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Advanced grammar open course

This is a rarely-run course for only a limited number of closely-taught delegates, and is not for the faint-hearted! If you consider yourself grammatically sound but want to become an expert, this is the course to take. (Or if you already consider yourself to be an expert and just want to show off, this is also fine.)

This course is about English grammar – in all its uses. We’ll certainly help you write clear plain English, but the main purpose of the course is to leave you with everything you need to consider yourself an expert in standard English grammar.

We use a traditional approach. We do this as that should work best for those of you who have already been taught grammar in school, but also because there are no short-cuts or easy ways to learn this stuff. It’s not easy! But it can be fun. And for those of you who were routinely force-fed grammar by tyrants we want to help you overcome your trauma and resentment. And also help fill in any gaps in your knowledge.

We’ll look at the words we use and how we make sentences. We’ll discuss some of the ideas both modern and dust-dry past-it grammarians use.

Our approach is quite systematic. This is because you’ll need all the pieces of the jigsaw in place to have a working and sustainable sense of grammar once you’ve completed the course. You’ll also hopefully find the course guidebook a useful and enduring aid.

Most of us write well without understanding how or why. But sometimes we come across grammatical problems or can't see how to write clearly and concisely. Knowing how words fit together in sentences can help us write better and appreciate the pluses and flaws in other people’s work.

We will look at the grammar of standard English – the language of business, government, education and the professions. Some of us lack confidence because we are never quite sure of the correct grammar.

Like any other technical subject, grammar comes with a bit of intimidating jargon which you’ll have to get used to. But we always explain it clearly whenever we use it.

We will show you how to use punctuation to structure your sentences and make their meaning clearer, and how to punctuate lists.

The ultimate aim of the course is to give you a sound working knowledge of grammar, with the added bonus of clear and concise writing using plain-English principles. We know grammar can be tricky. But we do make it fun, honest. And think of the kudos you’ll have if you become a Plain English Campaign ‘Advanced grammar’ alumni. Not to be sniffed at.

The course will cover the following:

  • Basic grammatical ideas - number, person, inflection, agreement
  • Parts of speech - summary
  • Nouns - proper, common, concrete, abstract, countable, uncountable, collective, compound
  • Verbs - conjugation, tense, aspect, finite, infinite, formation, transitive, intransitive, mood, voice
  • Clauses - subject, predicate, object, complement
  • Conjunctions - co-ordinating, subordinating
  • Subordinate clauses
  • Pronouns - personal, possessive, relative, demonstrative, antecedent
  • Relative clauses - defining, commenting
  • Phrases - adverbial, adjectival, participial
  • Adjectives - comparison, possessive
  • Adverbs - comparison, particles
  • Building sentences - simple, compound, complex
  • Punctuation - full stops, question and exclamation marks, commas, colons, semicolons, inverted commas, apostrophes, brackets, dashes, hyphens
  • Layout and presentation - paragraphs, lists, headings, emphasis, alignment, justification, fonts, print size

The course is very intense – it’s not for the faint-hearted. But there will be plenty of time to practise clause analysis, and to discuss problems and some of the changes in standard English going on at the moment.

The course timings are:

Start 9.30am
Coffee 11am
Lunch 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Coffee 3pm
Finish 4.30pm

Ordering a place on the Advanced grammar open course:

If you are interested in this course, please e-mail Terri at with your postal address or fax number. You may also be interested in our more basic Grammarcheck course. Open courses cost £300 + VAT.

If you book two or more places you will receive £50 off each place.

This course offers detailed training in English grammar. Please check our open course dates for the next available course.

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