The Elements of English Grammar
- 7.5 hours on-demand video
- 14 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- By the end of this course, you will be able to write English sentences free of major grammar errors.
- A willingness and a desire to learn and to apply oneself.
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!
- Business writers
- Learners of English
- Anyone who wishes to improve his or her knowledge of English grammar.
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.
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."
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!
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.)
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.
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.)
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."