English Functional Grammar

Improve your English communication with knowledge of functional grammar
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 (707 ratings)
22,652 students
2hr 23min of on-demand video
English [Auto]

You will learn and apply simple functional grammar. With this knowledge you will be able to:
Understand more when you listen and read.
Improve your general speaking and writing through better grammar.
Form complex phrases and sentences in English.
Write cohesive paragraphs and make your speaking more organized.
Talk about how language makes meaning using functional grammar terms.


  • You should have at least an intermediate level of English (Upper-intermediate will get best results).
  • You should be ready to approach grammar in a brand new way.


  • Do you want to improve your English communication? 
  • Does your English communication seem broken even though you can do the grammar exercises in the book? 
  • Are you looking for a fresh way to learn English grammar?

If you answered "yes", then this course is for you! 

This course is perfect for English language learners at intermediate level, but will also be valuable for more advanced learners, language teachers, and linguistics students.

This course is very different from most English grammar courses. 

Most English educational materials view grammar as form which is separate from meaning. This means that you may be able to make accurate sentences without knowing why. In functional grammar, form and meaning are the same. You will learn how changing the form of a sentence also changes its meaning, and how context affects the choices. 

Contents and Overview

In functional grammar, we recognize that grammar is not a set of rules, but a system for making meaning. In this course you will learn about:

  • Class, Function, Rank and Rank-shifting
  • Nominal groups, Processes, Participants and Circumstances 
  • Subject, Finite verbs and Non-Finite verbs
  • Complex sentences, Theme, Focus and Cohesion

By learning and applying these concepts, you will be able to improve your English communication in speaking, writing, listening, and reading.

There are 14 videos with quizzes and assignments after each section. The videos present the grammar concept using clear, easy-to-understand examples. The quizzes allow you to review the knowledge you have learned, and the assignments let you apply your knowledge to authentic texts.

The assignments include high-quality practice exercises available for download, along with the answers. The exercises are all relevant to the examples from the videos, so you build up your knowledge of English grammar by repeatedly working with the same texts.

When you have finished the course, you will understand how grammar is not just about making "correct sentences". You will understand how any given sentence expresses not one but three types of meaning at once, and you will also understand the role of context in making appropriate grammar choices.

With this knowledge, you will be able to improve your ability to use English in all 4 skills.

Who this course is for:

  • Take this course if you struggle to make sense of English grammar.
  • Take this course if you want to improve your communication.
  • Take this course is if you are an English language teacher looking for a new way to teach grammar.
  • Take this course if you are a student of linguistics and you want an introduction to systemic functional grammar.


Founder of Lingo, PhD in Functional Grammar
Martin Tilney
  • 4.4 Instructor Rating
  • 707 Reviews
  • 22,653 Students
  • 2 Courses

My name is Martin Tilney and I am a certified grammar nerd. I have worked in the field of English education for many years and in various places including universities, private language schools and technical colleges. I have also worked as a teacher trainer, assessment writer and curriculum writer. I have a PhD in systemic functional linguistics and I love to share my knowledge of language and grammar through online courses.

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