Breaking the Rules: When It’s Okay (and Even Beneficial) to Break English Grammar Rules


Proper grammar is essential in English communication, but what if breaking the rules can actually improve your writing or speaking skills? In this article, we will explore when it’s acceptable to bend or break the rules of English grammar and how doing so can benefit your language skills.

Proper grammar is important in communicating effectively and clearly. It helps us convey our thoughts and ideas accurately and appropriately to the intended audience.

The article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of when it is acceptable to break English grammar rules and how doing so can actually enhance communication skills.

When Breaking the Rules is Acceptable

In creative writing or literature

Use of non-standard grammar for effect
In creative writing or literature, writers may use non-standard grammar intentionally to create a particular effect, such as a character’s voice or a specific mood.

Me fail English? That’s unpossible!

The Simpsons

Dialect or regional variations
In literature or conversation, using dialect or regional variations is acceptable as it can add authenticity and realism to the story or conversation.

Y’all wanna go out to the diner with us?

“Weird Al” Yankovic

In informal communication

Slang or colloquial language
Slang or colloquial language is acceptable in informal communication, such as chatting with friends or posting on social media.


Hey, wanna grab some grub later?

Texting or social media messaging
In texting or social media messaging, breaking grammar rules, such as using abbreviations or omitting punctuation, is common and acceptable.


On my way! to the party lol!

In specific situations

Conveying emphasis or tone
Breaking grammar rules can convey emphasis or tone in a sentence, such as using sentence fragments to add dramatic effect.


She’s the one who stole my purse. Like, the actual thief.

Using “the actual” to emphasize the seriousness of the accusation.

Avoiding ambiguity or confusion
Breaking grammar rules can help avoid ambiguity or confusion in a sentence, such as using a preposition to end a sentence for clarity.


What did you put the book on?

In this case, using a preposition at the end of a sentence to clarify whether the book was put on a shelf or a table.

The Benefits of Breaking the Rules

Improving language skills

Breaking the rules of grammar can improve language skills by encouraging experimentation and creativity, leading to a better understanding of the language.

Increasing creativity and expression

Breaking the rules of grammar can lead to greater creativity and expression, allowing for more unique and personalized communication.

Enhancing communication in certain contexts

Breaking the rules of grammar can enhance communication in specific contexts, such as informal conversations, creative writing, or emphasizing a particular point.

Examples of When to Break the Rules


Contractions are commonly used in informal communication and can help convey a more natural, conversational tone.

  • I’m gonna go to the store.
  • You shouldn’t have done that.

Ending sentences with prepositions

Ending sentences with prepositions is acceptable in certain contexts to avoid ambiguity or maintain a conversational tone.

  • What are you waiting for?
  • I don’t know where he’s at.

Splitting infinitives

Splitting infinitives can be used for emphasis or clarity in a sentence.

  • To boldly go where no man has gone before.
  • I need you to quickly and quietly leave the room.

Using double negatives

Double negatives can be used in certain dialects or to convey emphasis or humor.

  • I ain’t got no money.
  • You can’t have none of my pizza.

Pronoun case

Using the wrong pronoun case can be acceptable in informal conversation or for effect in creative writing.

  • Him and me went to the movies.
  • Who do you think you’re talking to, he or I?

Breaking grammar rules can be acceptable in creative writing, informal communication, or specific situations to enhance language skills, increase creativity and expression, and enhance communication.

By understanding when breaking grammar rules is acceptable, we can improve our language skills, add authenticity and creativity to our writing and communication, and better convey our intended messages.