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What do I mean by 'English Grammar'? 

'English Grammar' refers to the spoken and written grammar students learn and practise on English language courses around the world, where the aim is to become a good user of English, and also to pass school tests or public exams such as TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge First Certificate.

English grammar: how I got involved

The Grammar Spectrum series

In 1993, after I had sent some grammar worksheets to ELT publishers on a speculative basis, Oxford University Press (OUP) commissioned me to write an elementary grammar practice book, which was published in 1995 as Grammar Spectrum 1, alongside the higher level Grammar Spectrums 2 and 3 by Mark Harrison and Norman Coe respectively.

The series was successful from the outset - Grammar Spectrum 1 alone eventually sold 325,000 copies - and the three levels have been combined, adapted and rewritten by the same authors to produce the popular Oxford Grammar Practice Basic (fully updated in 2019), versions of which have been published in Chinese, Czech, German, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, and Turkish; and, in 2016, as an app, Learn and Practise

The Oxford Living Grammar series

In 2006, following the success of the Spectrum series, OUP commissioned the same three authors to write a completely new series of grammar practice books, under the umbrella title ‘Oxford Living Grammar’. A key difference from the Spectrum series is the ‘Grammar in action’ section, which shows how English grammar is used in typical everyday situations, linked to contextualized exercises - often natural conversations - under the same headings. Click here for more information, and access to the Oxford Living Grammar Student’s Site and Teacher’s Site.

My two titles, Oxford Living Grammar elementary and Oxford Living Grammar upper-intermediate (suitable for Cambridge First Certificate) were published in 2009 and 2012 respectively.

Publications in English grammar

Oxford Practice Grammar Basic (OUP, new edition 2019) Czech version, German version, Hungarian version, Italian version, Portuguese version, Turkish version

Learn and Practise (OUP, 2016)

Oxford Living Grammar Upper Intermediate (OUP, 2012)

Oxford Living Grammar Elementary (OUP, 2009)

Grammar Spectrum 1 (OUP, 1995) French Canadian version

Ask the expert

An Oxford University Press series, where writers answer popular questions on English language teaching.

On punctuation, please click here.

On passives (and a few other grammar issues), please click here.