English grammar

Not sure where to start your English grammar learning journey? All the different word order rules, sentence structure, tenses, and articles often confuse new learners.

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However, there’s a good reason English remains the most popular language in the world. Even with all the tricky advanced grammar, the basics are easy to understand. Anyone can construct simple sentences after a few short lessons. With time and effort, you can learn to easily use the rules without thinking about them.

We collected all the best resources for you to learn grammar online in one convenient place.

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What is English grammar all about?

English is an analytic language, which means it uses word order and particles to deliver meaning. In it, grammar is a whole system and structure that governs relationships between sounds, words, and sentences. In other words, grammar is a set of rules that help us combine and interpret words to understand the language.

English grammar skills allow you to:

understand the language and put thoughts into sentences.

build connected sentences that flow together naturally.

use appropriate tenses and verb forms to indicate time and place.

break sentences into parts and rearrange them to change the meaning.

English grammar reference guide

Learn English grammar with these helpful references:

1. Parts of Speech.

Words that you combine into sentences. They have similar grammatical properties and usually play the same role. There are 8 parts of speech plus articles, sometimes put into their own 9th category.

Verb

Conveys actions (speak, run), states of being (believe, stand), and occurrences (become, take place).

Adjective

Describes nouns and pronouns (small, blue) and changes meaning depending on where it is in a sentence.

Preposition

Describes relationships in time (before, after) and space (under, over), can come in groups (in front of).

Noun

Names things (chair, car), ideas (language, math), places (home, France), and people (worker, Sam).

Adverb

Modifies and adds meaning to verbs (spoke quietly), adjectives (very funny), other adverbs (quite strongly), and whole sentences.

Pronoun

Takes the place of or refers to a noun (you, hers, this) and comes in different forms depending on context.

Conjunction

Links words, groups of words, or entire parts of a sentence and phrases together (but, for, yet).

Interjection

Expresses spontaneous feelings or reactions such as surprise (Oh! Wow!), response (huh? Mhm), greeting (bye, hi), and so on

Article

Also known as a determiner - starts a noun phrase in order to indicate specifics (these, some, an).

2. Sentences.

Combinations of words that deliver meaning. There are many ways to create sentences in English, and word order plays the main role. Sentences have their own grammar rules and different properties.

Clause

A group of words with a verb and a subject that conveys information. Every complete sentence has one or more clauses.

Sentence Type

Meaning contained in a sentence, which can be a statement, question, command, or exclamation.

Sentence Structure

The clauses in a sentence dictate whether it’s simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex.

Reported Speech

How we report information from others. Can be direct for exact words and indirect when rephrased.

Subject-Verb Agreement

Rules we use to make the verb take the right form based on its subject in a sentence.

Linking and Transitions

How we use verbs in sentences to create transitions and coherently link phrases.

Punctuation

Using special marks such as periods (.), commas (,), exclamation marks (!), semicolons (;), and so on.

Parenthetical Expressions

Where we put secondary information that adds details but isn’t essential in a sentence.

Clefts

How we emphasize elements and change the focus of a sentence by placing a part in a separate clause (it wasn’t Sam that I found).

3. Tenses.

Verbs in English change depending on when an event takes place. Tenses combine a time (past, present, future) and an aspect (simple, continuous, perfect, and perfect continuous) to define the specific time of an event.

Present Simple

The present state of something or a habitual action. “I live in Canada.”

Past Simple

Action that happened in the past at some point in time. “I lived in Canada.”

Future Simple

Action that will happen in the future at some point. “I will live in Canada.”

Present Continuous

Action that is in progress, ongoing. “I am learning English.”

Past Continuous

Action that was in progress at a special time in the past. “I was learning English.”

Future Continuous

Action that will happen for a long period of time in the future. “I will be learning English.”

Present Perfect

Action which began in the past and continues into the present. “I have finished my painting.”

Past Perfect

Action that occurred before a specific time in the past, often to specify which came first. “I had finished my painting.”

Future Perfect

Action that will be completed by a specific time in the future. “I will have finished my painting.”

Present Perfect Continuous

Action that began in the past and continues into the present. “I have been jogging.”

Past Perfect Continuous

Action that started, continued for some time, and ended in the past. “I had been jogging.”

Future Perfect Continuous

Action that will continue for some time in the future. “I will have been jogging.”

Test your English grammar skills

Find out how well you know English grammar with our 20-minute online test. Answer a series of multiple-choice questions and immediately see the results after you finish. Get tips on how to improve on your journey to fluency.

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4 Ways to learn grammar online with Promova

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Free grammar resources

The Best English Grammar Books In 2022

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People often ask

Where do I start learning English grammar?

It depends on what you already know. Even if you’re a beginner, you likely took lessons in school or heard a lot of English in your life or online. We recommend you take our free English test first and then start learning materials on your level.

If you’re starting from scratch, starting with simple words and forms of the verb to be is best. After that, you should be able to make introductory statements and ask questions. Combining reading, writing, listening, and speaking practice is always good when you learn new grammar rules.

How do I practice grammar online?

Firstly, doing almost any activity in English will help you practice grammar. You can understand rules while reading, apply them while writing, hear structures while listening, and practice them while speaking. Depending on your level, practice can be as simple as watching a TV show or as involved as doing a presentation in English.

Secondly, Promova offers a wide range of tools to practice grammar. The quickest way is to use our language learning app with short, bite-sized lessons. In addition, you can also take a class with a tutor or take group lessons.

How long does it take to fluently use English grammar?

Reaching basic fluency in a language takes around 500 hours of active practice or 1 to 2 years for most people. However, the exact time will depend on your time investment, abilities, and how you best learn. If you decide to study with a Promova tutor, you can get an individual plan that plays to your strengths and helps you achieve your goals. 

You can get there much faster with the right approach and guided practice. Of course, your exact results will depend on your immersion in the language and how often you practice every day.