17 English Tenses Exercises

english exercises practice

I’ve been asked a few times recently about exercises to go with The English Tenses Practical Grammar Guide – a book I always intended to produce a companion exercise book for. There’s no exercise book yet, but I do have 17 exercises to offer right now.

When I first released The English Tenses, I started creating accompanying exercises for it, many of which are already available on this website. Check out the list below – and if you like them, I’m pleased to announce that I’m focusing on completing the book now. I’ve drawn up a plan and got through perhaps 15% of the writing already – right now there will be a minimum of 90 exercises. Continue reading

2 Quick Exercises to Practice Rewriting Sentences

rewriting sentences exercisesHere are 2 new exercises to help practice some of the lessons given in my article on the various methods that can be used to rewrite English sentences. These exercises involve rewriting given sentences based on a specific component or rule – and it combines a large number of different methods. I have written these as a part of the upcoming, expanded version of Word Order in English Sentences, to help further develop understanding of sentence structure. There are many ways to do this, with suggested answers at the bottom of the page. Enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions! Continue reading

Pronouncing -ed endings – exercises

ed endings exerciseFollowing on from the rules and patterns laid out in my previous post about how to pronounce –ed endings in English, here are a few exercises to test understanding of when it is appropriate to add a –t, -d or –id sound (with an extra syllable) to different words ending in –ed. First, a few simple sentences, then a reading practice! Check the answers below. Continue reading

Exercises to test the uses of “even”

even exercisesThe following exercises will test your use of ‘even’ in sentences. First, this will practice your use of word order – remember that even is used as an adverb, so it follows adverb word order rules. Usually, it comes before the word that it is changing, so try to place it next to the word that seems unexpected or surprising (or requires a particular emphasis) in a sentence.

The second exercise practises the differences between even, even if, even though, even when and even so – these usually cannot be used in exactly the same way, so check their specific uses in the article about uses of even! Continue reading

Past tenses exercise: choose from past simple and perfect tenses

mixed past tenses exercise

Complete the following sentences choosing between the past simple and past perfect tenses, using the verb that is given. Explained in my previous article, you should use past simple for an action or event that was complete before another event in the past, and past perfect for an action or event that happened before another event, or to show that an action was actively done.
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Time Clauses: an explanation, rules and exercise

times clauses explanation exerciseTime clauses are used in English to demonstrate a period of time based on an action or event, similar to dependent clauses in conditional sentences. For example, I will cook dinner when I get home. ‘When I get home’ is a clause demonstrating a point in time, based on an action/event (the time that I get home), replacing a simpler time such as I will cook dinner at 7pm. Time clauses are complete ideas that require subjects, verbs and objects, but they do not always use the same verb rules as the main clause. Continue reading

Transitive and intransitive verbs: verbs and objects

intransitive transitive verbsVerbs, doing words, tell us what the subject is doing. This usually takes the form of an action, though it can also be a state or an event. Actions show things happening:

  • The man ran.

States show what condition the subject is in (which can also demonstrate an event):

  • The woman was sad.
  • The festival is today.

All of these examples only give us information about the subject, but verbs can also be linked to objects – the things which the verb is done to or for. This gives us two different categories for verbs – transitive (which need an object) or intransitive (which do not need an object) verbs. Continue reading

Word Order in English Sentences: Grammar Guide

“If you are a non-native speaker intending to write in English, YOU NEED THIS BOOK!” – Amelie Chaloux , Amazon review



Word Order in English Sentences teaches effective sentence structure in English. It explains how and why English word types fit into specific orders. It is available from this site in electronic form, or in print form on Amazon.

Effective Word Order Rules

“The greatest thing about this guide is that it doesn’t simply tell you what to do, it also explains why, so that you understand the subtle (or not so subtle) change in meaning of the sentence.” – Polina Zemsteva, Amazon review

The English language requires specific word order rules, to make sure your sentences make grammatical sense. When you change your word order, you can change the meaning of your sentence. This guide explains standard sentence structures, so that you will always be understood clearly.

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Adjective word order: sentence placement and lists

adjective word order

Adjectives describe nouns, and are usually placed either before a noun (as part of the noun phrase) or after a noun, pronoun or verb. The rules for this placement are quite simple, but when we use more than one adjective the word order is important, to sound more natural and to make the meaning clear. (Note this article is an earlier of version available more fully in Word Order in English Sentences.)


Placing an adjective before or after the noun

Adjectives are placed directly before a  noun to add detail to the noun. In a noun phrase, with additional words (such as determiners and adverbs), the adjective should be the last word before the noun. When they are removed from the sentence, the sentence should still make sense: Continue reading

More conditionals practice: exercises and answers

the conditionals exerciseThe conditionals are a complicated area for learners of English, and require a lot of practise. I have previously explained the basic rules of the conditionals, with initial exercises and answers, so this post is a brief revision exercise. The questions are slightly more guided than exercises 1 and 2, with suggested verbs to use, but still provide room for creative answers. Continue reading