The Elements of English Grammar
4.5 (508 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
3,519 students enrolled

The Elements of English Grammar

Learn the fundamentals of English grammar. Designed to help college & high school students & English-language learners.
4.5 (508 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
3,519 students enrolled
Last updated 7/2018
English
Current price: $13.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 30% off
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This course includes
  • 7.5 hours on-demand video
  • 14 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • By the end of this course, you will be able to write English sentences free of major grammar errors.
Requirements
  • A willingness and a desire to learn and to apply oneself.
Description

In this course, we will concentrate on the technical aspects of writing for business and academic purposes.

We will learn how to compose “clean copy” – that is writing devoid of technical errors of grammar, syntax, usage - and spelling.

We will learn to present ourselves in writing so that we come across as educated, intelligent and competent.

  • A complete course in English grammar -- for students, college, high school, and learners of the language, and anyone else who has long wanted to learn the correct form for spoken and written English.
  • 430 minutes of video instruction
  • 10 chapters of supplemental text (more than 150 pages)
  • Exercises to practice and re-enforce your learning.
  • Chat-room contact with your instructor so you can ask any question, so nothing is left unclear.
  • All at a reasonable price.

A verifiable Certificate of Completion will be awarded at the successful completion of the course!

Who this course is for:
  • Students
  • Business writers
  • Learners of English
  • Anyone who wishes to improve his or her knowledge of English grammar.
Course content
Expand all 35 lectures 10:54:20
+ Introduction - Why Grammar?
2 lectures 07:00

I discuss what will be covered in the course and touch on why grammar is important.

Preview 02:55
+ Parts of Speech
2 lectures 19:15

This lecture provides an overview of the various parts of speech -- or the categories of words. It is important to know what these categories are because as we go through this course in grammar, we will frequently be using this terminology.

Preview 19:15
Text: Parts of speech -- the names for the different groups of words
18 pages

Test your knowledge

Parts of Speech -- check your knowledge exercise
10 questions
+ The sentence: the fundamental unit of composition
6 lectures 54:17

The sentence is the fundamental unit of composition (writing). In this section, we will learn just what it is and what its parts are.

In the supplemental video, you'll see that some people need a little help in their writing!

Video - The Sentence
21:43
Text: The sentence
20 pages
Text: Direct and Indirect Objects
7 pages

Test your knowledge

The sentence -- check your knowledge exercise
10 questions
Video lecture - coordination & subordination
24:08
Text: Coordination and Subordination
14 pages

In order to know whether we have correctly built a sentence, we should be able to identify what kind of sentence it is. You will be asked to identify the type of sentence represented by this selection drawn from Mark Twain's "Jim Smily and His Jumping Frog."

Types of sentences -- check your knowledge exercise
10 questions

Below you will see pairs of simple sentences. Using any of the conjunctions in this chapter, build coordinated or subordinated compound, complex or compound-complex sentences.

Building complex sentences -- check your knowledge exercise
5 questions
Video - the passive voice
08:26

In this exercise, we develop our skill in recognizing and using the passive voice.

The passive voice - check your knowledge exercise
5 questions
+ When sentences go bad - sentence fragments & run-ons
4 lectures 39:23

This short video clip illustrates how everyday speech (colloquial speech) is often comprised of sentence fragments.

Video lecture: Fragments - Don't leave parts of your sentences lying around!
25:11

We take a look at one of the most egregious (worst) mistakes in formal writing -- the sentence fragment.

For our supplementary material, we contemplate bad grammar (including spelling) in tatoos ... which might be the very worst kind of grammar mistake because if you make a mistake in a letter or paper for school, at least at one point or another that mistake will "go away" or be forgotten, but if you make a mistake in writing your tattoo, that goof labels you as an idiot for the rest of your life!

Be careful. Bad grammar hurts!

Text: Sentence fragments - don't leave pieces of your sentence lying around
11 pages

A sentence fragment is just a "piece" of a sentence, whereas all formal writing (business and academic) must be composed of complete sentences. Test your knowledge on the following questions. (And remember, for the question to be correct, every item in the question must be correct.)

Sentence Fragments - check your knowledge exercise
10 questions

We usually encounter writing in longer pieces, not just discrete sentences. Below is a passage adapted from Aesop's Fable, "The Ants and the Grasshopper." You will be asked to identify whether the sentences are complete or fragments.

(1) The Ants working a fine winter's day. (2) In drying grain collected in the summer time. (3) A Grasshopper. (4) Perishing with famine. (5). Passed by. (6) And earnestly begged for a little food. (7) The Ants inquired of him: "Why did you not store up food. (8) During the summer?" (9) He replied: "I didn't have any spare time. (10) I spent the days. (11). In singing." (12) They then said, "If you were foolish enough to sing all the summer. (13) You must dance supperless to bed in the winter." (14) Moral: (15) Idleness brings want.

Fragments - check your knowledge exercise: a longer piece of writing
10 questions
Video: the run-on and the comma-splice sentences - the evil twins of sentences
14:12
Text: Run-on sentences & comma splices
9 pages

Run-on sentences (including comma splices) are one of the most grevious errors in writing. They indicate you are not quite sure what a sentence is. Test your knowledge on this quiz that will help you learn what they are and how to avoid them. (Sentences draw from John Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps.)

Run-on sentences & comma splices -- check your knowledge
10 questions
+ Verbs - make me tense
7 lectures 01:21:36

In this lecture, we learn about the different tenses in the English verb -- as it very important when writing to maintain a correct and accurate reference to time.

Video Lecture - Verbs make me tense!
33:16
Text: Verbs tell time
31 pages

One of the most frequent errors in writing is shifting inappropriately from the past tense to the present tense: that is, speaking about something that happened in the past as if it were happening right now. See if you can spot the inappropriate tense usages in the passage below:

One of the most frequent errors in writing is shifting inappropriately from the past tense to the present tense: that is, speaking about something that happened in the past as if it were happening right now. See if you can spot the inappropriate tense usages in the passage below (adapted from the Aesop's Fable - "The Bear and the Two Travellers"):

TWO MEN were traveling together, when a Bear suddenly meets them on their path.One of them climbs up quickly into a tree and concealed himself in the branches.The other saw that he is about to be attacked, and he fell flat on the ground. When the Bear comes up and feels him with his snout, and smelled him all over, the man holds his breath, and pretended to be dead.The Bear soon leaves the man, for bears will not touch a dead body.When the bear is gone, the other Traveler climbed down from the tree, and jokingly asked of his friend what it was the Bear whispers in his ear."He gave me this advice," his companion replies."Never travel with a friend who deserts you at the approach of danger."

Verb tense - check your knowledge exercise
10 questions
Video Lecture - past/present confusion
04:12

When referring to an event or state of being that occurred in the past, normally you must use the past tense.

Choose the example that correctly maintains consistency and correctly references time.

past/present tense confusion - check your knowledge exercise
5 questions

The subjunctive mood, or the conterfactual, allows us to clearly communicate our ideas about states of being or actions that are not "real," that is, that are imaginary -- hence, the title of this short lecture: "the what-if form."

Video Lecture - the 'what if' form
07:10

Choose the form that correctly uses the conditional or the counterfactual:

the subjunctive/counterfactual - check your knowledge exercise
5 questions
Video Lecture - Subject Verb Agreement
36:58
Text: Subject-Verb Agreement: they "go together"
23 pages

It is very important for verbs and their subjects to be "in agreement" -- that is, to "go together." The following quiz will test your grasp of that concept. Be care to watch out for the combinations that can mislead the unwary writer.

Verb Agreement - check your knowledge exercise
15 questions
The Progressive
4 pages
+ Nouns - naming all the things that make up our world
2 lectures 29:44
Video lecture: Nouns -- all the things that make up our world
29:44
Text: Nouns - naming all the things that make up our world
17 pages

Check your knowledge of the various noun forms.

Nouns - check your knowledge exercise
10 questions
+ Pronouns - taking the place of nouns
4 lectures 01:15:22
Video Lecture - Pronouns: they're on the job when nouns take the day off!
14:40
Video Lecture - When pronouns go bad (pronoun errors)
29:40
Video Lecture - who, whom and whatever else
31:02
Text: Pronouns
26 pages

Select the correct pronoun below.

Pronouns - check your knowledge exercise
10 questions

Select the correct relative pronoun in sentences below.

Relative pronouns - check your knowledge exercise
10 questions
+ Adjectives and Adverbs - change you can believe in!
3 lectures 39:07
Video lecture - adjectives: they change nouns
17:36
Video lecture - adverbs: they 'add' to verbs
21:31
Text: Adjectives and Adverbs
14 pages
Using adjectives & adverbs to compare -- check your knowledge exercise
10 questions
+ Prepositions
2 lectures 27:11
Video - Have I got a preposition for you!
27:11
Text: Prepositions -- in or out of the ''box''
5 pages

Prepositions link parts of the sentence together. This quiz will test your knowledge on correct usage.

Prepositions -- check your knowledge exercise
10 questions
+ Punctuation
3 lectures 01:02:25
Video Lecture - Punctuation: it guides us through the sentence
33:41

Choose the most appropriate form of punctuation. (Sentences adapted from the essay, "Of Adversity" by Francis Bacon.)

Punctuation - check your knowledge exercise
5 questions
Video Lecture - The comma rules!
28:44
Text: The Comma Rules!
20 pages

In this quiz, check your knowledge of the comma rules. Choose the sentence that is correctly punctuated with commas. (Sentences drawn from the first chapter of Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott).

Comma rules -- check your knowledge exercise
10 questions