Centre for Continuing Education

Understanding English Grammar Course: Level 1

English. Develop your command of the English language with us.

Learn English the smart way with English courses at CCE, the University of Sydney.


Those who speak it fluently know the grammar of the language – or most of it anyway – but they may not know much about the grammar or how to talk about it or how to analyse their own use of it. This aims to establish an understanding of the basic ways in which the rules of our grammar work as they allow us to construct sentences that are comprehensible to other speakers of the language. If there are uncertainties in the ways the rules are supposed to work (do we say ‘between you and I’ or ‘between you and me’?), all questions will be settled.


  1. An understanding of the essential ways in which words are used to form sentences
  2. An understanding of the main grammatical features of different categories of words and phrases
  3. A working knowledge of the basic terminology used to describe the grammar
  4. A confident approach to disputed cases where usage is divided.


Meeting 1

  • Definition: ‘grammar’, ‘syntax’, 'morphology'
  • Overview sentence structure: words, phrases, clauses
  • Word classes: noun, pronoun, determiner, verb
  • Form and syntax

Meeting 2

  • Word classes: adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction
  • Formality and informality

Meeting 3

More about the word classes:

  • Count and non-count nouns
  • Nouns in the possessive: the apostrophe
  • ‘Problem’ determiners
  • Choice of adjective or adverb

Meeting 4

  • Phrase structure: the noun, prepositional and verb phrase
  • Noun phrase functioning as subject and object
  • Subject-verb concord
  • Pronouns as subject and object

Meeting 5

  • Verb tenses – form
  • Auxiliary verbs
  • Regular and irregular verbs
  • Use of the tenses – tense and time

Meeting 6

  • Modal verbs
  • The infinitive – split infinitives
  • Imperative mood
  • Copular verbs
  • Transitive and intransitive verbs – the passive

Meeting 7

  • Introduction to clause structure – main, coordinate, subordinate
  • The adverbial clause
  • Relative clauses and the relative pronouns
  • Defining and non-defining relative clauses

Meeting 8

Review of common uncertainties:

  • verb tenses
  • adverbs
  • the double negative
  • double comparatives and superlatives
  • pronoun case
  • antecedents
  • relative pronouns
  • the stranded preposition

Intended Audience

Designed for native speakers or those with a very good grasp of the language wanting to understand how grammar works. NOT suitable for English language learners.

Recommended Reading

Extensive handouts will be provided.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • The teacher was extremely knowledgeable on the subject matter and was able to deliver the learning in an effective and informative manner. I would be more encouraged to undertake other courses by this tutor.

  • I really enjoyed the course and think the tutor was fantastic. A great style of teaching and also expressed a great attitude toward the subject matter and how it is interpreted in the wider community. I highly recommend this course as long as people understand what they are signing up for. It is not specifically designed to make you a better writer or speaker of the language, but to understand the technical explanations for the structure of the language.

  • Interesting, enjoyable and satisfying to review aspects of one’s language.

  • I really loved the course. The tutor was always very pleased to answer the questions and also has a deep knowledge of the language, which is essential for the good quality of the course.

  • The presenter is an engaging educator. I learnt more than the listed outcomes and have solidified my career plans as a result of this course. I will be enrolling in the continuation of this stream.

  • Not only did I learn much more than anticipated, but the course was really fun, non-threatening and inspiring. I now intend to go further with these studies.

  • An excellent instructor. They are extremely knowledgeable and have an exceptional ability to engage the class. The content covered was comprehensive, and the examples used to demonstrate the concepts were topical and entertaining. I highly recommend the course to anyone interested in understanding English grammar.

$398 Limited inc GST
Understanding English Grammar Course: Level 1

<p>{block name:“Course Tagline - English”}</p><p>{block name:“Course Heading - Aims”}</p><p>Those who speak it fluently know the grammar of the language – or most of it anyway – but they may not know