Why is grammar important? Correct grammar in your writing and speaking helps people to understand your message clearly. For example, if you mix up the present and the past, the reader might not understand whether you're talking about something happening now, or something finished in the past. In addition, bad grammar makes your work look careless, and can impact your credibility. It could also reduce your future employment prospects. According to global communication skills company, Communicaid, four in ten job applications are rejected due to poor grammar and spelling.
Not sure where to start? Try the grammar quiz below. Every time you get an answer wrong, you will receive feedback about how to improve in that area. This will help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and show you what you need to focus on to improve your level of English.
Tense Buster is an easy to use online resource which can help you with 33 key grammar areas at 5 levels. Improve your grammar with Tense Buster.
Study Skills Success is an online resource which can help you to develop the academic study skills you will need to be successful at university. This resource is designed for non-native English speakers and can help you not only with a range of study skills, but also with the academic English that underpins them. To improve your grammar, try the Grammar section in Study Skills Success.
In these activities you will learn about some basic features of English sentences. You will also practise correcting simple mistakes made in sentence construction.
In these activities you will identify some of the distinguishing features of simple, compound and complex sentences and practise writing them.
In these activities you will explore choice of tense in academic writing and how it can affect meaning. You will also practise selecting the most appropriate tense to use.
In these activities you will review the structure of verb groups. You will also check your own understanding of how more complex verb groups are formed.
In these activities you will review the questions you need to consider when deciding whether or not to use an article with a noun. You will also test yourself to see whether you can use articles correctly.
In these activities you will review the use of articles with nouns in a text and identify when and why some nouns need an article and others do not.
In these activities you will explore how use of the passive voice and other means can help create an appropriate style in your academic writing. You will also practise editing a piece of text to improve its style.
In these activities you will practise using noun phrases instead of clauses. This will help you to develop a more concise and formal style for your academic writing.
In these activities you will explore noun phrase formation. You will learn to recognise three major patterns among noun phrases and practise using these to create complex noun phrases.
In these activities you will review the use of prepositions with verbs, adjectives and nouns and practise using a concordancer to explore patterns of prepositional use.
In these activities you will review verbs that can be followed by gerund or infinitive form or both and explore the meanings of gerunds and infinitives used after certain verbs.
In these activities you will explore what you already know about modal verbs; reflect on the different meaning groups of modal verbs and consider some of the more frequently used modal verbs belonging to one meaning group.
In these activities you will explore the use of modal verbs for expressing obligation and necessity, intention and prediction in writing. You will also test yourself on these meanings of modal verbs.
In these activities you are going to explore how good academic writers hedge their comments and opinions. You will learn to recognise the way in which adjectives, adverbs and verbs can be used for hedging and practise using them.
In these activities you are going to explore examples of the kind of language used by academic writers to hedge their comments and opinions. You will also practise rewriting some statements to include hedging.
Spotlight workshops are short interactive sessions on a range of topics which run repeatedly throughout the year. Workshops are free, fun and can help you develop your academic language and skills, enabling you to succeed on your course. The following Spotlight workshops can help you with your grammar:
Improving your English
Editing your Writing
Basic Sentence Structure
You can click on the images above to access the books through Locate the Library catalogue, or see the references below.
Murphy, R. (2007) Essential Grammar in Use, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press
Murphy, R. (2012) English Grammar in Use, Cambridge: CUP (intermediate grammar, general English)
Hewings, M. (2005) Advanced Grammar in Use, Cambridge: CUP (advanced grammar, general English)
Harrison, M., Jakeman, V., Paterson, K. (2012) Improve Your Grammar, Palgrave Study Skills, London: Macmillan (academic English)
Paterson, K. Wedge, R. (2013) Oxford Grammar for EAP, Oxford: OUP (academic English)
Vince, M. (2008) Macmillan English Grammar in Context, London: Macmillan (intermediate grammar, general English)
McCarthy, M. McCarten, J. Clark, D. Clark, R. (2009) Grammar for Business, Cambridge: CUP (intermediate grammar, business English)