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Skills Check 0

The Skills Check is a short survey which should take you no more than 3 minutes to complete. Once you have completed the Skills Check we provide you with a personal learning plan targeted to your personal study needs and goals.

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  1. Home
  2. Core skills
  3. Developing academic English
  4. Grammar, spelling and punctuation

Grammar, spelling and punctuation

  • In your sentences, do your verbs agree with their subject?
  • Have you used your verb tenses correctly?
  • Have you used articles such as 'the' and 'a' correctly?
  • Have you checked your spelling and punctuation?

Quick grammar reference is a useful guide from British Council 'Learn English' site, offering brief explanations of the more common areas of grammar, each with a relevant activity.

Agreement between subject and verb

Using tenses and verbs

Choosing the right tense, from the BBC Skillswise, allows you to practice present, past and future tenses.

The following activities from the University of Southampton explore the use of the gerund - the 'ing' form of a verb (for example, 'singing') - and the infinitive form ('to sing').

Use of articles : 'the' and 'a'

The following links from the British Council 'Learn English' site give a summary on when to use the definite article ('the') and the indefinite article ('a').

Use of single phrases to represent whole processes

Nominalisation gives you guidance on the use of the noun forms of verbs, with examples from both the natural and social sciences. The following advanced activity from the University of Southampton allows you to practise using noun phrases to develop a more concise and formal writing style.

Use of prepositions

Prepositions are connecting words that can be important for the clarity of your writing. This activity from the University of Southampton examines which preposition to choose after certain words or phrases.

Spelling

  • The Spelling website from BBC Skillswise offers an engaging guide to root words, letter patterns, silent words and spelling plurals.
  • Common misspellings is a quick reference guide from Oxford Dictionaries to most common errors in spelling plus handy tips on getting it right.
  • Common confusions gives examples of common confusions in writing such as: it's and its; and whose and who's.

Confusable words

These activities from the University of Southampton explore words that can be easily confused for a number of reasons.