I never understood the rules. As a child, it was hard enough trying to string together a sentence that was coherent and intelligent, but to have to analyze its grammar was an arduous task that my mind always failed at.
This was partly because we never did analyze them in normal regular English. Oh no! We used a language that was an infinite times more complex than my original sentence. It was a very strange language with big and heavy words and phrases like 'Subordinating conjunctions', 'subjunctive moods', 'adverbial participles', predicates and a million others. I failed at it. And I became a writer with absolutely no sense of the 'rules and language of grammar'.
There were rules and then there were some more. I was told to never split infinitives but I would often discover that no matter how hard I tried, my sentences would brutally split the infinitives into a mess of adverb-ridden mutilations of a grammarian's nightmare. The agony of the grammarian was I. (Or should that be 'me'?)
And I was told to never start a sentence with an "and" or a "but". But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't live up to it.
The rules evaded my mind. I claimed I worked on intuition, and wrote sentences which never did seem to satisfy the upholders of the fine art of writing and editing. A decade later, I now understand lectures by mathematicians and physicists. I comprehend art and sociology. Hell! I can find syntax errors in computer programs.
But the moment I hear someone talk about English grammar, my mind briefly shuts down and takes a detour into a tangential journey of hope and despair concerning a dream I once had of becoming a writer.