Grammar & usage

Practical English Usage

Practical English Usage, the indispensable guide to problems in English, is now online! Get answers to the questions that teachers and learners ask about English grammar and vocabulary. For instance:

  • When do we use can, could, may or might?
  • Can they and them have a singular meaning?
  • When do you use bring and when do you use take?
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The story behind Practical English Usage by Michael Swan

It started life over 30 years ago. Now it's sold over 2 million copies worldwide and is one of the best-loved and bestselling books for teachers and learners of English.

Read the story Michael Swan

Our changing language

Are we using modal verbs less often?
Professor Bas Aarts, Director of the Survey of English Usage, discusses the ways in which our use of modal verbs is changing.

Read the article man at typewriter

Grammar terms

Confused by grammatical terms? Uncountable nouns, determiners, present perfect… Look them up in our list of essential words and expressions.

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Oxford materials for grammar and vocabulary

We have books, apps, e-books and more; for learning and practising, on your own or in class. Including:

  • Oxford Learner's Quick Reference Grammar app (for iOS and Android) - quick, clear and easy-to-understand explanations of the grammar you need.
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English to Go from Oxford

Learn and improve anywhere, anytime with the Learn and Practise app.

  • Practise and perfect your grammar.
  • Focus on just the language that you find difficult.
  • Find the language you need for everyday situations.
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