Our guide to English grammar
Hotcourses Editor

Our guide to English grammar

First published date March 06 2014 Amended date March 06 2014

Why not grammar a course in English take? If something strikes you as odd about that question – or better, if it doesn’t – why not consider taking a course in English grammar?


An English grammar course would greatly improve your English reading and writing skills. This course would be ideal if you plan on taking an English language exam, like the IELTS or Cambridge English exams, and find your writing always lets you down. On the other side of the classroom, it would be excellent preparation for an English Language Teaching course, giving you a solid grammatical base. Or perhaps you are fascinated by English and want to understand exactly how it works.


Learning about English grammar does not have to be the boring experience you probably remember from school. It can be fun and dynamic and tell us a lot about metaphor and hidden messages in the text that get masked by language.


What do you actually do on an English grammar course?

There is a broad range of English grammar courses available. So think carefully about why taking an English grammar course is important to you. That will affect which course you choose to take. For example, if you are a university student and you are fed up with losing marks for bad punctuation, choose a course with a focus on academic writing. Or if you need to take an English language test and poor grammar is holding you back, choose a course tailored for people who speak English as a second language.  If you want to become a dynamically spoken news presenter, an English grammar course with a media focus would suit you best. In addition, there are plenty of online courses available if you don’t have the time to travel to class.

Most grammar courses will cover past, present and future tenses, articles – a, an, the – adjectives and adverbs, as well as a host of other topics. They will also look at the vast differences between grammar in speech and grammar in writing. This might help explain why some of us speak confidently and fluently, but balk when we have a pen in our hand.


Where could an English grammar course lead?

An English grammar course could be a stepping stone to a diversity of careers – like an English teacher, a journalist, a writer – but well polished grammar will prove invaluable in any profession. All the more so now everyone is expected to communicate via email in the workplace.


What kind of person do you need to be?

To make the most an English grammar course you must be:


·         eager to improve you English reading and writing skills


·         fascinated by language, especially the way it works


·         keen to learn the difference between an adjective and an adverb, a noun and a verb      


·         able to communicate in English at an elementary level


Did you know that in English...?

... the oldest word is ‘town’

… the longest word with only one vowel is ‘strengths’

… a ‘tittle’ is the dot on top of the letter ‘i’

… the longest word with all letters in alphabetical order is ‘almost’

… the longest word without a vowel is ‘rhythms’

…the most commonly-used word in conversation is ‘I’

... the word ‘triskaidekaphobia’ means extreme fear of the number 13

... more words start with the letter ‘s’ than with any other letter



A quick quiz on English Grammar

Try and complete the sentences below:

1. Franco comes ______ Spain

a) to     b) in     c) at     d) from


2. There aren't ______ boys in this class.

a) a lot     b) many     c) much     d) some


3. Kitty ______ work tomorrow.

a) isn't to     b) isn't     c) isn't going to     d) isn't going


4. Can you give me ______ information, please.

a) an     b) pieces     c) a piece     d) some


5. ______ to the theatre yesterday?

a) Do you go     b) Did you go     c) Did you went     d) Have you go


6. I went to the bar ______ a glass of wine.

a) drink     b) for drinking     c) for drink     d) to drink


7. Would you mind ______ the dinner?

a) cooking     b) cook     c) to cook     d) cooks


8. Edward ______ me to go to the book shop.

a) told     b) said     c) made     d) joked


(Answers: 1. d    2. b    3. c    4. d    5. b    6. d    7. a    8. a)


By Nick Kennedy