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English Grammar: All You Need to Know

Learn about the nuts and bolts of English grammar on this accessible and well-paced course from UCL.

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3,501 enrolled on this course

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What is grammar?

Grammar is the study of sentence structure, a uniquely human part of our culture and identity.

On this six-week course from UCL, you’ll take an in-depth look at English grammar, learning how to construct sentences, create meaning, and communicate effectively both personally and professionally.

Examine the structure of sentences

Beginning with an introduction to key terminology, you’ll discover how words, phrases, and clauses are combined to create sentences.

You’ll learn about grammatical forms, such as nouns, noun phrases, verbs and verb phrases, as well as about grammatical functions, including Subject, Predicate, Complement, and Adjunct, before moving on to semantic roles.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to confidently analyse sentences at several levels.

Take a closer look at tense, aspect, and mood

After gaining a comprehensive overview of the forms and functions of grammar, you’ll then examine how different grammatical notions, such as tense, aspect, and mood are implemented in English.

Learn about the principles of effective communication in speech and writing

In the final week of this course, you’ll examine how to highlight certain parts of your message and clarify your meaning using information structuring.

Having studied structural and semantic concepts at different levels, by the end of the course you will have gained a deep understanding of English grammar and the principles of effective communication.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds Hello and welcome to the

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds course English Grammar: All You Need to Know. My name is Bas Aarts, and I’m Professor of English Linguistics at UCL, University College London. The aim of this course is to give you a complete overview of the grammar of the English language in an engaging and interactive way. We start with the smallest building blocks of the language, words, and how these form word classes. And how words form phrases, and phrases form clauses. And we’ll also be looking at other grammatical notions, such as Subjects and Direct Objects. By the end of the course, you’ll have a solid knowledge of the grammar of the English language, and you’ll be able to confidently and accurately use its grammatical terminology.

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 seconds You’ll also know the distinction between grammatical form and grammatical function, and you’ll have learned something about

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second the principles of information structuring: how we can communicate successfully and effectively. This course, by the way, is not for you if you’re aiming to improve your English. There are lots of other courses available for that purpose, but you may need to look elsewhere. If you’re a teacher of English, you may be interested in our sister courses ‘English Grammar for Teachers’ and Teaching English Grammar in Context’, also available on the FutureLearn platform. The time investment on this course is about one and a half to two hours per week, over six weeks. So the course runs over six weeks. So around 12 hours in total.

Skip to 1 minute and 43 seconds Now, I’m a bit of a grammar nerd and certainly a grammar enthusiast, and I hope to convey, if not the nerdiness, definitely the enthusiasm for the study of English grammar.

Skip to 1 minute and 55 seconds It’s a fascinating subject: finding out about the nuts and bolts of English sentences, and how they are put together. So I very much hope that you’ll join me on this course.

What topics will you cover?

  • The building blocks of English sentences: word classes, phrases and clauses
  • Grammatical functions and semantic roles
  • Using words and phrases to build clauses
  • Talking about time: tense and aspect
  • Talking about what is possible, probable and necessary: mood and modality
  • How to communicate effectively: presenting information

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the main building blocks of sentences: word classes, phrases and clauses
  • Explain the distinction between grammatical form and grammatical function
  • Demonstrate a good understanding of key grammatical terms and how to use them
  • Apply some of the principles of how we can communicate effectively, using grammatical means

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn about English grammar in an engaging way, whether for pleasure or in a professional context.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this course is NOT designed to help you improve your English writing or speaking skills.

ALSO IMPORTANT: If you teach grammar in a UK school that follows the specifications of the National Curriculum (NC), this course is NOT SUITABLE for you, because it does not align with the National Curriculum. If you do follow this course as a teacher, you will be teaching a different model of grammar which will lead to confusion for you and your pupils, and will result in lower scores in the tests. We have a solution for this, though! Please check out the FutureLearn courses English Grammar for Teachers and Teaching English Grammar in Context, also from UCL, which are specifically designed for UK teachers, and are fully aligned with the NC.

What software or tools do you need?

The course uses a textbook with the same title: English Grammar: All You Need to Know which is available only on Amazon. Purchase is optional. The course also links to the UCL Englicious website (free sign-up).

Who will you learn with?

I'm a Professor of English Linguistics at UCL with a passion for English grammar.

After you take this course I hope you will be just as enthusiastic!

Who developed the course?

UCL (University College London)

UCL was founded in 1826. It was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, and the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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