The Elements of English Grammar
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The Elements of English Grammar

Learn the fundamentals of English grammar. Designed to help college & high school students & English-language learners.
4.4 (230 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,291 students enrolled
Last updated 11/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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  • 7.5 hours on-demand video
  • 14 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • By the end of this course, you will be able to write English sentences free of major grammar errors.
View Curriculum
  • 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!

Who is the target audience?
  • Students
  • Business writers
  • Learners of English
Curriculum For This Course
35 Lectures
Introduction - Why Grammar?
2 Lectures 09:06

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

Preview 05:01

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

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

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

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!

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 excercise: a longer piece of writing
10 questions

Video: the run-on and the comma-splice sentences - the evil twins of sentences

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!

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

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

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

Text: Subject-Verb Agreement: they "go together"
21 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

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!

Video Lecture - When pronouns go bad (pronoun errors)

Video Lecture - who, whom and whatever else

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

Video lecture - adverbs: they 'add' to verbs

Text: Adjectives and Adverbs
14 pages

Using adjectives & adverbs to compare -- check your knowledge exercise
10 questions
2 Lectures 27:11
Video - Have I got a preposition for you!

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
3 Lectures 01:02:25
Video Lecture - Punctuation: it guides us through the sentence

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!

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
About the Instructor
Prof. Michael McIntyre
4.2 Average rating
263 Reviews
4,295 Students
3 Courses
Ed.D., M.A., B.A.

I have taught writing, research, literature, mythology and such topics at the college level since about 1999. In my on-ground teaching, I attempt to make my classes interactive, stimulating, and even a little bit "fun."

Who I am ... Or, as Popeye says,

“Who I yam.")

My name is Michael McIntyre. I'll be your instructor in this course, and as we'll be spending a lot of time together over the several weeks, I thought it'd be nice if we got to know each other.

First, of course, I teach subjects in the area of "English," which includes

· Composition, advanced composition, creative writing, and professional writing;

· Literature, humanities, mythology;

· Research, research writing and methodologies;

· Critical thinking, student study and “success" skills.

· Philosophy

· Doctoral student mentoring

I hold a doctorate at the University of Southern California, a master's degree from California State University at San Francisco, and a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley. And as a living role model for life-long learning, I am continuing my education in the graduate Department of Linguistics at Cal State University, Northridge.

Teaching isn't the only thing I do with my life. Many years ago, I had a dream of writing the Great American Screenplay and in fact wrote several in that attempt (the titles of none of which would you recognize) and some other things, including a novel.

For several years, I ran my own business -- a property management and maintenance company in Southern California. The funny thing about that is, as much trouble as I had running the business, I discovered I was real good at teaching other people how to do their jobs.

When I realized that, I started transitioning (I think that's what they call it these days) into my teaching career, which resulted in my earning my doctorate, during the course of which I studied efforts to revive and maintain endangered languages through education, with an emphasis on Scottish Gaelic. (NB: There are about 6,000 languages in the world today; within this century, it is expected that half of those will have died, which would constitute, in the minds of linguists, cultural anthropologists, among many others, a great loss in human cultural treasure). In 2009 I experienced the honor and pleasure of seeing my dissertation (in slightly altered form) being published by an Academic Publisher.

And like most people, I have a life outside of work. I enjoy spending time with my family – I'm married with three children, no pets -- reading on all different subjects, going to movies, and -- as strange as this might sound – until a couple years ago until my knees gave out on me and my work schedule forbade, I was "into" wrestling (the real thing -- as in high school, college, or Olympic-style – not the fake stuff you see on TV – though nowadays, it is all I can do to wrestle myself to the exercise machine in the backyard.)

My idea of fun: I'm a bit of a nut about all things Scottish. In fact, a favorite memory of mine is visiting the "Highland Games" at Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. The Highland Games is where people engage in all sorts of things Scottish -- highland dancing, to bagpiping, tossing the caber.

For the past couple summers, I've dragged my wife and however many of my kids I could corral to Scotland.

A couple summers ago I spent a week at the Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye trying to follow academic presentations in Gaelic and English on the preservation efforts being put forth on behalf of the Gaelic language; after that, we trooped around to various castles and historic battlefields and stood in the ancient magic circle of the Standing Stones of Callanish. (You can do searches on the Internet for all of these.)

I also managed to get out to the city of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis where I heard (big thrill!) Gaelic (which I had known only in private and academic contexts) being spoken in the streets! If you've never heard Gaelic (and odds are that you haven't), you can search for examples on such sites as Youtube. If you're interested, a few possible search terms --

from "Brave" -- Noble Maiden Fair (A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal):

Julie Fowles -- "Hug a bhonaid mhoir" (Celebrate the great bonnet!)

Julie Fowles - "Tha mo ghaol air aird a' chuan" (My love is on the high seas):

Well, in the famous words of Popeye the Sailor.

“I yam what I yam. And that's all that I yam."

Below you will find my C.V.

Teaching Experience:

June 2007 –present - Faculty: Art Institute, San Bernardino

As a faculty member at the San Bernardino campus of the Art Institute, I have taught several courses in various levels of English composition and literature, including

· Transitional English

· College English

· Visual Language and Culture

· Literature

· Myth and Symbols

· Speech

At the Art Institute, I have guided faculty development workshops, have participated actively in persistence and curriculum development committees. Involvement in the study-skills committee involved creating, along with other committee members, an exit exam for transitional and English composition classes.

June 2001 –present - Faculty: University of Phoenix, Southern California Campus

At the University of Phoenix, I had the opportunity to learn the philosophy and techniques around adult/learner-centered education. Most of my students at UOP were working adults from non-traditional educational backgrounds. The techniques employed in classrooms incorporated Socratic methods of instructor/student interaction, student learning team projects and discussions groups, and individual and team presentations; assigned work included individual and learning team projects.

At UOP, I have taught classes in these environments in onground, online and “Flexnet" (combination of online/onground learning) modalities in the following courses:

· Undergrad courses:

o College Composition,

o Advanced composition

o Literature,

o General Studies

o Research Methods

o College Study Skills

· Graduate level courses:

o Philosophy of Knowledge

o Education

o Dissertation preparation

April 2001 –present - Adjunct Professor: Mt. Sierra College, Monrovia, CA –

At Mt. Sierra College, a small technical and media arts college, I encountered a student population which was comprised of many minority and “at-risk" students. The students varied between those who had just left high-school and those who were returning to college to acquire job-related skills (either in present or desired occupations). To serve the needs of these students, I worked with then-Dean Lisa Madrigal to design the remedial English composition class, which sought to inculcate the basics of English grammar to students who had not passed the school's entry writing requirements. I have also taught this class several times. I also designed and taught the school's Introduction to Mythology class, a core requirement of the Media Arts department; the objective of the class was to teach students who aspired to careers in the media how to draw on ancient myths in the creation of contemporary stories.

At Mt. Sierra, I taught in these environments:

· Onground

· Online

In the following courses:

o Remedial English Composition,

o College Composition,

o Advanced Composition,

o Introduction to Literature,

o Introduction to Mythology, and

o College Study Skills

I also designed and wrote the online versions of these classes:

o Remedial English Composition,

o Advanced Composition,

o Introduction to Literature,

o Introduction to Mythology, and

o Critical Thinking

October 2012 - December 2012 - Adjunct Professor - Surry Community College, Dobson, NC

I taught an Online English 111 class. During this class, I employed the Moodle technology.

October 1999 – 2006 - Adjunct Professor -- Devry Institute of Technology, West Hills, CA

At DeVry I received my first experience of intensive college-level instruction, teaching a diverse student body. Classes taught:

· Developmental English Grammar & Composition,

· English Grammar & Composition,

· Advanced Composition,

· College Study Skills

· Critical Thinking,

· Computer Applications (Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint), and

· Grammar and Writing Review for Incoming Students

Doctoral Dissertations Chaired (selected)



Luxenburg, S. C. (2009). The efficacy of studying Spanish to improve the acquisition of English language skills. Dissertation: University of Phoenix.

Madkour, M. (2009). Multiple intelligences and English as a second language: Explorations in language acquisition. Dissertation: University of Phoenix.


Stansfield, Stewart. (2012). REPUTABLE CONDUCT: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF ETHICAL DRIFTING. Dissertation: University of Phoenix.

Other Teaching Positions

2007 Tutor, Writing Lab,

Rio Hondo Community College

1986-1987 Instructor, Literature & Composition.

Pierce College, Woodland Hills, CA.

1977 – 1979 Instructor, History of Theater

American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Pasadena, CA

1976 Graduate Assistant/Instructor, Literature & Composition,

University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.


Sounds like a lie but is realy the truth, a novel, published by Reading Girl, 2012.

Duais Iain Mhic Mhurchaidh: The John MacRae award for Gaelic poetry, U.S. National Mòd 2012, for the best original poem.

Presentation at the upcoming Sixth Heritage Language Research Institute at UCLA, June 18-22, 2012.

The Revival of Scottish Gaelic through Education. 2009, Cambria Academic Press.

A' cleachadh a' Ghaidhlig. Attendance at Language conference, Isle of Skye, Scotland, June 2009.

“A Retrospective Survey of the Problems with Berlin and Kay (1969)." California Linguistic Note, Volume XXXIV No. 1. Winter 2009.

“Scottish Gaelic: a case study in heritage language revival."A paper presented November 23, 2008, at WECOL – Western Conference on Linguistics, U.C. Davis.

“'Tha mi sgith de luchd na Beurla': Language shift and the Anglification of Scottish Gaelic as reflected in morphological borrowing from the 19th to the 21st century." A presentation November 2007 to the 12th Annual CSUN Student research and Creative Works Symposium.


Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) – Educational Leadership.

Dissertation research focused on heritage-language/minority language education programs, their rationale and implementation.

Master's., San Francisco State University –

English Literature, Creative Writing.

Bachelor's, University of California at Berkeley –

English literature.

Volunteer Work:

Ass't Wrestling Coach, Spartak Wrestling Club, Los Angeles, CA ('98-'03)

Ass't Wrestling Coach, Bishop Montgomery H.S., Torrance, CA ('96-'98)

Coach, Los Angeles Wrestling Club, ('95-'98).