Teaching anything in English beyond the alphabet requires imparting some knowledge of grammar.
Can you deny this fact?
This knowledge of grammar is intrinsically wired in the native speaker. A child born in New York city would know how to describe his likes and dislikes in understandable English by the time he is five. But can you say the same for a five-year-old student from a country like India that has English as its second language (ESL)? For these non native English students, an explicit grammatical foundation is essential; something which the native speakers have developed through their surroundings without much conscious efforts on thier side.
And in the wide open sea of
So then what is the order in which the various grammatical concepts should be taught to the ESL students? For e.g. should verbs be followed by adjective or vice versa. Of all the complex grammatical concepts that exist, Which terms should the ESL teachers choose for his/her order?
And most importantly, from which concepts should the ESL teacher start his/her grammar lessons when his/her students probably don't know how to speak, read or write sentences at all?
These are the question that we answer in this post.
More specifically the rest of this post provides a template that can be used by ESL teachers to teach their students grammar from almost scratch. This template can be considered as your grammar lab. There is a lot of scope of customization for you, the teacher, to do based on your students requirement but still you limit yourself to certain restrictions in order to achieve the desired output.
Create situations that the student can relate to. . .
Some of the sentences that will be shown in this post will become more relatable if a context is given to the student. For e.g. for the sentence - those chocolates will be delicious- if the teacher tells the student that the chocolates being talked about are from going to come from say Pune, then this sentence would make much more sense. Ensuring that the sentences are grounded in space and time as far as possible will help the student relate much better to it. So many of the sentences which will be discussed would benefit from prepositional phrases which ground them in space and time (e.g. in the fridge, at 9 pm, after the film etc)
We are not going to teach a grammatical concept in its entirety at one place. E.g. Basic Verbs will be introduced in one place and then while covering phrases and clauses students will learn more about verbs also. This will become clear as you read through the content.
We are only going to deal with active sentences in this series. And through active sentences you will get a good canvas to introduce the various grammatical terms along with some of their most common usage. These terms, once introduced, can then be further explored to understand more complex applications.
We are going to encapsulate the grammatical concepts into sentence tables. These tables, as you will shortly realize, assimilate together different grammatical concepts based on their application in actual sentence formation. For e.g. reflexive pronouns are taught with prepositional phrases to make the student understand prepositional phrase more elaborately. This approach has significantly helped my students significantly increase their retention capacity. This is all because with the help of tables, all the abstract grammatical concepts like adverbs, noun clauses etc are channelized into concrete sentences, making it much easier for students to understand and retain the abstract grammatical concepts. Furthermore, with sentence formation being the driving force, the grammar which will be taught using this approach becomes ‘practicable’ i.e. the student would be able to apply this grammar knowledge to form new sentences that he/she would use in his/her daily conversations.
“Create a story like sentence sequence - Involve a set of characters and only make sentences around their life using the various grammatical constructs. Just name the actors in the very beginning and then let them form their characters as different sentences are constructed about them and around them.” - this was the message that I gave myself before beginning any new teaching assignments. This approach will help students realize what more sentences they can come up with, about themselves, based on the ones they have learnt so far. This process will be gradual, but is bound to be very effective for the students.
In short, In this post we will :
1. Deal with only active (not passive) sentences and introduce the various grammatical terms along with some of their most common usage, which should help the student try his/her hand at more complex sentence applications
2. Encapsulate the grammatical concepts into sentence tables. (Sentence formation and practical use prioritized.)
3. Create a story-like sentence sequence - Involve a set of characters and only make sentences around their life using the various grammatical constructs introduced through the tables
You must understand how to identify noun, verbs and adjectives. This will help you clarify your students grammatical queries quite easily. Use these tests to identify if a word/phrase/clause is acting as a noun, verbs or an adjectives.
As for another very important yet often concept: ‘adverb’, there are no fixed questions that can determine if a word/phrase/clause is an adverb. This is all because adverbs are the most flexible of the 8 parts of speech found in grammar. They can come in anywhere in a sentence (beginning, end, after verb, before verb - just about any place you can think of). But still it is still possible in most situations to determine if something is an adverb. To find out more, click here.
Note: Anything which is highlighted in Blue or purple depicts a word or phrase that does not strictly fall into the present column category e.g. a noun with an adjective like 'big pencil' can used in place of the pure noun 'pencil' and in this case the adjective 'big' would be highlighted in blue.
The students must understand basic alphabets and how to form simple words before they can be taught anything related to grammar.
ALL SET!! HERE WE GO. . .
Nouns (common, proper, collective etc all kind as seen here- dont go too hard on abstract nouns at the moment.), possessive adjectives (my, her, his etc) + noun, PERSONAL PRONOUNS (I, you, we, he, she, they, it), possessive pronouns (hers, theirs, mine, hers etc), subject complement (simple noun phrases and pronouns as subject complements), articles, subject (simple noun phrases and pronouns as subject).
To understand determiners , click here.
To understand the difference between a pronoun and a determiner , click here. I feel that this difference is too subtle for the students to understand initially. And there is no harm in avoiding it and letting the students directly make phrases with determiners and pronouns (like Andrew’s car, That plant etc) as per the intuition which they develop getting more exposure to the language.
The aim here is to enable the student to form collection of words through which he can identify an object. Here we are only concerned with identifying objects by their names, by their ‘pointed’ location (i.e. this/that/these/those), and their ownership (e.g. my bag, her bag, my father’s bag, Lily’s pet etc). When we mention something’s ownership we are using nothing but possessive nouns.
Most of the objects that people talk about in their daily conversations are about ‘specific’ objects such as ‘her bag looks quite expensive’, ‘That (pointing at something) is beautiful’ and ‘Those shoes are very well polished’. Hence this object identification skill will definitely become an handy tool for your students.
You must avoid prepositions in this set. Using prepositional phrase to identify objects will be dealt with in Set 4.
You should give the students a basic overview about how to use articles - When to use an instead of a the or a etc. The Student must also be taught the basic rules of when to use am/is/are possessive pronouns (mine, hers, theirs etc) and possesive adjectives . All of these rules are elementary yet may be unfamiliar to your non-EFL student. So you might as well revise them with your student.
The structure for the table is:
Noun (sometimes with modifiers like my/this/that/Andrew’s etc) + linking verb (only am, is and are) + noun (sometimes with modifiers like my/this/that etc)
Subjects (Noun phrases/ Pronoun)
Andrew's friend, Mathew's
a physiotherapist (ask your students to name more professions)
her father's tools
a leg massager
Those felt pens
that pen (which pen?- maybe some pen which the student had lost)
NOTE: After this table note that noun phrases will be assumed to include pronouns as well. So pronouns will not be explicitly mentioned until required.
Adjectives (all adjectives other than interrogative adjectives), linking verbs other than is/am/are , adjective phrases : as + <adjective> + as (as good as, as big as, as smart as), <adjective> + than (bigger than, more expensive than), noun adjunct and compound nouns
First, explain how to use adjectives attributively (i.e. adjective(s) + noun e.g. My younger sister, my sister etc). Then, explain how to use adjectives predicatively (i.e. noun phrase + linking verb + adjective). See this quick demo. We will use adjectives attributively to say something more about the nouns e.g. the beautiful car, the healthy baby, the blue sky.
Another way to modify nouns is through noun adjuncts. In the tables for this set, we will encounter noun adjuncts, which are nothing but words, added before nouns, that act as adjectives. With the help of adjuncts, compound nouns like 5 week’s vacation (5 weeks’ is a noun (again a compound noun to be exact) acting like an adjective for vacation) are formed.
Possessive nouns, seen in the last set, are a type of noun adjuncts. With a basic understanding of noun adjuncts, your students will be able to create more complex noun phrases than the ones done in the last set. With adjuncts, our noun phrases will include compound nouns like ‘school bus’, ‘table lamp’, ‘wrist watch’. I personally feel that there is no need to jump into details of formation of these kind of compound nouns to teach students to make them because we use noun adjuncts most of the time without actually knowing about them i.e. we usually use a complex looking noun like ‘Mr Wilson’s car park’ without breaking it down into exact noun and its modifiers. It is certainly quite complex to understand the noun adjuncts, their types and how to use them. As the students get more familiar with english, they would understand better how to form compound nouns (like ‘My pink umbrella’, ‘the large dollar store’, ‘Maternity leave’ etc) on their own.
For a quick study of noun adjuncts, click here .
To explore more about noun adjuncts and compound nouns explore these wiki links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noun_adjunct and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_compound#Compound_nouns
Now, explain the comparative and superlative adjective and finally wrap it up by explaining these 2 commonly found contrsucts 1) more/less than 2) as <adjective> as see and similar comparison phrases.
Something extra: Clarify the difference between between and an adjective and a determiner here.
With the introduction of adjectives, we have completed a large section of noun phrases. Now our noun phrases cover nouns modified by:
Articles: a dog, the dog
Possessive nouns: Aunt Audrey's dog, the neighbor's dog, the police officer's dog
Possessive adjectives: our dog, her dog, their dog
Determiners: this bag, those toys, that dog, these spoons
Adjectives: blue sky, the big dog, the spotted dog
And of course a combination of the above structures: can also be used to modify nouns e.g. that red dog, her blue shirt, the purple patch etc
The structure for this table is:
Noun phrases (modified with the above mentioned entities) + linking verb (‘am, is, are’ and others like smell, feel, seems etc see here) + Adjective or Noun phrases (modified with the above mentioned entities)
Subjects (Noun phrases/ Pronoun)
Noun phrases or Adjectives
That tall girl (determiner + adjective + noun)
The tall girl ('the' is again a determiner)
Andrew's favourite chocolate
Andrew's homemade chocolate
does not look
The red ball
bigger than a ball
as big as Andrew's ball
more than Lily's height
bigger than Lily's feet
as delicious as Andrew's chocolates
Three weeks' imprisonment (noun adjunct: three week)
worse than 5 years' holidays
3) LOCATION (ADVERB OF PLACE)
Adverb of place in the form of single words like here, there etc and in the form of simple prepositional phrases in space (preposition + modifier + noun) like under the desk, below my purse, over that table etc (see here), and indefinite pronouns (somebody, someone, no one). I believe that this should be a nice place to introduce indefinite pronouns. After all, You can always say ‘somebody is there’, ’Nobody is here’ etc.
This is the first time when are dealing with prepositional phrases. We are introducing the prepositional phrases in their simplest form, as adverb of place. After this set, with the help of these prepositional phrases, your students would be capable of defining the position of a person/object with respect to her surrounding e.g. Her bag is in the cupboard, She is in the classroom etc.
Remember that, in this set, we are not concerned about what the people/objects in question are doing. We are only concerned about where they are at the moment.
The structure for this table is:
Noun phrases (what we have seen so far) + linking verb + adverb of place
Subjects (Noun phrases)
Lily's flower pots
Her fruit basket
under the desk
Andrew's dog, Coco
in the garden
behind the fridge
Lily's father's shop
besides the butcher shop
My dirty laundry bags
on top of Lily's bag
in the classroom
in the playground
Action verbs and stative verbs that take a direct object (Include all tenses including perfect tenses), prepositional phrases of time, adverbs of time, manner, degree and frequency, auxiliary verbs, verb phrases.
First of all let's talk about adverbs. Adverbs exist in lots of different forms and even clauses and phrases can act as adverbs. But in this set, we are only concerned about words acting as different types of adverbs. Here is a quick overview.
This is the first time we introduce the time element in our sentences. Time element is usually done either using simple adverbs like usually, sometimes, yesterday, today, tonight, last night(For more information, click here and here.) or in the form of prepositional phrases (limited to preposition + noun) e.g. in the night, after the film, between the match, since 5 pm. Some of the time phrases point at a specific time (e.g. at 5pm see this) and others point at time durations (e.g. since last year, after 6pm, from monday to friday see this). Here is a quick list of common prepositions used in time expressions.
Sometimes time can be presented as a mix of both the categories e.g. everyday at 5pm (adverb of time + pp of time), after dinner usually (pp of time + adverb of time) etc. You should not really force very strict grammatical boundaries on how to represent time and time durations. Just let your students come up with time expression and you convert that into English using whatever phrases (most of them will be covered by above categories) you can think off.
The aim of this set is to introduce the student with all the tenses at one go. So far, as you might have noticed, we only dealt with the simple present tense. Now is the time to explode into all the tenses at once.
Why all the tenses at once? Wouldn't it be overwhelming for the student? Yes, it will be overwhelming initially but once everything in the table is explained end to end then the students should have much better clarity about the tenses. This is because I have found, while teaching my primary school students, that the best way to introduce tenses is by contrasting one tense with another. In isolation, the perfect and progressive tenses are difficult to understand but when they are given the context of other tenses then it becomes much easier. So I strongly advise you to first explain the famous ‘12 - tense’ table (something like here and here) to the students and then proceed with this set’s table.
Modal auxiliaries like would, should, can could must also be taught along with the tenses for e.g. the student must be taught how ‘would play’, ‘should play’, ‘can play’ and ‘will play’ differ in tense and meaning.To get a good idea about auxiliaries look at this link.
The different forms that verb take in different tenses (and along with different auxiliaries) are also called verb phrases. Read this short text to get a adequate overview of verb phrases.
With his set done, students will understand how to describe an action/event in time and space. Describing when and where for events and actions makes these entities more relatable. Hence, It is always better to develop in the students’ the habit of adding a temporal and spacial phrase at the end of their sentences. For e.g. It is better to say ‘I play hockey in my neighbourhood garden at 5 pm everyday’ then to simply say ‘I play hockey’.
Addition of time frame to a sentence has an additional benefit. It makes the students use the correct tense in their sentence. That is why a special column for mentioning time and space has been added to this set’s table. This column will be removed from future tables owing to space constraints, but you should encourage the students to provide where and when details in their sentences as far as possible.
Here is a quick reference for creating spatial and temporal prepositional phrases . Although you can can use gerunds and clauses also to make pps of time but for this set ensure that prepositional phrases of time follow the pattern of preposition + modifier + noun, pronoun (like we did for pps of space)
If the teacher feels that certain clauses must be added for making some of the tenses more meaningful than he/she must do so without hesitation. This is particularly helpful for past perfect continuous and future perfect continuous when 2 events have to be talked about to convey the meaning correctly. Click here and here, for more information.
New tools in our toolbox : More subjects, action and stative verbs, object
Highlighting the full object i.e. the object plus its modifiers make more sense than identifying the core object grammatically. - Because with the modified object its easier to identify the object in its complete sense with the usual adjectives and articles e.g. I play with a red ball - Play with what?: ball - Which ball?: The red ball.
Subjects (Noun phrases)
Object (object + it's modifier is bolded)
Expressions of place and time
Andrew and I
has been living
in Srilanka for the last 10 years
the annual school carnival
Andrew's dog, Coco
All the time
so much of noise
at work usually
a new pencil box
everyday at 5 pm (adverb of time + pp of time)
at your get together
have not seen
such beautiful flowers
since last spring
would have been finishing
by then ('then' represents some future event which is already known to the speaker)
Lily's friend Carla
can play (has the ability to play)
at this moment
5) PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES
What's in here : PPs, Reflexive pronouns, and phrasal verbs
Prepositional phrases are nothing but Preposition + Modifier(s) + Noun, Pronoun, Gerund, or Clause. Modifiers, here, usually add more information to the noun, pronoun, gerund and clause that follows them, and so they need not be taught separately.
Prepositional phrases are used as either adjectives or adverbs. Till now we have dealt with prepositional phrases that represent time and space, and acted as adverbs. Now we will learn that prepositional phrases can act as adjectives and subject complement (actually acting as adverbs only) as well. A common application of prepositional phrase as adjective is when they help in identifying objects. Yes we are talking about the same object identification which we learnt in set 1. In this set also we are going to deal with prepositional phrases having the structure: Preposition + Modifier(s) + noun, pronoun. We will deal with clause and gerund based PPs in later sets.
Phrasal verbs (like gave up, looked ) will also be seen in the table. Whenever the verb column contains a prepositional phrase then we are dealing with a phrasal verb instead of a simple verb phrase. For understanding Phrasal verbs see this.
Now is the time to add as many PPs in a sentence as you like. Till now we did not have more than 2 pps i.e. one for representing simple space and another for representing time). Now you can add as many prepositional phrases together as need be to suitably convey the meaning. For e.g. I was with my friend, Randeep, in his house at 5 pm yesterday (3 pps in a single sentence). PPs will also be cascaded into each other to form more complex phrases like: I am walking on the road with trees (‘with trees’ is a pp that modifies the noun ‘road’, which is part of another pp ‘on the road’)
Subjects (Noun phrases- simple noun combinations modified by PPs)
Phrases(object + it's modifier (in blue))
The girl with the blue umbrella
lily's friend from Bangalore
The puppy inside that dog house
to Andrew until last year
The lady in blue dress
a teacher of primary english in Andrew's school
The moles on Lily's face
have only been
below her lips since birth
A boy with shabby trousers
there in the lab now for his practicals
The chicken eggs in Lily's mother's grocery shop
not very large in size
high for a child
might have played
cricket with Andrew yesterday evening
Except for Lily, the whole class
would be practising
the dance moves on folk songs
Andrew's school teacher
my parents last week regarding my poor performance in term exams
gave up (phrasal verb)
my personal ambitions for my family's wellbeing
her tired hands after yesterday's Math class
My friend from Lucknow, Radha
a speech about gender equality during her annual day celebrations
the capital of Sri Lanka
at herself in the mirror after playing for hours
Gerund phrases, participle phrases (along with naked participles as well), infinitive phrases and prepositional phrases with gerunds, complements: Adjective complement, Subject complement, Object complement, and Verb complement.
Some verbs are followed by gerunds - some by infinitives and some can be followed be both gerund and infinitive. To get a general idea about this see this video.
These 2 youtube videos (here and here) provide exhaustive list of possible grammatical forms which gerund and infinitive phrases can take. Not: in the video on gerunds there is a mistake - What should have been a participle phrase acting as an adjective has been mentioned as a gerund; Find out which sentence in the video ahs this mistake for yourself :P).
Most commonly used phrases are infinitive, gerund, participle, noun and verb. Verb phrases are already covered.
And noun phrases we have been building up from the very first set. In this set also we will introduce new noun phrases by including :
participles as adjectives (e.g. the barking dog, the sleeping Carla etc)
participle phrases as adjective (e.g. the dog barking on the street, the man sleeping on the bed etc.)
Infinitives as adjectives (e.g. the child to teach, the cake to prepare)
Noun phrases will culminate in what is called as a noun phrase, which will be part of the next set.
So for this set our main concerns is to cover infinitive, gerund and participle phrases.
Object complements: “An object complement follows and modifies or refers to direct object. It can be a noun or adjective or any word acting as a noun or adjective.” See link.
Indirect object: “The indirect object identifies to or for whom or what the action of the verb is performed. Indirect objects are rare and only certain verbs called ditranstive verbs can take indirect objects.To understand more about indirect objects see this.
Subjects (Noun phrases- simple noun combinations modified by PPs)
Phrases(object + it's modifier)
Andrew left-over chocolates (Andrew = indirect object, left-over chocolates = direct object)
Left-over chocolates to Andrew (Andrew is indirect object wrapped in a pp)
Lily happy (happy is a adjective acting as an object complement)
Their class teacher Mr.Srinivasan
painting sunsets with his children
to create an online homework collaboration platform for themselves last month
To do the right thing
not always easy
not always easy to do the right thing (infinitive as object complement)
difficult for us to not critisize other people
to assist my school's principal
me to wait for her everyday (infinitive as object complement)
me clean the floor of my kitchen (infinitive phrase without 'to' s object complement)
must study hard
to learn something new
The player to watch for in today's cricket match
to participate in street marches to raise awareness about girl child education
beneficial for your health
My new class teacher
does not tolerate
whining amongst students at all
My new class teacher
does not tolerate
whining students at all (participle= whining, actingas an adjective for noun students)
My task for the day
making cartoons to publicize my coming house party (making=gerund acting as subject complement and not progressive verb)
The refugee Olympic gold medalist from Greece
only interested in arranging 2 square meals a day for his family just a few months back
her roommate Alice eating the last of the leftover pizza (participle phrase acting as object complement_
Held in the alps, Lily's skiing trip
a lot of new faces as compared to last year's trip
Playing in the field, Nina
her arms and legs
your playing around in the open fields during peak summer hours (your - pronoun before a gerund, see this
my encouraging the employees to take up responsibility for their actions
Lily cousin, Caarla's singing
very clear and melodious
Lily a further reason to complain ('a' further reason to complain (a noun phrase) is the object complement for the object : 'Lily'
Lily being smarter than he was (a gerund phrase acting as an object complement for the object: Lily)
Relative clause, subordinate clauses, noun clause, prepositions with clause as their subject, and noun phrases.
For information about each of the clauses mentioned above, see this. For noun clause and there various applications see this. In this link, you will find 9 applications of noun clauses in a sentence. Only a few are covered/explicitly mentioned in the table; rest all have to be taught, if the teacher finds the need to do so, from the link itself.
Nouns modified by clauses are also noun phrases. We will see these in the coming table. Examples of noun phrases are ‘I who ate all the ice-cream’, ‘the dog that chases cats’ etc. For more information on noun phrases see this.
Prepositions which introduce clauses (e.g. after I finished the match, on whomever you identify as the culprit) and those which introduce noun phrases with clause as their object (e.g. of the match which was payed by her) are also part of the prepositional phrase category. These 2 categories will be seen in the table.
You will also find new examples of complements wherein clauses will act as adjective, subject, object and verb complements.
A lot of clauses start with ‘wh’ sounding words like where, what, why, when etc, and they are together called the Wh-clauses. To get a deeper understanding of these clauses and their various applications, you must visit this.
The clauses in the table will have adjectival and adverbial meanings - This has to be explained by the teacher.
We will be using the clause table to introduce the conjunctions. Simple uses of several conjunctions is a something which students will be familiar with already like simple uses of and, but to connect small word etc. But these same conjunctions are also used to introduce complex clauses. See this link to understand how major a role conjunctions play in clause creation.
Unfortunately, most of the clauses, when used in real life sentences are used in their reduced format. So students must be introduced with the reduced form of clauses along with the clause introduction.
Reduced adverbial clauses can be introduced after teaching the clause table since they are much more commonly used than the full adverbial clauses. To understand reduction in adverb clauses see this.
Here is a quick snapshot of clause reduction:
OK. That's ANOTHER way to reduce adverbial clauses.
... while he is incompetent ... >>> while being incompetent ...
... when a person drives drunk ... >>> when driving drunk ...
... after she went to the bank ... >>> after going to the bank ...
There's nothing special about the verb to be in this pattern; it just becomes being, like drives becomes driving, and went becomes going.
Subjects (Noun phrases/Noun clauses)
Verbs (including Linking verbs)
After verb column (there is no need to put rigid category here)
The man who lives besides Paul's house (noun phrase with clause as object)
a civil engineer by profession
The topper of Lily's class, Andrew, who also plays the piano beautifully,
very short tempered
Lily, whose big brown eyes were filled with tears
an apology to Andrew for her mistake, and he did not accept the apology
After playing Kabbadi, Lily
a little snack
After Lily played Kabbadi, she
a little snack
a little snack after playing Kabaddi
angry because Andrew had spoiled her latest sketch
The girl whose latest sketch was spoiled
What Andrew broke yesterday
did not like
what happened to the watch (noun clause)
Because the weather is pleasant, Andrew
in the open today
The weather being nice, Andrew (shortened phrase to replace because clause)
in the open today
to learn something new
Andrew and Lily
do not know
what to do with their free time available to them today
Andrew and Lily, when they are angry at each other,
talking to each other altogether
that Andrew compensates for his mistakes by gifting her a new pastel set (noun clause)
a lot of debate going on in the school about who should become the Captain of Andrew's basketball team (participle phrase, about (preposition) + wh-clause (object of preposition) = just a prepositional phrase)
What Lily said (noun clause)
Whoever ate Andrew's lunch (noun phrase)
to be in trouble (infinitive phrase to + be)
The first place
whoever swims the farthest in an hour, (noun phrase as a subject complement)
angry that someone dented his new car. (noun phrase as adjective complements)
that Andrew is angry (noun clause acting as a verb equivalent)
the winner whoever wrote the essay on noun clauses (noun clause as object complement)
her friends whatever she likes
Things to explore after this....
Adverbial and adjectival use of different phrases and clause
Look through all the different types of phrases and clauses that we have dealt with so far and find out where they have been adjectively and where they acted as adverbs. For adverbial use start here: clauses, phrases. For adjectival use, start here: clauses, phrases .
Let your students get familiarised with certain popular idiomatic expressions and they may be able to answer why questions like why certain prepositions are used with certain verbs (like beware of, and not beware in) etc. For idioms you may start here. Idioms are also related to phrases verbs and many phrasal verbs are part of an idiomatic expression. See this.
Now you have the tools to teach students.Whenever you come up with a new complex sentence see if you can break it up into smaller fragments with each fragment falling under one of the the tables which we have learnt so far. If those fragments don’t fall under any of the existing tables, then try to add something to the existing tables to make these fragments fall. IF this approach also does not work then bang you have a new table idea. Now is the time to create your own table.