and place. It would be best if we spoke eloquently all the time but there are some times where getting the main idea across is better. Just think of it this way, if you were in Japan, won't the Japanese laugh at you for your incorrect Nippongo?
@Harold_ks (1674)
10 Jun 10
I can't blame you if you want to correct speaker who uses wrong grammar since that is your primary language and you know it very well. But yes, it also depends on the situation, on the place, and on the person who is talking. When you know that the speaker is using not his/her primary language, it is forgivable. What will be important is the message the he/she delivers. As long as you can understand it, it will be fine. Thank you for your response.
@med889 (5958)
7 Jun 10
As far as the other person is understanding what you are trying to say then I do not think grammar counts a lot however you should be telling that person beforehand that you have problems in grammar too. I always understand my Chinese, Indian and many other friends who do not talk English very well.
@Harold_ks (1674)
8 Jun 10
Hi med! Yes, as long as the one you are talking with is understandable, it will be fine. Actually it's the personality and attitude that counts more. If we are conversing with people who are not that fluent in English, we should just respect them and just make an adjustment. Thank you for responding.
• Philippines
7 Jun 10
I can be very particular about grammar in special occasions because you have to be aware of protocols and such. However, in casual conversations, it's not that important because there are a lot of factors to consider especially if you're not using the vernacular. What's always important is that you say the right words so you can get your message across clearly but it always helps to provide some correction, just do it in the nicest possible way.
@Harold_ks (1674)
8 Jun 10
Hi swirly! Yes, I agree that in special and formal occasions, correct grammar should be guided accordingly. While in casual or informal conversations, grammar is not often given imporatance. As long as the speaker can deliver his/her message clear enough, then it will be fine, no matter if he/she uses a wrong grammar. And also imporatnt is the speaker pronouce the word in a clear manner. Yes, providing correction can be done but in a very nice way. Thank you for your response.
@reetu3 (264)
• India
7 Jun 10
a correct thing is always good..... in oral communication i think little mistakes of grammar are alright .....until the meaning of the sentence has not changed and the it is understandable.... but mostly ...one makes mistakes in written but in oral communication i think there are veeeery few grammar mistakes....and you can rectify it instantly as you get response immediately...
@Harold_ks (1674)
8 Jun 10
Hi reetu! Yes, correct grammar is good but we should accept the fact that not all people are well versed so still what important is the message he/she wanted to imply. As long as it can be understood and the message was successfully sent, then it will be ok. Yes, in oral conversation, you can immediately correct yourself once you mispronounce a word. Thank you for your response.
• South Africa
7 Jun 10
I think the key word here is "understandable" and the situation/person. For many of us, English is our second language and we may not be so well versed in grammar so it is just natural to make mistakes. I personally would only correct a fellow converser if the mistake is very big and can create misinterpretation of the topic. As someone has already said, we should respect each other by concentrating on the contents of the conversation and not the mistakes in grammar that may or may not be made, after all when we converse with each other, its about the topic or information that is being shared.
@Harold_ks (1674)
8 Jun 10
Hi elmare! Yes, I agree, even if the sentences used was not in proper grammar, if the thoughts and the idea is still clear to understand, then the conversation will still be successful. Yes, respect is always important to have harmonious conversation. Thank you for your response. Have a nice day!
• Canada
7 Jun 10
Whenever I'm talking to someone, no matter the environment or situation, I always try to use the level of language that the other person can understand. FOr example if I am speaking to someone who is a vistor and speaks very little of my native language I try to find out what language they do speak or I speak slower with more basic terms in order to ensure they understand. I don't think correct grammer is as important when talking to someone face to face because in face to face conversations body language express about 50% of the conversation.
@Harold_ks (1674)
8 Jun 10
Hi budgetgal! That's a good attitude of you. You adjust yourself depends on who you are talking with. And yes, in oral communication, correct grammar is not really important, since the facial expression and body gesture will also helps to express what he/she is trying to say. Thank you for your response. :)
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
7 Jun 10
I do think correct grammar is a good thing but i would never say a word to anyone about not using it. I'M sure i make mistakes in talking many times. I think it would be very rude to correct someone. I had a lady do me that way in sunday school one time when i mis-pronounced a word. THAT WAS VERY EMBARASSING & EVEN THI IT'S BEEN OVER 30 YEARS AGO I HAVE NEVER forgotteh it or the word,lol.
@Harold_ks (1674)
8 Jun 10
Hi antiquelady! Yah, it's so embarassing to be corrected by someone, specially when you just unintentionally mispronounce a word. I can feel what you feel. Even here, I have encountered people who like to correct others. Actually for me, we can correct others, as long as we do it in a nice way and not to the point that you will be humiliated. I also hate those people who pretend to be perfect. Thank you for your response. :)