Grammar baffles even native English speakers

Last Updated: Jul 12, 2010, 13:04 PM IST

London: Do you think you understand basic grammar of English just because it’s your native language? If you do, then you are most probably wrong.

A new study said that even native speakers have difficulty identifying the meaning of passive sentences, such as ‘"the soldier was hit by the sailor".

One reason for this could be that less-educated native English speakers have less experience of grammar.

"Regardless of educational attainment or dialect, we are all supposed to be equally good at grammar, in the sense of being able to use grammatical cues to understand the meaning of sentences,” the Scotsman quoted Researcher Ewa Dabrowska as saying.

"These findings could have a number of implications. If a significant proportion of the population does not understand passive sentences, then notices and other forms of written information may have to be rewritten and literacy strategies changed," she added.