Grammar in writing

The activities below are organised into a range of grammatical categories.


When do you need to use an article with a noun phrase?

You will review the use of the definite, indefinite and zero article with noun phrases with particular reference to academic writing and have an opportunity to test yourself on the use of articles.

Recognising the rules for using the article

You will identify some basic grammatical rules that can be applied to help you decide whether an article is required in front of a noun phrase or not.

Gerunds and infinitives

Verbs followed by gerunds or infinitives

This activity provides practice in using a concordancer to find some common examples of the use of gerunds and infinitives after verbs.


Recognising the effect of modal verbs

You will study the importance of modal verbs when you are taking notes and you will categorise examples of modal verbs according to their use.


Combining nouns for academic writing

In this learning object you will learn to recognise the three main ways in which nouns can be combined in academic writing.

Identifying the rules for combining nouns

You will identify some helpful guidelines that can be used when you need to combine nouns in academic writing.

Nouns and countability

You will consider the use of countable and uncountable nouns in English and practise classifying nouns from your own subject area.

Passive form

Impersonal style and passive verb constructions

You will examine how writers use the passive to produce an impersonal, objective style.


Dependent prepositions

This learning object provides an opportunity to practise using a concordancer to find some common examples of the use of dependent prepositions with verbs, adjectives and nouns.

Reporting verbs

Recognising oral and written reporting verbs

This learning object introduces you to a range of different reporting verbs used in speaking and writing. You will identify appropriate and inappropriate use of reporting verbs.

Reporting verbs in academic writing

This learning object presents reporting verbs that are commonly found in academic writing and looks at some of their their uses. You will also do a short quiz to check what you have learnt so far.

Using a range of reporting verbs

You will use reporting verbs to link together points and create a paragraph. You will compare your answer with a model answer and read some comments on the way the verbs are used.

What do we mean by 'critical reporting verbs'?

This activity looks at how reporting verbs are used when an author writes critically about the work of others.

Tenses used with reporting verbs

You will consider the way that tenses are used to report other writers' work in academic texts and you will review the appropriate use of three tenses commonly used in reporting.

Choosing tenses for reporting verbs

You will do a gap-filling activity to practise using the correct tenses with reporting verbs.

Use of verbs in summary statements

This activity focuses on the characteristics of a range of verbs often used in data commentaries.


The perfect aspect

You will review the perfect aspect in English grammar and identify some of the important characteristics of this point of grammar.


Grammar points in definitions

You will practise your editing skills, concentrating on the grammatical accuracy of the language of definitions.