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Student Learning Grammar

This resource has been developed to help you master basic points of English grammar. The lessons have been organised from simple to more complex, and some pages of similar content are sequentially numbered.

What grammar do you need to learn?

Use the gray tabs below to see the range of lessons and exercises available.

PreQuiz for Stage 1 - Start with this quiz to see which of the lessons below you should do first.

Apostrophes 1 — belonging and ownership: When something belongs to someone.

Colons 1 — most common uses: For lists or quotations and for providing evidence.

Parallel Constructions — consistency in your sentences: For ideas of similar value and for contrasting ideas.

Modifiers 1 — misplaced words modifying the wrong thing: This mistake can make your readers laugh at you.

Capitals 1 — most common uses: For emphasising important things, names, organisations, events and brands.

Commas 1 — for simple lists: For separating describing words and making simple lists.

Subjects and objects of sentences 1 — Me or I?: Can you ever say [someone] and me? Find out when.

Pronoun-antecedent agreement — a pronoun must match its noun: His/her or their?

PreQuiz for Stage 2 - Start with this quiz to see which of the lessons below you should do first.

Apostrophes 2 — Its and it's, and possessive pronouns : Really get on top of its vs it's!

Semi-colons — for separating two independent clauses: ...or items in a list-like sentence

Parallel Constructions 2 — be really consistent in your sentences

Modifiers 2 — overcoming ambiguity : Double-meanings in your sentences that should be avoided.

Capitals 2 — for people's titles: and another lesson on using capitals with book titles.

Commas 2 — managing complex lists: ...and how comma placement can change the meaning.

Sentence subjects and objects 2 — me, myself, and I: More about the difference between  I  and  me .

PreQuiz for Stage 3 - Start with this quiz to see which of the lessons below you should do first.

Apostrophes 3: Keeping track of who owns what in your sentence

Modifiers 3: Dangling modifiers that don't connect logically, and disruptive modifiers

Capitals 3: With acronyms

Commas 3: Using commas before joining words, and to identify non-essential information.

Who or which or that—relative clauses: adding specifics about information in clauses with who or which or that

PreQuiz for Stage 4 - Start with this quiz to see which of the lessons below you should do first.

Modifiers 4 — split infinitives: It is ok to subtly split your infinitive [wink] - no activity

Capitals 4 — with abbreviations (important for formal academic writing):

Comma splice (also called run-on sentences): How to fix your comma splice and run-on sentences.

Who vs whom—subjects and objects of sentences final: Finally understand the difference between who and whom

Sentence fragments (and dependent clauses): For when your teacher says you have incomplete sentences.

PreQuiz for Words that Confuse - Helping you identify which of the lessons below you should do first.

  1. Is it 'they're', 'their', or 'there'?
  2. The difference between 'brought' and 'bought'
  3. Knowing when it's 'than' or 'then'
  4. What is the difference between 'affect' and 'effect'?
  5. They may sound similar, but 'accept' and 'except' work differently.
  6. When to use 'whose' or 'who's'
  7. Don't confuse loose and lose
  8. How do you know if it should be past or passed.

This resource was developed by Katherine Gilliver-Brown, Student Learning, Faculty of Education. The content is designed to target the grammatical inconsistencies typical of native speakers. Thank you to the following people:

  • Jim Fulton, and Ben Shuker for contributing grammatical content.
  • The University of Waikato Web Team, for their technical advice and supervision.
  • for providing interactive button design ideas.
  • Thank you to all of you out there in the world of YouTube who love grammar and have provided the clips that we have used in this resource. Thank you!

International students

FLAX for grammar and vocabuluary

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Use the Web Phrases and Web Collocations in the FLAX Library.

Book a consultation if you need help using this tool.

Other useful tools

Collocation Concordance

Student Learning Pronunciation

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View the grammar pages in their former original format