Why is English grammar important?
Just take a look at the cover of this magazine about celebrity Rachael Ray. The text says:
“Rachael Ray finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog”
Of course, what the sentence is supposed to mean is that Rachael finds inspiration in her dog, her family and her cooking. Instead, the sentence sounds like Rachael likes to cook her family and her dog for dinner!
Good grammar can save you from misunderstandings like that. Grammar involves a set of rules you use to form sentences in any language. Grammar rules tell you things like why you walk slowly (not “slow”), and when to say “they” or “them.” Without grammar, it would be very difficult for people to understand one another.
So learning English grammar is important, but it’s not always easy to start. Where can you get all the information you need, and how can you learn all of the rules (and the exceptions to these rules)?
Well, you can start right here with this list of 20 English grammar learning websites!
Smart Steps for Learning English Grammar
Even with a list of great resources, learning will be easier if you follow specific steps.
1. Have a goal. Having a goal helps you create focus. Choose a specific goal for your grammar learning, such as feeling comfortable for a job interview, or fixing your spoken mistakes in the past tense.
2. Break that goal down into smaller goals. Now that you know what you want to achieve, you can figure out how to get there. Let’s say that you want to fix your past tense mistakes. First, you’ll need to figure out what those mistakes are. To do that, you can ask others to point out your mistakes when you speak, record yourself and listen carefully, work on the past tenses you’re less familiar with and more.
Whatever you’re working on, you should find a way to break it down into smaller chunks.
3. Focus on one topic at a time. Don’t try to learn everything at once. Instead, learn one rule at a time and practice, using and reviewing that rule until you know it so well that you could teach it to someone else.
4. Study a few minutes a day. You don’t need to study for hours to learn English. All it takes is five to 10 minutes a day, as long as you use them wisely.
Each day, you can read a grammar rule, do a few exercises and then practice it for the rest of the day. In the next couple of days, use that rule while writing and speaking to make sure you didn’t forget it. Look for examples of that rule while you read, watch or listen to anything in English.
Follow these steps, and before you know it you’ll feel much more comfortable with English grammar.
How to Use This List of English Grammar Resources
We’ve put together a list of some awesome websites where you can find grammar rules, test your skills or quickly look up a grammar question. This list is not comprehensive, which means it doesn’t contain every single grammar website on the internet. That would be one huge list!
Instead, you’ll find a good mix of useful resources for any kind of grammar learning you want to do. You won’t (and shouldn’t) use all the websites. Instead, look around and find a couple of sites that you like!
Then—and this is important—actually use them. Bookmark the website on your computer and your phone, download the app if there is one and include one or two in your learning schedule. Doing so will make sure that you visit the websites regularly and continue to learn from them.
20 Must-visit Websites to Learn English Grammar Online
Grammar Bytes has bite-sized (mini) grammar lessons and exercises presented in a really friendly and sometimes silly way. Interactive exercises let you test your skills, and they also contain easy-to-understand explanations with the correct answers.
The site also posts a daily grammar workout on its Twitter account.
One of the best ways to learn English grammar is by hearing it used in real situations. The more English you listen to, the more grammar you learn—without even memorizing the rules first (although that definitely helps).
That’s when FluentU will come in handy.
Unlike traditional language learning sites, FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the English language and culture over time. You’ll learn English as it’s spoken in real life.
FluentU has a variety of engaging content from popular talk shows, nature documentaries and funny commercials, as you can see here:
FluentU makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you'll see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning and recommends examples and videos to you based on the words you’ve already learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning the same video.
You can start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, by downloading the app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
The design for 5 Minute English might not be very fancy, but its explanations are clear and to the point. The site has some great information about common grammar questions and mistakes, like this page, which explains when to use “listen” and when to use “hear.”
The British Council is a great resource for all language learners, especially if you’re learning British English. There’s a huge amount of information here about any kind of grammar you may need to know.
Just choose your level and then you’ll get several specific grammar topics to explore.
Grammar Girl is both a blog and a podcast that provides short, friendly tips to improve the grammar in your writing. Grammar Girl (also known as Mignon Fogarty) makes learning grammar fun and simple with memory tricks. This makes it easier to remember and use difficult grammar rules.
Grammar Girl is used by native speakers as well, so you can be sure it’ll help your English sound more natural. You’ll learn about English grammar rules as well as punctuation, writing style and even business tips.
You can find her podcasts on Apple and Spotify, or you can get a free month when you sign up with the code GRAMMAR using Stitcher.
Do you prefer learning with a textbook, but don’t want to carry one around all the time? You’ll love English Grammar 101, which is set up like a grammar textbook.
Each easy-to-understand lesson (or chapter) only covers one topic at a time, and is followed by an exercise section to test your understanding of the topic. The short length of the chapters means you can spend a few minutes a day on one grammar rule, and learn a lot within just a short time.
Not everybody likes to learn alone. For those of you who’d prefer to learn in a classroom, you might want to try an online course. Alison has a number of free online courses for learning English grammar. These courses usually involve watching videos and then doing assignments.
The best part is that you can often interact with (talk to) the other students and the teacher. So if you have a question or want to practice with someone, you can.
Education First’s grammar guide is very well organized and is a good starting place to learn how to use parts of speech. The rules themselves are short and use many example sentences to show how everything works.
If you learn better through examples than through rules, this is an excellent place to start.
This website is meant to be a companion to the Oxford English Grammar books. Even if you don’t use those books, this is still a good place to practice your grammar.
There are no explanations of the grammar rules, but there are many interactive grammar exercises to make sure you really understand each rule. Use this website to practice the rules you’re learning somewhere else, or to find out what you need to study more.
This resource is no longer being offered, but if you’re interested, the following resource is similar.
If you want to learn English grammar online absolutely for free, you have to try the EGO (English Grammar Online) site.
This page includes everything you need to improve your English grammar online, from an overview of all tenses with examples to a ton of English grammar lessons and exercises on tenses, the conditionals and even the mysterious English subjunctive.
EGO4U also has the most important English grammar topics divided into separate sections so you don’t get lost when trying to learn something new. Each section includes grammar lessons and a lot of exercises for you to practice. Pay attention to the dots on the right side of each exercise link. They tell you about the difficulty of the exercises. Awesome!
Finally, EGO4U includes an amazing section where you can find the most confusing English tenses. If you’re having any problem distinguishing between the past simple and the past progressive, or you get a headache every time you need to decide if a sentence needs going to, will, the present simple or the present progressive, you’re going to love this section.
Daily Grammar is simple both in look and content. The website has over 400 lessons on parts of speech and parts of sentences, which you can go through in order, or you can use the glossary to look up a term.
Daily Grammar also posts lessons to their blog, along with exercises for practice.
EnglishClub is another website with grammar lessons, and the writing on this one is friendly and super easy to understand.
Some lessons have quizzes, and others have special tips that explain commonly misunderstood facts about each topic.
You may have heard of the Grammarly spelling and grammar checker. It doesn’t just check your mistakes in your writing, but will also explain them to you so you don’t make the same mistakes again.
They’ve also collected a ton of rules, facts and tips on every possible grammar topic you can imagine. Explanations are written in a blog-like way: personal and using full paragraphs instead of a few lines. Because of its more advanced English usage, it’s a fantastic resource for more advanced learners.
Grammarly isn’t an English learner website—it’s a website for native English speakers who want to improve their grammar. Because of that, the tips might be a bit overwhelming for beginner/intermediate learners.
English Page isn’t organized as well as some of the other websites on this list, but it has some of the best English grammar exercises you’ll find. The exercises here don’t just ask you to choose a correct answer from a list—you have to write the answer yourself.
This gets you to actually use what you learned, and to practice instead of just memorize. There’s an excellent section with grammar rules as well, with lots of sample sentences.
Visual learners, we haven’t forgotten about you! For those of you who prefer to watch someone explain the rules instead of reading them, YouTube has plenty of lessons to offer.
Some great English grammar lessons can be found on EnglishLessons4U, Let’s Talk and many other channels. For lessons on something specific, search YouTube for “[topic] grammar lesson” and you’ll find many options.
I’ve been an English teacher for almost 20 years, and I know there’s a difference between knowing English grammar and mastering it.
My English Pages is an online free resource that’ll help you improve your English grammar at any level.
I love how all the different topics are divided into big sections. You have tenses, parts of speech, modal verbs, determiners, clauses…the list goes on and on! So if you don’t know how to improve your English grammar, start here!
For each topic, you’ll find a great grammar lesson or explanation with lots of examples, and at the end of the explanation, there are links where you can practice the grammar you just learned.
Englisch Hilfen (English Help)
This German site is available in two versions, a German one and an English one. We’re trying to learn English grammar here, so I recommend you only use the English version.
Englisch Hilfen contains everything a learner of English will ever need. When it comes to learning English grammar, it includes amazing grammar explanations and exercises, and access to everything is completely free.
Just choose a topic from the list on the left side of the screen and start learning! When you choose a topic, you’ll land on a webpage where all the available links related to that topic have been put together. The different links are normally arranged according to how you should learn the topic or in increasing difficulty.
At the end of the list of grammar links, you’ll also find links that’ll take you to the exercises on that topic. The site is very user-friendly and easy to use.
If you’ve never heard about edX and its MOOCs, you’re missing one of the best ways of learning English grammar online for free!
MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. MOOCs are courses that you can do online, mostly for free. They’re prepared by world-famous institutions and universities such as Oxford, Cambridge or Google, and they allow you to learn from home at your own pace about the topics you really need or want to learn about.
edX is a platform that offers thousands of free MOOCs on many different topics. When it comes to learning English grammar, you can choose from several courses depending on your needs (you can find more info on how to learn English grammar online in this amazing post).
There are two courses I really recommend from this site:
1. Upper-intermediate English: Technology Today. This course is perfect for upper-intermediate learners who want to learn the vocabulary and grammar related to technology. The main goal of the course is to teach you how to write a business plan through English grammar lessons that revolve around technology and business.
2. Upper-intermediate English: Modern Life. If you want to improve your English grammar and vocabulary skills with the help of topics such as sports, health, movies, pets and more, this MOOC is perfect for you. This course is also amazing if you don’t know exactly how to improve your English grammar and want to break the intermediate plateau.
At first glance, Free English Study can look just like another boring English grammar website, but appearances can be deceiving.
Free English Study includes all the necessary grammar topics to help the beginner learner become an advanced user of English.
The grammar page has a list of all the main English grammar topics divided into categories. Nothing new for now. However, when you click on a topic, you start seeing why this page is different.
For starters, it gives you not only excellent grammar explanations but also tons of examples. This is the best way for you to see the piece of grammar you’re learning in action. The examples, written in purple, normally include notes and short explanations when needed, and for many topics, you even have correct and incorrect examples so you can really see and understand how the grammar you’re learning works.
Passport To English is a complete English course that starts from zero and teaches you English through vocabulary exercises, English grammar lessons, dictations, games, listening and reading exercises. If what you need is a complete English course, start with the first English grammar lesson of the Beginning English level and follow the detailed instructions as you go on.
However, Passport To English is also an awesome site if you only want to improve your current English grammar level.
The list of grammar topics is alphabetical and it includes every grammar bit covered in the lessons of the course (you can see the level and the lesson number where each grammar topic appears in the course).
Passport To English is not only well-organized, but it also includes great explanations and a lot of examples. At the end of each topic, you have several exercises to check what you have learned.
Do you have your passport to fluency yet?
I discovered the LEO Network by accident a couple of months ago, and I haven’t stopped using it with my students since then.
LEO allows you to learn vocabulary, chat with other learners, improve your writing skills, get better at dictations, take spelling tests… I’d need a whole post to name all the great stuff you can do on this site.
The grammar section is also amazing, and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it, too.
Each category and topic includes from one to three little symbols on the right. These symbols tell you what you’ll be able to do in each topic.
The notebook symbol (Read This!) means that when you click, you’ll find a grammar explanation. The grammar explanations in the LEO Network can seem rather short, but they’re accurate and focus on what’s important. You know you won’t be learning anything unnecessary.
The picture symbol (Picture This!) means that when you click, you’ll find cute little pictures and tons of examples related to the grammar topic. This is the perfect section to see the grammar in action.
Finally, the tick symbol inside a circle (Test This!) means that when you click, you’ll have a test or an exercise so you can practice the grammar you learned. This is where the magic happens, and where you can see if you really understood the topic or you need to review it.
Which of these websites will join your bookmarks/favorites? Hopefully you’ve found a couple of sites that you’re excited to start using. Remember to use these websites together with other English learning methods. Good luck!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.