When learning a new language, you might find yourself wanting to crack down the mysteries of languages and understand the reason for everything. Unfortunately, languages are highly complex little critters and trying to understand the why of everything can really slow down your learning process. Sometimes it's better not to force yourself to understand why things are the way they are and leave the mysteries behind.
As you are probably aware, many languages have genders. Meaning that some words are masculine and others are feminine. Now you might say: "Yeah, I've noticed that in Spanish a chair is feminine, but a stool is masculine, why is that?" And I would just love to say: "Well, you see, the chair and the stool were once cute furry animals that evolved over millions of years to eventually become a convenient place to support our buttocks." This would be fairly inaccurate. Unfortunately, the best answer I have to this question is quite disappointing: "Because that's the way it is." Arghhh... don't you hate that? There must be a reason! Right? Well, there might be some kind of reason hidden in the deep roots of etymology, but trying to understand the why of everything in language learning will drive you wacky silly mad before you ever get to speak it.
Now the word "grammar" can make some people cringe like nails on a chalkboard, but it is important to realize that it's the structure of the language. That's all it is really! Like the frame of a house or a human skeleton, it holds it all together. Some grammar rules are straightforward and easy to understand, others, not so much. Languages evolve over generations in the most unexpected ways. Some foreign grammar rules, word orders and expressions will seem like they don't make any sense at all. But remember, there are tons of things we say in English without thinking twice. "Catherine is a back stabber", "That man went cold turkey today.", "Does that ring a bell?", "That puzzle is a piece of cake!". Now, all these English expressions may seem completely normal to you, but very strange to someone trying to learn English.
As an English speaker, you automatically know how to use various complex grammar rules. But if you were to actually read through pages and pages of English grammar rules, it would likely make your head hurt. So let's take a look at part of the grammar meaning of the English word "that" in the dictionary: "When it is used as a conjunction, it introduces a subordinate clause expressing a statement or hypothesis." Oh! Yeah... Thanks Mr. Dictionary. This just goes to show that many of the words and expressions you will learn are better learned by hearing them over and over again. You know how to shape complex English sentences and are familiar with hundreds of crazy expressions simply because you've heard them so much.
Now we're not saying that you shouldn't learn any grammar. In fact, we believe that grammar is absolutely essential when learning a language. What we are saying is that sometimes traditional grammar books and classes can make it more complicated than it needs to be. On the other hand, a lot of programs and apps out there do not teach any grammar or conjugation and expect you to learn absolutely everything from context. It is best to create a nice balance between the two learning methods.