English Grammar and Usage eBook

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english grammar and usage ebook

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How to use the offline version

This is an eBook in the ePub format. It has got clickable links. A screenshot is given below. To go to a particular lesson, you just need to click on that link in the left panel. The lesson will be displayed in the right panel.

english grammar and usage ebook

The purpose of this book

English is full of problems for a foreign learner. While some of these problem points are easy to explain, others cause difficulty even for the advanced students and learners. For example, how exactly is the present perfect tense used? What are the differences between big, large and great, between come and go? Is unless the same as if not?

This eBook is a guide to questions of this kind. It addresses close to 240 points which regularly cause problems for the foreign learner. Rules and guidelines are given, using as little linguistic terminology as possible.

english grammar and usage ebook

How to use this book

Entries are arranged alphabetically. Each entry contains an explanation of a problem, examples of correct usage and typical mistakes. Explanations are, as far as possible, given in simple everyday language.

About the author

Manjusha Nambiar is an ESL trainer and content developer. She is the founder and editor of www.perfectyourenglish.com, http://www.grammarexercises.org and http://www.ielts-practice.org. She has also written books on English grammar and usage. Her educational qualifications include MA in English.

What is included in the book?

Here is a list of all the entries included in the book.

Common mistakes in English

Entries beginning with A

  • Abbreviations
  • Acronyms
  • About and on
  • About to
  • Above
  • Above and over
  • Accept and agree
  • According to
  • Across
  • Across and through
  • Adjectives
  • Adjectives ending in -ly
  • Adverbs
  • Adverbs with two forms
  • Agree with
  • Agree about
  • Agree on
  • Agree to
  • Ago and before
  • All and all of
  • All of
  • All with nouns and pronouns
  • All with verbs
  • All and every
  • All right and alright
  • All and whole
  • Along
  • A lot, plenty of
  • A lot of and lots of
  • A large amount of, a great deal of, a large number of
  • Already and all read
  • Already, just and yet
  • Also
  • Also, as well and too
  • Alternate and alternative
  • Alternative, alternatively
  • Altogether and all together
  • Although and though
  • Amount and number
  • Amount of, quality of, number of
  • And
  • And between adjectives
  • And after try, be sure etc.
  • Another
  • Any and some
  • Anyhow and somehow
  • Anyway, anyhow and at any rate
  • Around
  • Around and about
  • Articles: Rules for the use and omission of articles
  • Article a - correct use
  • As, since, because and for
  • As if and as though
  • Ask and ask for
  • As well as
  • As, when and while
  • At first and first
  • Avenge and revenge
  • Awake and wake

Entries beginning with B

  • Back and again
  • Backward and backwards
  • Bath and bathe
  • Beat and win
  • Because and because of
  • Because of, due to, owing to
  • Been
  • Before
  • Before and in front of
  • Begin and start
  • Belong
  • Below and under
  • Beside and besides
  • Besides, except and apart from
  • Between and among
  • Between and during
  • Between and from
  • Big, large and great
  • Born and borne
  • Bit
  • Bring and take
  • But
  • But, though, despite, in spite of

Entries beginning with C

  • Can and could
  • Change of tense
  • Close and shut
  • Cloth and clothes
  • Collective nouns
  • Come and go
  • Common preposition + noun combinations
  • Comparatives and superlatives
  • Comparatives: a common error
  • Conjunctions
  • Correlatives
  • Could have + past participle

Entries beginning with D

  • Dead and died
  • Determiners
  • Do and make
  • Double negatives
  • During and for

Entries beginning with E

  • Each and every
  • Each other and one another
  • East, eastern, north, northern etc.
  • Either
  • Either...or
  • Elder and eldest
  • Else
  • End and finish
  • Enough
  • Especially and specially
  • Even
  • Except and except for
  • Expect and hope
  • Expressions with prepositions

Entries beginning with F

  • Fairly, rather, pretty, quite
  • Far and a long way
  • Feel
  • Feel as an ordinary verb
  • Finally
  • Fit and suit

Entries beginning with G

  • Gerund
  • Get
  • Go
  • Go and get

Entries beginning with H

  • Had better
  • Half
  • Hardly...when/before
  • Have and have got
  • Hear and listen to
  • Hope
  • How and what like?
  • Help
  • He, she or they
  • Home
  • Historic present
  • However, still, yet, though
  • However, and how ever

Entries beginning with I

  • I don't mind
  • If clauses
  • If I were you...
  • Ill and sick
  • Imperative sentences
  • Indirect questions
  • In case and if
  • In spite of
  • In spite of and because of
  • Interested, interesting etc.
  • Invent and discover
  • Inversion of subject and verb
  • Its and it's

Entries beginning with J

  • Joining sentences

Entries beginning with K

  • Keep and put
  • Kind and kinds, sort and sorts etc.

Entries beginning with L

  • Less and fewer
  • Lie and lay
  • Like and as
  • Look after and look for
  • Lose and loose
  • Lunch / supper / dinner

Entries beginning with M

  • Many, much, plenty, a lot of
  • May and can
  • Maybe and perhaps
  • Much and many

Entries beginning with N

  • Neither, nor and not-either
  • No and none
  • Nominative and objective case
  • No sooner ... than
  • Not only ... but also
  • Nouns that do not have a singular form
  • Nouns with no singular forms
  • Nouns with identical singular and plural forms
  • Numbers

Entries beginning with O

  • Of course
  • Often
  • Once
  • On and in
  • Only
  • On the contrary and on the other hand
  • On time and in time
  • On the whole of and the whole of
  • Otherwise

Entries beginning with P

  • Participles
  • Positive or comparative?
  • Past perfect tense
  • Possessive case
  • Prepositions
  • Present perfect tense
  • Price and prize
  • Pronouns
  • Provide and provide with
  • Provide someone with something

Entries beginning with R

  • Rather
  • Rather than and would rather

Entries beginning with S

  • Say and tell
  • See, look and watch
  • See if / whether
  • Scarcely...when
  • Search and search for
  • She is ill and she has been ill
  • Should in subordinate clauses
  • Should in if-clauses
  • Should after in case
  • Since
  • Since and for
  • Since, as, so and because
  • Sincerely
  • Singular and plural nouns
  • So...that
  • Subordinate clause
  • So and such
  • Such as
  • Suggest
  • Surely

Entries beginning with T

  • Take
  • Talk to, talk with, talk at
  • Than and as
  • Thank you and please
  • That-clauses
  • Told and asked
  • Too and to
  • Too...to...
  • Too... not to...
  • Too and very
  • Transitive verbs
  • Two words or one

Entries beginning with U

  • Unless and if
  • Until and till
  • Up and down
  • Used to

Entries beginning with V

  • Verbs

Entries beginning with W

  • -ward or -wards
  • Well and good
  • Why not + infinitive
  • Whether and if
  • Whose and who's
  • Will or shall?

Entries beginning with Y

  • Yes and No


  • The simple present tense
  • The present continuous tense
  • Verbs not used in continuous forms
  • Non-continuous verbs in English
  • Present perfect tense
  • Present perfect continuous tense
  • Simple past tense
  • Past continuous tense
  • Past perfect tense
  • Past perfect continuous tense
  • Simple future tense
  • Will, be going to, present continuous
  • Future continuous tense
  • Future perfect tense
  • Tenses in subordinate clauses