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ESL Grammar Guides & Resources


In addition to the resources below, you may find it helpful to review the Online Grammar Guides within the Online Resources section and the Grammar, Mechanics, Punctuation, and Style resources within the Stage 5. Edit Your Work section.


ESL Guide & Language Resources (UNC – Chapel Hill). Comprehensive list of ESL resources.  


Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary (Cambridge University Press). Type in a word or phrase and the dictionary provides a definition and examples of how to use the word or phrase in English.


English Grammar Guide (Education First). Discusses the rules of grammar and provides practice exercises.


ESL Student Resources (Purdue OWL). Provides grammar, mechanics, and punctuation resources. 


Confusing Words and Homonyms (GrammarBook.com). Lists words that sound alike or look alike with examples.



Understanding Your Assignment


Common Expressions in Academic Writing (Purdue OWL). Lists key words that characterize assignment prompts in academic writing in the North American educational context.


Documenting & Citing


Why We Cite (Writing Center at UNC – Chapel Hill). Video that describes why citations are important in supporting context, providing intellectual credibility, and acknowledging sources.


Use of Prepositions


Prepositions (Purdue OWL). Presents a series of articles explaining prepositions of time, place, introducing objects, direction (to, on, in), location (at, in, on), and spatial relationship.


Prepositions (GrammarBook.com). Provides the rules for prepositions.


Use of Articles (A, An, The)


Tutorial – When to use the Articles “a”, “an”, “the” or Nothing (University of Minnesota). Online tutorial on using the most common articles in academic writing.   


Articles – A versus An (Purdue OWL). Handout that explains which article (a/an) to use before a noun.


Using Articles (Purdue OWL). Handout that discusses the differences between indefinite articles (a/an) and definite articles (the).


Irregular Verbs (For Example – Write, Wrote, Written)


List of English Irregular Verbs (UsingEnglish.com). Comprehensive list of common English irregular verbs including the infinitive, the past simple, and the past participle forms.


Irregular Verb Dictionary (Englishpage.com). Comprehensive list of common English irregular verbs including the infinitive, the past simple, and the past participle forms.


Phrasal Verbs (Multi-Word and Two-Part Verbs)


Overview of Two-Part (Phrasal) Verbs (Idioms) (Purdue OWL). Provides a list of separable, inseparable, and intransitive verbs.


Dictionary of English Phrasal Verbs (Two-Part Verbs) (UsingEngish.com). Reference of current English phrasal verbs (also called multi-word verbs or two-part verbs) with definitions and examples.


Phrasal Verb Dictionary (Englishpage.com). Defines and provides examples of phrasal verbs.


Idiomatic Expression


An idiom is an expression that is either peculiar to itself grammatically or has a meaning that cannot be derived from the meanings of the individual words (Merriam-Webster). For example, "raining cats and dogs" means that it is pouring rain. The following websites provide definitions and examples of idioms:


Useful North American Idioms List (English Current)


Idiom and Expression Resources (ThoughtCo.com)


English Idioms (UsingEnglish.com) 



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