Practices and Exercises for Grammar & Writing

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Explore and learn English grammar with contrastive examples, contexts, pictures, diagrams, grammar descriptions, interactive quizzes and editing practices. Intermediate-level, native and non-native speakers can test and determine particular points needing review. Grammar points are listed both in the index below and in summary pages within each section. This site is available to instructors and their students without charge and is supported by Google Ads. Please feel free to contact me if you encounter difficulty loading a page, find an error, or have a suggestion.   Contact Info, Navigation Options, Resources – Last updated
 

Index of Practices and Exercises

Click an arrow below to expand a section and view page links and short descriptions of their content.

 

Adjectives

(Modifiers, Comparisons, Nominal Adjuncts)

  • Adj/Mod Summary Browse a summary of content links to modifier practices.
  • Adj/Mod Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Adjective Order Arrange adjectives in natural sounding word order before nouns (table with types); note some variations; contrast pre-position with post-position modifiers.
  • Adjective Suffixes Form adjectives from other word forms with suffixes (-al, -ray, -fool, -ix, -is, -like, -vie); note exceptions and confusing variants: an awesome vs. an awful time.
  • Adj as Complements Contrast adjectives placed after rather than before object nouns; note use with specific verbs for resulting states: He wiped tables clean.
  • Modifiers to Adj Modify adjectives with modifiers of degree: measurements of dimension two-feet high (tall, wide, long) or shades of color emerald green.
  • Number Modifiers Contrast modifying nouns with number modifiers vs. number-noun modifiers (a ladder with six steps vs. a six-step ladder); contrast Arabic vs. spelled-out numbers.
  • Noun Modifiers Contrast nouns as modifiers vs. phrases and clauses as modifiers; contrast meaning (opinion, quality, possession, function) a sleeping dog vs. a sleeping bag.
  • Participle Modifiers 1 Contrast participles describing the receiver (-ed) vs. the source (-ing) of an experience: amused vs. amusing.
  • Participle Modifiers 2 Contrast on-going process (-ing) vs. completed state (-ed): a roasting chicken vs. a roasted chicken.
  • Gerund–Participle Explore how -ing suffixed words function in sentences; examine their properties; test whether an -ing form is a noun, adjective, verb or participle.
  • Participle Modifier Q Check progress with this auto-correcting quiz on participial modifiers (adjectives): -ed vs. -ing.
  • Comparisons Express similarities and differences with comparative words and expressions: the same, alike, different from, similar to, as…as, etc.
  • Same as / As…as Stating equivalent aspects of the quality of two items or the manner of two actions with the same (noun) as, as (adj / adv) as.
  • More / -ER…than Compare greater or lesser aspects of the quality of two items or the manner of two actions: more, less, -ER, than.
  • Most /-est Express unique quality or manner with superlatives: the most, the best, the greatest, the least or the worst.
  • Much / More Express an increasing amount of something: much, more, too, many more and much more.
  • Fewer / Less Express a decreasing amount of something with fewer than (w/count nouns) and less than (w/ noncount nouns).
  • The more, the more Express that two things vary together: The more, the better.
  •           RELATED PAGE
  • The–Group Refer to a group by an adjective word form: the poor, the young, the restless, the former.
 

Adverbs

(Predicate Adjuncts, Stance)

  • Adverb Summary Browse a summary of content links to adverb practices.
  • Adverb Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz.
  • Adverb Uses Contrast functions of adverbs (manner, place, time, degree, focus, circumstance, linking, stance); compare to prepositional phrases with similar meanings.
  • Adverb for Manner Express manner of actions. How? Form adverbs with -Ly suffix (adverb list) and variants -ways, -wise (sideways); note exceptions (fast, hard, lately, loud).
  • Adv-Manner Position Compare the positioning of manner-adverbs when modifying verbs, adjectives or clauses; examine subtle meaning changes with placements; note exceptions.
  • Adverb for Time Review adverbs expressing time, aspect, duration, and frequency; note compatibility with each tense now, earlier, repeatedly, continuously, so far, often, yet.
  • Adverb for Place Express movement in particular directions; compare with prep. phrases; contrast literal vs. expression use; out, up, outside, behind, backward.
  • Adv for Frequency Express how often actions occur, always, sometimes, often; note adverb positioning, auxiliary shifts w/ seldom, rarely and polarity w/ ever, never.
  • Adverb for Degree Express intensity of actions: How much? rather, extremely, totally; so, such, too, very, enough.
  • Adverb for Focus Draw attention to information: also, just, only, even, really, mostly, mainly, neither–nor.
  • Splitting Verbs Read the origin of "don't split an infinitive" myth; explore options for adverb placement when auxiliary verbs are present.
  • Adverb for Opinion Express truth or belief about situations (epistemic stance): possibly, evidently, likely, actually.
  • Adv for Evaluation Express attitudes about situations (stance); read about the hopefully dispute: fortunately, sadly, predictably.
  • Adv for Speech Acts Express conditions under which something is being said: frankly, confidentially, briefly, in short.
  • Adverb for Linking Express relationships between clauses: finally, namely, consequently, alternatively, incidentally.
  • Discourse Markers Grab attention, hesitate, and interject words into conversations: so, then, excuse me but, no problem, just let me say, what about.
  • Interjections! Express short emotional responses: Oh!, Hey!, Oops!, Ugh!, Dang!.
 

Articles

(Noun Markers, Determiners)

  • Article Summary Browse practices on determiners: articles (a/an, the); quantifiers (some, any, little, many, most, much, the most); possessive pronouns (his, her, their).
  • Article Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Determiners Recognize noun markers and their uses (articles, quantifiers, posessive pronouns cardinal numbers, etc.): a, the, this, our, some, any, all, each, every, neither, none, such
  • A–Any One Refer to one as an example of all, unspecific article use A violin sounds beautiful. (any violin)
  • A–One in Particular Refer to a noun as one in particular, specific article use; a specific one A violin was sold for 1.5 million.
  • A / An Blend the article sound before a noun with an initial vowel sound.
  • Plural–All in General Make generalizations about the group using the plural form vs. the for classification. Wolves hunt in packs. / The wolf hunts in packs.
  • The–Classification State typical characteristics and behavior for the class the lion vs. any one as an example of all a lion.
  • The-Definite One Refer to all vs. a definite, identified one; People (all) vs. The people (definite).
  • The–Second Mention Refer to an already known noun with the: This is a puzzle piece. The piece fits here.
  • The–Included Parts Refer to nouns that are culturally expected in an already mentioned item: the fire department, the doctor, the police department.
  • The–Later Mention Refer to something identified by information after the noun: the man in the next car.
  • The-SharedKnowledge Refer to something identified by its uniqueness, name, or shared knowledge: the mother, the moon.
  • The–Nationality Recognize word forms for nationality (Demonyms): the English, the Indonesians, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Japanese.
  • The–Group Refer to a group by "the" and an adjective that functions as the group name: the poor, the young, the restless, the unemployed, the latter, the English.
  • The–Landmarks Recognize man-made structures (buildings and landmarks) that are marked with 'the'; compare: the White House vs. Buckingham Palace.
  • The–Geography Recognize which natural land forms are marked with the: the Sahara Desert, the Iberian Peninsula, the San Joaquin Valley.
  • The–Countries Recognize which country names are marked with the: the Republic of China, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates.
  • The–Superlatives Express a unique degree of a noun with the: the best movie, the worst acting.
  • Another/ The Other Refer to one more or the rest: I want another, the other.
  • Demonstratives Specifiy which one: this, that, these, those
  •           RELATED PAGE
  • Possess Pronouns Refer to ownership by a person: his, hers, ours, theirs; generalizations: one-one's, you-your (impersonal) they-their.
  • Identifying Nouns Recognize six ways that nouns become known (second mention, by another name, as an expected part, etc.) the v. a.
  • ParagraphEdit Practice article use in context— a restaurant review; complete the paragraph.
 

Conditionals

(Hypotheticals, Irrealis)

  • ConditionSummary Browse a summary of content links to conditional practices.
  • ConditionDiagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Pres-Future Real State conditional situations in the present and future: if, will, can, be going to, should happen.
  • Pres-Past Real State conditional situations in the present and past: if, whenever.
  • Present Unreal State strategies with hypothetical statements: if, could, might, would.
  • Past Unreal 1 Analyze past events with hypothetical statements: if, had had, would have.
  • Past  Options Analyze an accident with hypotheticals: if, could have, would have.
  • Should/Could have Offer options and advice after an event has occurred: should have, could have.
  • Mixed Tenses Express mixed time frames in hypothetical statements: "If you had fed the dog, she wouldn't be hungry now."
  • Implied Conditions Contrast real vs. unreal (hypothetical) situations: "If Jack has time, he will | would cut the grass."
  • Wishes Express wishes, regrets, upset, and lost opportunity: wish, wish vs. if only!
  • Wish Agreement Maintain tense agreement in conditional statements: "My father wished I had gone | would go."
  • If / Unless Express conditions for desirable or undesirable outcomes: if, unless, otherwise, only if vs. If only.
  • If / Whether Contrast stating conditions vs. alternatives: if, whether.
  • Omitting If Reword giving advice in hypothetical situations without if: had, should, were.
  • If / In  / In Case Contrast stating conditioned vs. precautionary actions: in the event, in case and should.
 

Connectors

(Connectives, Conjunctions, Subordinators)

  • Connect Summary Browse a summary of content links to connector practices.
  • Connect Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • FANBOYS Join like sentence elements with FANBOYS (coordinating conjunctions); examine meaning (reason, contrast, result, etc.) and function (conj v. subord): for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.
  • And / In addition Join sentence elements and sentences: and, as well as, and also, In addition, moreover, furthermore, besides.
  • And / so / / too Shorten repeated verbs in joined clauses: and so do I, and I do too, but I don't; tag-questions: don't I?
  • Too / Either Add positive or negative comments to clauses: and…too, and…not…either, but…too.
  • Both...and Join sentence elements with paired conjunctions: both…and, either…or, not only…but also, neither...nor, (or else).
  • But / But / still Express contrast or contrary outcome: but, but still, while, whereas, in contrast to, yet, even so.
  • But / not / Except State an exception: but not, but for, nothing but, all but, except, except for, cannot help, cannot but, cannot help but.
  • But / Though Express defeat or challenge through implied meanings of but vs. though.
  • Rather / than Express comparative preference: would rather than, rather than (X and not Y), (X to avoid Y)
  • Because of Introduce cause with adverbial-preposition phrases: because vs. because of ; though vs. in spite of.
  • Because of / By Contrast stating cause with method: because of, by, with.
  • Cause / Effect Indicate a causal relationship: consequently, therefore, as a result, for this reason, due to.
  • Because / Though Express expected and unexpected outcomes: because, though.
  • Cause-Effect Rev Compare words that express cause-effect relationship (overview): because, since, consequently, therefore, as a result, so.
  • Because Clauses Shorten because clauses to gerund clauses (nonfinite): Being tired he left. Having become tired, he left.
  • So / Such that Emphasize qualities and characteristics: so…that and such…that.
  • So that Express purpose, cause-effect or result: so that, so…that.
  • After / Before / When Express time-relative activities: before, after, as soon as, when, while, as.
  • When / While Express that activities are simultaneous (same-time): when, while.
  • By the time Indicate that a future time is the moment for viewing the progress or completion of a second activity: by the time (future perfect).
  • After / Before –ing Shorten a time-relative clause: when, while, before, after, since, upon.
  • Connector Review Review a summary of conjunctions, adverbs, and transition words; addition, alternative, cause-effect, comparison, condition, contrast.
  • Connector Edit Identify conjunction, adverb and transition word errors: but, even, not only, because.
  • Connector Paragr Relate ideas in a paragraph with cause-effect connectors: main cause, as a result, because
  • Parallel Phrasing Join like sentence parts with "and" and "but": My English is improving slowly but surely.
  • Sentence Editing Edit: connectors, transitions, sentence boundaries and punctuation.
 

Gerunds

(Nonfinite Clauses, Verbs Followed by Gerunds)

  • Gerund Summary Browse a summary of content links to gerund practices.
  • Gerund Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Gerund as Subject Refer to activities (-ing form) with parallel phrasing in a bulleted list; review spelling (adding -ing and doubling consonants).
  • Verb + Gerund Comment on activities by using specific verbs followed by gerunds (-ing): He enjoys visiting us.
  • Verb+Prep+Gerund Comment on activities with verb + preposition combinations followed by gerunds (-ing): He objects to working overtime.
  • Gerund Cls w/Subj Comment on the activity of other people by using gerund clauses that include subjects: They excused him for / his leaving.
  • Gerund–Participle Analyze how words ending in -ing function in sentences; test for noun, verb, gerund or participle: the beginning, are beginning, beginning is…, very beginning.
  • By + Gerund State method or means; contrast 'by' (method) and 'with' (means) expressions: How did you open it? with a knife / by using a knife.
  • For + Gerund State the function of things by using 'for' followed by gerund clauses: What is it for? It is for tying things together.
  • Prep + Gerund Relate one activity to another with before, without, by, about, from, etc. and a reduced clause (-ing): He called us before leaving.
  • Sensory V + Gerund Relate first-hand experiences with activities using sensory verbs (see, hear, find, catch, notice) followed by gerund clauses: We saw sheep walking on the road.
  • Gerund / Infin Prac1 Check your progress with a self-quiz on verbs followed by gerunds or infinitives.
  • Gerund / Infin Prac2 Check your progress with a self-quiz on verbs followed by gerunds or infinitives.
  • Verb + PP Prac1 Check your progress with a self-quiz on gerunds as complements of prepositions: about, against, after, for, etc.
  • Verb + PP Prac2 Check your progress with a self-quiz on gerunds as complements of prepositions: put off doing, keep from hearing, etc.
  • Verb + PP Prac3 Check your progress with a self-quiz on gerunds as complements of prepositions.
  • By / With Practice Identify contexts for means and method: by, with.
  • Parallel Gerunds Contrast parallel and unparallel wording; practice using similar word forms in a series.
  •           RELATED PAGE
  • Passive Ger / Infin Express past timing and passive voice in gerund and infinitive clauses: "He admitted having left it unlocked."
 

Infinitives

(Nonfinite Clauses, Verbs Followed by Infinitives)

  • Infinitive Summary Browse a summary of content links to infinitive practices.
  • Infinitive Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Infinitive as Subject Explore unusual occurrences of infinitives in the subject position of clauses (quotes and definitions): to be or not to be
  • Verb + Infinitive Express desire or intent to do an activity: We hope to complete the bridge soon.
  • Infinitive Cls w/Subj Take action vs. express desire for someone else to do an activity: Ed persuaded Frida to do it.
  • "Order"+Obj+Infin Impose will on (command) other people to get them to do something: The judge ordered him to be quiet.
  • "It takes" + Infinitive Express 'how much' is needed; specify a quantity and a person: It takes (them) X time to learn.
  • "Too/ Enough"+Infin State minimum and maximum requirements with too, enough: "He's too young to drive.
  • "Be" Adj + Infinitive Express feelings and reactions with adjective and infinitive expressions: We were happy to see them.
  • "It's"  Adj+Infinitive Express opinion or advice with: It (be) difficult, easy, important, impossible, a mircle, no problem to do that.
  • "In order" + Infinitive State purpose with in order followed by an infinite, or just an infinitive: He came to help.
  • Infinitives In Context Identify infinitives in an article
  •           Related Pages
  • Passive Ger / Infin Express timing (earlier, later, same-time) and passive voice in gerund and infinitive clauses: He was believed to have found it.
  •           Related Pages
  • Gerund/ Infin  Prac1 Determine whether the verb is followed by a gerund or an infinitive.
  • Gerund/ Infin  Prac2 Determine whether the verb is followed by a gerund or an infinitive.
  •           RELATED PAGE
  • Splitting  Verbs Read the origin of "don't split an infinitive" myth; explore options for adverb placement when auxiliary verbs are present.
 

Modals

(Auxiliaries, Mood & Modality)

  • Modal Summary Browse a summary of content links to mocal practices.
  • Modal Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Will /  Might Express varying degrees of certainty: will, may, might could, may have, might have.
  • Be going / Will Express future intent or prediction; near and distant future: be going, will.
  • Will / Would Express attitudes of determination, unwillingness or failure: will, would, would have, won't, wouldn't; lexical verb: will.
  • Would State preference, request, habit or excuse: would, would have, would rather have, would always.
  • Would / Used to Contrast past behavior vs. habits, esp. in past states of possession, mind, and being: would smoke vs used to smoke.
  • Should Express expectation, convention or advice: should, will be, supposed to, ought to, should have.
  • Could / Should Offer options or advice: should, should have, could, could have.
  • Should/Could have Offer options and events after an event has occurred: should have, could have.
  • Should / Must Express advisability, necessity, and requirement with modals: should, ought to, should have, must, had to, needed to.
  • Might / Must have Express varying degrees of certainty about the past: guesses, inferences and conclusions: might have vs. must have.
  • Can / Could Express physical, mental (know how) or potential ability with modals: can, could, be able to.
  • May / Can Express permission, request, suggestion, invitation with modals: may, can, could, would, shall, let's.
  • Future Progressive Relate temporary, ongoing or background activities; make polite inquiries Will you be going?'
  • Modal Agreement Maintain timing relationships with embedded clauses (backshifting): will, would, be-going-to, so that, said that, which, who, if…then.
  • Future Perfect Express a future time as the 'window' for viewing a second activity. By the time you arrive, we will have finished.
  • Modal Review Compare relative modal-strengths of obligation-necessity, possibility-certainty, duty-option, present and past forms.
  • Modal Match Express mood and meaning with modals; possibility, suggestion, ability, advice, necessity, conclusion.
  • Modal Quiz Practice with modals and modal expressions; multiple choice, auto-correcting quiz.
  • By the time Indicate that a future time is the moment for viewing the progress or completion of a second activity: by the time (future perfect).
  • Should/Could  have Express opinion, advice, after an event has occurred: analyzing past options and determining importance; should have, could have.
 

Modifying Clauses

(Adjective Phrases, Relative Clauses)

  • ModifyngClsSumary Browse a summary of content links to modifying clause practices.
  • Mod Cls Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • That–Clause Add modifying clauses for inanimate nouns: that, which.
  • Who/m–Clause Add modifying clauses for animate nouns: who, whom.
  • Whose–Clause Add possessive modifying clauses for animate nouns: whose
  • Of which / Whose Add possessive modifying clauses for inanimate nouns: of which, whose
  • When-Where Add modifying clauses for time or place: when, where and in/on/at which
  • All of which Add modifying clauses for nouns with quantity phrases: all of which / some of whom
  • That / Which Add modifying clauses to identify 'which noun'; restrictive vs. non-restrictive; that, which
  • Some  or All Contrast restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses; review punctuation commas
  • Which-clause Compare modifying a noun vs. an entire clause with a which-clause: which (all of the preceding clause) vs. that (preceding noun)
  • Clause  Reduction1 Reduce relative clauses which include be verb forms: [who is] living
  • Clause Reduction2 Reduce relative clauses which include active verb forms: [who lives] living
  • Misrelated Clauses Improve the positioning of modifying clauses so that the reference is clear: *Being a guy, it is hard to understand her.
  • Modifying Cls Quiz Check your progress with a self-quiz (auto-correcting) on modifying clauses for possessives and quantifiers: whose, some of whose 
  •           RELATED PAGES
  • Participial Clause 1 Reduce a clause with a passive verb to a participial clause: was located / located.
  • Participial Clause 2 Reduce a clause with a passive or active verb to a participial clause: served as / serving as.
  • Ch 13 Adj Clauses Review adjective clauses (Azar Ch. 13, ESL)
 

Nouns

(Nominals as Subjects or Objects

  • Noun Summary Browse a summary of singular-plural noun forms, quantifiers, count noncount, subject-predicate, pronouns, complex sentence agreement, some, any, few, less.
  • Noun Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Noun/Noun Phrase Recognize the basic elements: noun and noun phrase; understand their functions with a phrase or clause.
  • Noun Suffixes Form nouns from other word forms with suffixes: -men, -al, -ure, -tion, -ance, -ence.
  • Reg Plural Nouns Recognize nouns with plural forms: -s, -es, -ies, -ves.
  • Irreg Plural Nouns Recognize nouns with plural forms: -ee-, -en, -oes, -a, -ae, -ices, -i; varieties: fish vs. fishes.
  • Plural Linked Words Mark plurals of hyphenated words, letters and numbers: passers-by, As and Bs, 747s, cc's and bcc's, no-no's.
  • Irreg Plural Practice Identify plural forms for nouns with irregular plurals: -i, oes, -a, -es, -ves.
  • Unusual Noun Forms Recognize some unusual noun forms and their verb agreement: people are, news is, police are, mathematics is.
  • Count / Noncount Contrast referring to items vs. collective nouns: dollars vs. money, ideas vs. knowledge determiners the, this, these.
  • Group Nouns Recognize the collective word for individual items: equipment → computers; candy → candy bars.
  • Count/NonCntPrac Select word forms for collective or individual items: details–information; suggestions–advice.
  • Possessive Nouns Contrast possessive forms for singular and plural personal nouns; compare to inanimate nouns, days and holidays, numbers and letters; note boss's and Charles's.
  • Final -S Prac Practice editing nouns and verbs for final -s.
  • Final -S Audio Listen for the sound of final -s.
  • Nouns w/ Modifiers Maintain subject-predicate agreement when modifiers are present: The monkey under the bananas is hiding.
  • Sentence Edit Edit sentences for articles, pronouns and singular-plural agreement.
  • Paragraph Edit Edit paragraphs for agreement (essay).
 

Nominal Clauses

(Noun Clauses, Reported or Indirect Speech)

  • Nom Cls Summary Browse a summary of content links to nominal clause practices.
  • Nom Cls Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Wh–QuestionClause Place quoted wh-question within statements (indirect or reported speech); maintain tense, pronoun and adverb agreement. He asked how I was.
  • Yes/NoQuesClause Place quoted questions (answered by yes or no) within statements; maintain tense, pronoun and adverb agreement. She asked me if I was/were going.
  • Command Clause Place quoted commands within statements (subjunctive verb form); maintain tense, pronoun and adverb agreement. He ordered that she leave.
  • Statement Clause Place quoted statements within another statement; maintain tense, pronoun and adverb agreement. He said that he was happy.
  • Said Synonyms Explore other words for said; note subtle differences in meaning, and pronoun use. admitted, boasted, mumbled, blurted.
  • That–Subj Clauses Shift focus to another sentence part with that(content clause): That he survived is a miracle.
  • It–Subj Clauses Shift lengthy content to another sentence part with it: It is amazing that he survived.
  • What–Subj Clause Shift focus to another sentence part by packaging information into a what phrase: What he said was funny.
  • Wh-ever Phrases Refer to an unknown one with: whoever, whatever, whenever, wherever, however
  • The reason is Specify reason or focus with the reason is… (idea is, advantage is, point is) before a that–clause: The reason for the problem is carelessness.
  • Cleft Sentences Express emphasis by grouping and moving content with it-, what- and that-clauses It was amazing what he did.
  • Nominal Cls Quiz Check progress with a self-quiz (auto-correcting) on nominal (noun) clauses.
  • Report Speech Quiz Check progress with a self-quiz (auto-correcting) on reported speech.
  •           Related Pages
  • Azar Chapter Rev12Review adjective clauses (Azar Ch. 12, ESL)
  • "Order"+Obj+Infin Impose will on (command) other people to get them to do something: The judge ordered him to be quiet.
 

Passive Voice

 

  • Passive Summary Browse a summary of content links to passive practices.
  • Passive Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Receiver as Subject Place focus from the agent ('doer') to the recipient ('receiver') of an action or activity. They stopped me. I was stopped (by them).
  • Focus on Project Place focus to the collective work rather than the team ('doers'); The human genome has been mapped.
  • By Phrases Determine when to include the “agent" in a by-clause: The bank was robbed (by the hoodie thief / *by someone.)
  • Verbs w/Two Objects Place emphasis on the item (direct obj) or the recipient (indirect obj) of the action: I was sent a letter / A letter was sent to me.
  • Never Passive Recognize intransitive and static verbs that cannot be passive: happen, occur, remain, exist, belong, stand, become.
  • "Get"  Passives Express circumstance of emotional response by using get in place of be in passive sentences: I got hit, got lost, got married, got it done.
  • Particpl Modifiers 1 Contrast participles describing receiver vs. source of experience: amused vs. amusing; -ed vs. -ing.
  • Particpl Modifiers 2 Contrast on-going process vs. completed state: a roasting vs. roasted chicken; -ed vs. -ing.
  • Particpl Modifier Qz Check your progress with this auto-correcting quiz on participial modifiers (adjectives): aged vs. aging.
  • Participles w/ Preps Express reactions to circumstances or things with participle + prep. combinations: interested in, surprised at, worried about, overwhelmed with.
  • Participle-Prep Prac Pair participles with prepositions in this sentence practice: known for, concerned with, accustomed to.
  • Participial Clause 1 Reduce passive sentences (finite) to past-participial clauses (nonfinite): was located / located.
  • Participial Clause 2 Reduce active or passive sentences to participial clauses (nonfinite): served as / serving as.
  • Been / Being Contrast similar sounding words been vs. being: He's being seen by the doctor. / He's been seen by the doctor.
  • Passive in Context Identify passive sentences in the context of an article.
 

Past and Past Perfect Tenses

 

  • Past Summary Browse a summary of content links to past tense practices.
  • Past diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Past Complete Report events that occurred in the definite or indefinite past; short–long duration verbs: did, talked, ate, spoke.
  • Past Progressive Contrast past activities that are temporary vs ongoing; recognize foreground vs. background activity: Brad Pitt walked by while we were eating.
  • Would / Used to Contrast past behavior vs. habits, esp. in past states of possession, mind, and being: would smoke vs used to smoke.
  • Reporting Source Recognize the use of past rather than present perfect for reporting source or emotional impact: Where did you get it? You hit me!
  • Past Series Recognize the use of past for reporting a past series of events: He came in, sat down, and ate.
  • Past Perfect Contrast earlier past events from later past events; past adverbs: before, after, when.
  • Participles1 Identify the verb forms for past and participle verb forms (A–L): awake - lay.
  • Participles2 Identify the verb forms for past and participle verb forms (L–W): let - wear.

Prepositions

(Temporal and Location Expressions, Phrasal Verbs)

  • Prep Summary Browse a summary of content links to preposition practices.
  • Prep Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Preps for Time Relate when: in, on, at.
  • Preps for Place Relate where in, on, at, aside, beneath, among, etc.
  • Prep Paragraph Determine which preposition to use for time or place: in, on, at.
  • At / In Express Recognize meanings of expressions with: at, in.
  • During / In Express duration vs. exact time: during, in.
  • For / since Express a quantity of time vs. a specific time: for, since.
  • Phrasal Verbs Review charts of two-word verb expressions: go about, go at, go away, go down, go off, go on, go out of, go over, go with.
  • Ending w/ Prep Re-evaluate the rule about not using a preposition at the end of a sentence: *This is a rule up with which we shall not put!
  •           RELATED PAGES
  • Adverb for Place Express movement in particular directions: out, in, outside, behind, back, forward.
  • Verb + Gerund Review a list of verbs that are complemented by gerunds: "He enjoys visiting his cousins.
  • Verb+Prep+Gerund Review a list of verb and preposition combinations that are complemented by gerunds: "He insisted on paying."
  • Gerund Cls w/Subj Review verbs followed by gerunds with subjects expressed as "for" or a possessive: "They excused him for / his leaving early."
  • Ger / Infin PassivesExpress timing and voice in gerund and infinitive clauses: He remembers having locked it. He seems to have forgotten.
  • Verb + PP Prac 1 Determine which prepositions to use with particular verbs: about, against, after, for.
  • Verb + PP Prac 2 Determine which prepositions to use with particular verbs: put off doing, keep from hearing.
  • Verb + PP Prac 3 Determine which prepositions to use with particular verbs: from, in, like, of, off, on, over, to, with.
  • Participle-Prep Prac Determine which prepositions to use with particular participles: known for; concerned with; accustomed to.
 

Present and Progressive Tenses

(3rd Person, Static, Dynamic, Transitive, Ditransitive Verbs

  • Present Summary Browse a summary of content links to present tense practices.
  • Present Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • General Truth State facts vs. observations: turns vs. is turning.
  • Subj-Predicate Agr Mark verbs for third person singular agreement: -s, -es, -oes, -ies.
  • Present Prac Report weather events, El Niño: is, happens, comes, comes, drops.
  • At the Moment Report temporary activities: am, is, am working, am taking, am having.
  • Habits and Customs Contrast talking about temporary vs. permanent current activities: are preparing, are celebrating.
  • Pres vs Progressive Contrast talking about temporary habits vs. at-the-moment activity: is appearing this week/ is appearing now.
  • Scheduled Events Contrast referring to routine plans, immediate plans, and future scheduled activities: the exhibition returns / is returning / will return .
  • States of Being Refer to something in existence or its change in state of existence; is, looks, seems, appears, resembles, becomes, gets, acts.
  • Sensory States Express sensations and perceptions: hear, see, sounds, tastes, feels.
  • Cognitive States Express thinking, cognition and attitude: knows, believes, thinks, understands, recognizes, remembers.
  • Possession States Express possession or ownership: have, belong, possess, own, hold.
  • Emotional States Express emotional states: surprise, impress, please, astonish, amaze.
  • Measurement States Report measurement: weight, distance, height and amount; measures, reaches, weighs, consists of, contains, includes.
  • Time-RelativeEvents Relate the timing of two planned events: before, after, as soon as, while, when, as soon as.
  • Narration Narrate or tell a story: "This guy walks into a bar…"
  • Transitive Verbs Indicate the person or thing receiving the action—verbs that take direct objects
  • Ditransitive Verbs Indicate the person or thing affected by the action—verbs that take direct objects (dative verbs).
  • Present In Context Identify present tense verbs in context.
  •           RELATED PAGES
  • Confusing Words Browse a summary of practices on commonly confused word pairs: make/do, say/tell, lie/lay, rise/raise, sit/set.
  • Never Passive Recognize intransitive and static verbs that cannot be passive: happen, occur, remain, exist, belong, stand, become.
  • After / Before / When Express time-relative activities: before, after, as soon as, when, while, as.
 

Present Perfect and Progressive

 

  • PresPerf Summary Browse a summary of content links to present perfect practices.
  • PresPerf Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Up to Now, So Far Express duration by relating past activity to the present: for, since, so far, to date.
  • Duration/ Repetition Contrast continuous vs. reoccurring from past to the present: several times.
  • Permanent/ Temp Contrast long- vs short-term activity from past to the present: since, ever since, for, this morning, all morning.
  • Experience Refer to an activity in the unspecified past: ever, never, before; short answers: yes, I have / no, I haven't.
  • Completed/Ongoing Contrast referring to an activity in the unspecified past vs. one in progress: (using no adverb).
  • Just / Recently Relate the past to the present time frame: recently, just, lately.
  • Already / Yet Express that something happens sooner or later than expected; already, yet.
  • Implied Meanings Use adverbs as clues to understanding the time frame.
  • Pres State of Mind Connect the past to the present; He's just arrived. We've been there recently.
  • PresPerfSentPrac Determine tense usage from contextual clues.
  • PresPerfParaPrac Match verb tense with adverbs.
  •           RELATED PAGES
  • For / since Express a quantity of time vs. a specific time: for, since.
  • Participles1 Identify the verb forms for past and participle verb forms (A–L): awake - lay.
  • Participles2 Identify the verb forms for past and participle verb forms (L–W): let - wear.
 

Pronouns

(Proper, Personal, Possessive Pronouns)

  • Pronoun Summary Browse a summary of content links to pronoun practices.
  • Pronoun Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Personal Pronouns Refer to people with pronouns: he, she, we, they — him, her, us, them.
  • Collective Pronouns Contrast possession by a group or by its individuals: The Scouts value its / their people.
  • Double Pronouns Recognize common errors when using two personal pronouns together: failure to distinguish subject and object pronouns. *to me and my dad, *to my dad and I.
  • Indefinite Pronouns Refer to unknown persons or things: someone, anyone, everybody; agreement /everyone has his / their hat.
  • Reflexive Pronouns Refer to all or part of oneself: myself, yourself, himself, herself, oneself, itself, ourselves.
  • Possess Pronouns Refer to ownership by a person: his, hers, ours, theirs; generalizations: one-one's, you-your (impersonal) they-their.
  • There–Existence Refer to the existence of something: There is a lot of traffic.
  • It /There Pronouns Refer to weather, time, or existence: It is raining. It is late. There is rain on the street.
  • It / This Reference Refer back to something; emphasis, former, latter; it this / that.
  • Pronoun Antecedent Recognize clear and unclear pronoun reference; examine optimal placement: He was hungry, Jack decided.
  • Gender &  Pronouns Refer to both male and females: Everyone has his / her / their hat.
 

Punctuation

(Commas, Colons, Apostrophes, Bulleted Lists)

  • Punct  Summary Browse a summary of content links to punctuation practices.
  • Punc Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Apostrophes Mark contractions and possessive nouns.
  • Bulleted Lists Compare guidelines (styles) for vertical lists: introductory phrases, wording and punctuation of list items (capitals, colons, semicolons, periods).
  • Bullet-list Practice Examine options for phrasing and punctuating vertical lists; practice.
  • Capitals Contrast upper and lowercase usage: proper nouns, titles, beginning sentences, in dates, in time, and so on.
  • Colons Join a clause that explains or illustrates; also use with introductory phrases, with time, in proportions, in email, in book citations, with chapters and verses.
  • Comma Uses Set apart elements in a sentence: punctuate clauses and sentences with commas.
  • Comma Series Separate elements in series; clarify meaning and word form.
  • Comma Comments Insert comments and appositives into sentences with commas, parentheses or dashes.
  • Dashes Set off elements such as aside comments, lists, and after-thoughts (informal).
  • Hyphens Review ways that hyphens link words and clarify meaning; compare stylebook sytems for capitalization of hyphenated words in titles or headings.
  • Italics Mark titles of major works, and other terms in writing.
  • Parentheses Set off comments that clarify: aside comments, short explanations, lists inserted within sentences, in-text list numbering, telephone numbers, etc.
  • Periods Mark sentence divisions, abbreviations, domain names, and decimals; AM/PM, a.m./p.m.
  • Quotation Marks Mark quoted speech, titles of minor works and terms; use ellipsis for omitted material.
  • Semicolons Mark divisions with semi-colons before closely related clauses, before linking adverbs, and before some examples words.
  •           RELATED PAGES
  • So / So that Review comma usage with a so (result) but not with so that (purpose).
  • Punc Conjunctions Review comma usage with coordinating conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.
  • Punc Word Order Review comma usage to mark a word order change.
  • Punc Conditionals Review comma usage with conditional clauses.
  • Punc Even–Indeed Review using a comma after and adverb of emphasis: even.
  • Punc Mod/AdjClause Review comma usage with nonidentifying clauses.
  • Punc Restrictive Cls Review comma usage to indicate “all" or “some" in restrictive and non-restrictive clauses.
  • Punc-Which Review comma usage to refer to an entire clause with which.
 

Quantifiers

(Determiners, Quantity Expressions)

  • Agr Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Quantity Phrases Recognize types of quantity phrases: How much? or How many?some of, all of, the/a number of, none.
  • Most/Most of the Refer to a quantity of an unspecific or specific group: most classes v. most of the class
  • Some / Any Express an indefinite quantity or number: some, any.
  • Much / Many Express a quantity for count or noncount nouns much, many, so much, so many, much more, many more.
  • Much / More Express an increasing amount of something: much, more, too, many more and much more.
  • Little / Few Express an insufficient amount: little, a little, few, a few.
  • Quantifiers for Food Use traditional quantifying units (measurements) to specific amounts: slice, cup, stick, bottle, spoonful; steak, roast, fillet, patty.
  • Common Mistakes Avoid the "top 20" agreement errors: Everyone is;  two percent is; two-thirds of the book are.
 

Pop-Quizzes

(Sentence Analysis)

  • Pop-Q Archive Browse an index of archived pop-question quizzes from 2008 to present.
  • Pop-Q 2014 Archive 2014: an index of the year’s pop questions.
  • Pop-Q 2015 Archive 2013: an index of the year’s pop questions.
  • Pop-Q 2012 Archive 2012: an index of the year’s pop questions.
  • Pop-Q 2011 Archive 2011: an index of the year’s pop questions.
  • Pop-Q 2010 Archive 2010: an index of the year’s pop questions.
  • Pop-Q 2009 Archive 2009: an index of the year’s pop questions.
  • Pop-Q 2008 Archive 2008: an index of the year’s pop questions.
 

Quizzes—Diagnostic

(Self-Quizzes)

  • Diagnostic Summary Browse a summary of content links to diagnostic quizzes.
  • Adj-Mod Diagnostic Identify grammar points needing further study by taking a short diagnostic quiz with links to specific practices.
  • Adverb Diagnostic Adverb diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Agrmnt Diagnostic Sentence agreement diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Article Diagnostic Article usage diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • ConditionDiagnostic Conditional clause diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Connect Diagnostic Connector diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Gerund Diagnostic Gerund diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Infinitive Diagnostic Infinitive diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Modal  Diagnostic Modal diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Mod Cls Diagnostic Modifying clause (adjective clause) diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Nom Cls Diagnostic Nominal clause (noun clause) diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Passive Diagnostic Passive diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Past Diagnostic Past tense diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Prep Diagnostic Preposition diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • PresPerfDiagnostic Present perfect tense diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Present  Diagnostic Present tense diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Pronoun Diagnostic Pronoun diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Punc Diagnostic Punctuation diagnostic for identifying specific grammar points that need review
  • Modifying Cls Quiz INT-ADV: Modify nouns with clauses (adjective clauses) multiple choice, auto-correcting quiz
  • Modal Quiz INT-ADV: Express mood with modals; multiple choice, auto-correcting quiz,
  • Noun Clause Quiz INT-ADV: Embed a clause as the subject or object of a clause, multiple choice, auto-correcting quiz
  • Particpl Modifier Qz Check your progress with this auto-correcting quiz on participial modifiers (adjectives): aged vs. aging.
  • Report Speech Quiz INT-ADV: Change quoted speech to indirect speech (reported speech) multiple choice,  auto-correcting quiz
  • Pop-Q Archive Browse through an index of archived pop-question quizzes from 2008 to present.
 

Quizzes—Review

 

 

Sentence Structure

(Elements Clause Construction)

  • SentStruc  Summary Browse a summary of content links to sentence structure practices.
  • Complete Thought Recognize how a topic and a controlling idea combine to focus thought (in contrast to unfocused 'stream of consciousness').
  • Subject / Predicate Recognize primary grammatical functions in a sentence: subject, predicate/predicator, complement, adjunct.
  • Transitive Verbs Indicate the person or thing receiving the action—verbs that take direct objects
  • Ditransitive Verbs Indicate the person or thing affected by the action—verbs that take direct objects (dative verbs).
  • Finite / Nonfinite Understand how finite and nonfinite clauses differ; recognize their verb forms—primary and secondary.
  • Passive Nonfinites Express timing (earlier, later, same-time) and passive voice in gerund and infinitive clauses: He admitted having left it unlocked.
  • Auxiliary Verbs Understand how lexical verbs differ from auxiliary verbs; compare their properties.
  • Clauses/Fragments Identify smaller and larger elements in a sentence: phrase, dependent clause, independent clause.
  • Run-On Sentences Identify simple versus compound sentences with conjunctions and coordinators; explore options for sentence division.
 

Words Confused

(Often Misused Words, Confusing Word Pairs)

 

Writing

(Capturing Thought, Organizing, Citing Sources)

  • Writing Summary Browse a summary of content links to writing practices.
  • Planning Guide Do the foundation work for writing your paper (pyramid). Take advantage of developmental drafts (first, second, etc.) to improve your writing skills.
  • Focusing Your Topic Explore possible areas of development and available resources; select a reasonable (do-able) amount for your topic.
  • Topic &  Thesis Create and focus your thesis sentence; select the topic and the controlling idea.
  • Introductions Examine four types of introductions.
  • Copyright-Fair Use Understand ethics and fair use; give credit to the work of other people.
  • Plagiarism Follow strategies for avoiding plagiarism.
  • Plag Examples Identify plagiarized work from sample paragraphs.
  • Citing Sources Select a style manual. Review examples of in-text and bibliographic citations.
  • DragDrop-Book Book MLA Citation Order: practice arranging elements into proper citation order.
  • Magazine Cit. Prac Magazine MLA Citation Order: practice arranging elements into proper citation order.
  • Journal Cit. Prac Journal – MLA Citation Order: practice arranging elements into proper citation order.
  • DragDrop–Newsp Newspaper – MLA Citation Order: practice arranging elements into proper citation order.
  • Web Citation Prac Web Page – MLA Citation Order: practice arranging elements into proper citation order.
  • Music Citation Prac Music – MLA Citation Order: practice arranging elements into proper citation order.
  • Film Citation Prac Film – MLA Citation Order: practice arranging elements into proper citation order.
  • WebPageEvaluation Separate fact from fiction when selecting online resources.