Learn English Grammar

Grammar is like the skeleton of a language, holding everything together and providing structural support. Familiarity with the grammar of a foreign language and the correct application of its structural rules are essential when learning a new language. Effective communication as a foreign language user depends, in part, on avoiding grammatical errors that lead to misunderstandings. The English Grammar section contains helpful links to interactive exercises aimed at addressing any grammatical challenges. Much attention is given to verb forms, which can be a challenging subject for English language learners.

Exercises and Explanation: 1 English Verb Form

The pages Exercises and explanation: 1 English verb form focus on the various English tenses and their forms. They provide explanations of how these tenses appear in affirmative, interrogative, and negative sentences, along with numerous exercises to help you practice verb forms.

Simple Present (go/goes) Simple Past (He went)
Present Perfect (He has gone) Past Perfect (He had gone)
Present Continuous (He is going) Past Continuous (He was going)
Present Perfect Continuous (He has been going) Past Perfect Continuous (He had been going)
Imperative (Go – Don’t go) List irregular verbs

Exercises and Explanation: 2 or More English Verb Forms

English verb forms not only fix the action in time (present, past, or future) but also determine how the action should be interpreted. For example, they indicate whether the action is completed, in progress, or not. The section Exercises with 2 or more English verb forms can help you understand when to use a specific verb form through contrastive exercises.

Contrastive Exercises

These exercises require you to choose between two verb forms, helping you identify the appropriate context for each form.

Simple Present – Present Continuous/Progressive
(He goes – He is going)
Simple Past – Past Continuous/Progressive
(He went – He was going)
Simple Past – Present Perfect
(He went – He has gone)
Simple Past – Past Perfect
(He went – He had gone)
Present Perfect – Present Perfect Continuous
(He has gone – He has been going)
Past Perfect – Past Perfect Continuous
(He had gone – He had been going)
Present Continuous en de Present Perfect Continuous
(I am going – I have been going)

Mix of Tenses

Ideally, foreign language learners achieve a perfect command of all English verb forms in writing and speaking. If you want to assess your overall proficiency, try mix of tenses.

Irregular Verbs

To practise your irregular verbs (go-went-gone) visit the page irregular verb exercises.
If you need to refresh your memory, explore this extensive list of irregular verbs.

Exercises with Modal Verbs

English distinguishes between auxiliaries and modal verbs. Auxiliaries (e.g., to be, to have, to do) combine with present participles, past participles, or infinitives to form verb forms for regular verbs. Modal verbs combine with infinitives to express abilities, probabilities, necessities, permissions, obligations, deductions, and more.

was-were can, could, to be able to
has-have-had will, won’t, shall, shan’t
to have to will,would, shall, should
short yes/no answer modal mix: (can, could, may, might, must, had to, ought, shall, should, will, would)
tag-questions modalities: ability, permission, probability, deduction, necessity, request and obligation

Exercises and Explanation: The Future

There are various ways to express the future in English. The pages below cover some of these future forms. Each page provides information on the form and usage of a specific future tense. In the contrastive exercises, you’ll need to choose between two future verb forms, helping to identify the appropriate context for each.

1 Future Simple (I will go)
2 Present Continuous (I am working tomorrow)
3 Be going to (I’m going to buy a smartphone)
4 Future Continuous (I will be going)
5 Future Perfect (I will have gone)
6 Future Perfect Continuous (I will have been going)
7 Future mix, exercises with 4 or more future verb forms 

Exercises and Explanation: The Passive

The passive voice is frequently used in formal English and/or academic language, especially when it is not really important who performs the action. On the pages below, you can practise differentiating between active and passive voice, understanding the form of the various tenses and mastering special passive constructions.

Recognizing the active or passive voice
Simple Present Passive (The house is built.)
Simple Past Passive (The house was built.)
Continuous Passive (The house is/was being built.)
Perfect Passive (The house has/had been built.)
Future and Modal Passive (The house will be built. / The house may have been built.)
Passive voice (mix of tenses)
Double object passive (lijdend voorwerp en meewerkend voorwerp) (He gave her a present. She was given a present. A present was given to her)
Personal Passive (She is known to have built a house.)

Exercises with Various Grammatical Subjects

The section exercises with various grammatical subjects covers more than twenty grammatical subjects. Examples include the alphabet, a/an/the, adverb and adjective, cardinal numbers, ordinal numbers and the date, conjunctions or signal words, degrees of comparison, few, a few, little and a little, for and since, gerund/to-infinitive, interrogative pronoun – to name just a few.

Listening and Viewing Comprehension in English

Enhance your listening and viewing comprehension skills with these interactive lessons based on Ted talks. The initial questions typically focus on vocabulary, assessing your understanding of and preparing you for the words used in the Ted talk. The subsequent questions evaluate your overall listening and viewing comprehension.

Test Your Knowledge: Quizzes

Grammar and vocabulary knowledge alone won’t suffice for a complete understanding of the text you’re reading or the podcast you’re listening to. Some concepts (e.g., The Virgin Queen, a caucus, comic relief) lack meaning without their context – if you don’t know what they refer to. In other words, language learning also involves acquiring knowledge about the culture, history, geography, and literature of the country whose language you are learning.

Evaluate your understanding of these aspects with the quizzes below.

Watch English Literature on YouTube

You can explore a limited selection of literature videos covering topics such as Old English and Middle English, William Shakespeare and the War Poets.