Introduction to learning grammar

This page has information about the grammar explanations on this part of the site.


This page has information for teachers who may be considering recommending the site to their English language learners. It outlines the target audience of the grammar notes. And it explains the reasons for using traditional grammar terminology.

Target audience

The grammar explanations on these pages were originally conceived for ESL students at Frankfurt International School. The primary goal of the ESL programme is to help students be successful in their school subjects, such as science or history.

They do not need or have time to learn grammar in depth. For example, it is unnecessary for them to master the complexities of the article system or to understand subtle differences in the tenses In modern linguistics English is regarded as having only two tenses: present (or nonpast) and past. .

Nevertheless, the students are expected to develop a basic grammatical knowledge. And the grammar explanation pages here contain the topics that the students cover in their two to three years in the ESL programme. The explanations are short and simple. They do not attempt to cover the numerous exceptions and special cases.

Some visitors to these webpages may be preparing for formal examinations in English, which usually require a wide and detailed knowledge of English grammar. Nevertheless, I hope they will find the advice, explanations and quizzes on this site to be a useful starting point.


I have decided to stick with traditional terminology in these web pages, particularly in the case of verb grammar and the designation of the tenses.

I believe it is helpful for students to have a label for the various verb constructions (he goes: present simple / she'd been playing in the snow: past perfect continuous ) - particularly as these are likely to be labelled as such in most materials for English language learners.


If you have comments or questions about the grammar explanations in these pages, please contact me via the link at the foot of the page.