Descriptive Vs Prescriptive Grammar

Descriptive grammar: the systematic study and description of a language. Descriptive grammar refers to the structure of a language as it is actually used by speakers and writers. HOW LANGUAGE IS USED.
E.G I went to Lusaka to visited my uncle. In Descriptive Marking – How language is used. A teacher underlined [to visited]. Descriptive rule. Infinitive # to + past participle.

Prescriptive grammar: a set of rules and examples dealing with the syntax and word structures of a language, usually intended as an aid to the learning of that language. Prescriptive grammar refers to the structure of a language as certain people think it should be used. HOW LANGUAGE SHOULD BE USED.
E.G I went to Lusaka to visited my uncle. In Prescriptive Marking – How language should be used. A teacher cancelled –ed.

About Sitwe

Sitwe Benson Mkandwire is a researcher, teacher and writer. He is currently based at the University of Zambia, School of Education, Department of Language and Social Sciences Education.
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