Number one for English language teachers

Teenagers: Grammar: Grammar games

Type: Reference material

Some games to help teach grammar to teenagers and young learners.

One approach to teaching grammar, which is especially successful with teenagers, who enjoy more independence and have more English in their heads, is the discovery method.


For the use of ‘the’ with proper nouns, cut up the following:

PolandSenegalNew Zealand
Buenos AiresAsiaEurope


  • Jumble them up and hand the words to groups of 3 or 4 students.
  • Ask them to organise the words into groups of three and tell you what the groups are e.g. cities, mountain ranges.
  • Divide the groups into those which take ‘the’ and those which don’t.
  • Come up with the rules = cities do not take ‘the’, plural countries like Netherlands take ‘the'.
  • Ask students to expand the activity into: shops, hotels, cinemas, streets… and write up the rules on big sheets of paper to put onto the classroom walls.

Students have been allowed to notice patterns for themselves and come up with ‘rules’.

More ideas for teaching grammar from Macmillan

Nice practice activities for younger students:

  • Play games with English 1 and 2 by Colin Granger

An excellent book, especially for teaching older children and adults is:

  • Uncovering Grammar by Scott Thornbury

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Readers' comments (23)

  • Hello Alia,

    You are more than welcome! Thank you for your lovely comment. We look forward to bringing you lots more wonderful resources very soon!

    Best wishes and happy teaching,

    The onestopenglish team

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  • Really .. this site is a treasure in English teaching and learning ... Thanks a lot .

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  • Hi wendy,

    Thanks for your feedback and apologies that you are having trouble finding resources. The 'search' function in the top right corner is useful for finding particular lessons and you can also hover of the main tabs at the top of the page (from 'Business' on the left to 'Community' on the right). These all have drop-down menus with all the resources for each area.

    As you mention, the news lesson are published weekly. However, we do also publish between 15 and 20 other resources each month. These can always be found beneath the 'Latest resources' tab.

    What kind of resourcess are you interested in? We have materials for business classes, teens, methodology, integrated skills, grammar, vocabulary and many other areas but we are always interested to hear what users would like so please do let us know.

    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • Yes this site is hard to find things on, even when you have come across them before - and renewal was expensive as there don't seem to be any updates apart from new news lessons.

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  • Hi there,

    Thank you for your feedback. Sorry to hear that you are not planning to renew your subscription. We did respond to your email answering your query with a lot of links to new materials and lesson plans but apologies if it came across as impolite. That was not the intention at all.

    With regards the old materials, we don't remove old lesson plans from the site as a lot of users find them useful. We do attempt to fix broken links as soon as we become aware of them. As mentioned in the email we sent, there are nearly 20 new resources produced each month on a variety of topics, from Business classes and EAP to general English for teens and grammar lesson plans (Fun with grammar). These can all be found under 'Latest resources' each month.

    Apologies if you have not found what you are looking for and again, please do email us if you have any suggestions for resources you would like to see on the site.

    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • I won't be renewing my subscription either, a waste of money. As for contacting MacMillan by email when I pointed out there was a lot of old material, broken links, empty links, I just received a reply by email that was equally as 'shouty' as those above. I didn't even finish reading it since the tone was so terrible.

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  • I'm sorry to hear you're disappointed with the material on onestopenglish. If there was something you were looking for in particular, please get in touch with us here and we'll try to help you as best we can.

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  • Very disappointed indeed with this site. Much better resources are available for free or through the peer exchange sites. I shall be requesting a refund of my subscription. What a waste of 43 euros that could have been much better spent.

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  • To a few. Onestopenglish doesn´t have absolutely website does, so you might actually have to spend time preparing a lesson, and checking other resources......oh no, gasp, for me the search function couldn´t be easier...things take time people, have a little patience to those who want it all check out
    Thanks again some great material

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  • This grammar section for teenager has a lack of variety. I think there should more grammar points. I only see activities for "can" :(

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  • I totally agree with previous posts. I find it difficult to browse the new sites. The old ones vere much more better. I am really disapointed. Can you do something to improve search mechanism? For example to activate prompter?

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  • I am really struggling to find things, it used to be so easy. Example, search 'must not' can find teachers notes but can't find the card game??? you would think teachers notes and the activity would follow on from each other. Spending far too long searching for things.

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  • Wow. I thought it was just me who found this site hard to use. I don't use it very often which is probably a result of having to work too hard to find what I want.

    Actually, some of the materials are good but it's hit and miss whether you find them or not. Usually, I'll go to another site that's easier to locate what I'm looking for.

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  • Dear claudialevi and juliette,
    We have not removed any resources from the old site - the content is exactly the same! We do update the site regularly, weekly and monthly (see the 'New this month' box on the homepage), and try to vary the content to make onestopenglish as rich as possible. There are areas of the site that need more attention than others, and we will be addressing those in due course. Unfortunately, we can't do everything at once!
    As for the query about conditionals, here are a couple of worksheets that cover both the first and second conditional:
    Thank you for your feedback.
    The onestopenglish team

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  • I agree and it doesn't see to be updated at all. the TOEIC exam stuff hasn't changed/ added to for a good 3 years. There seem to be huge gaps in the grammar material. I have just been looking for a good sheet on mixed conditionals - hardly obsure - and there is nothing. Considering the subscription I am very disappointed.

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  • The material is poor compared to the old one.A real pity

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  • We’re sorry that a few of you are having problems navigating the site. Here are a couple of tips for locating grammar activities:
    - Roll your mouse over ‘Grammar’ on the main menu bar. The drop-down menu reveals every category in the section, including ‘Grammar lessons’ where you will find worksheets categorized by level.
    - In the search engine, click on ‘Grammar’ and then on ‘More +’ under ‘Language focus’ to reveal the grammar sub-categories (verbs, adjectives, sentence structure, etc.). If you select ‘Verbs’ this will open up further sub-categories (modals, present, past, etc.).

    If you are still having problems locating what you need, please contact us directly via the ‘Contact us’ link in the menu at the bottom of the page and fill in the form.

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  • I would like to say that I find it very difficult to find grammar based activities and using the search mechanism is no help. The weekly news lessons are great but unfortunately I'm increasingly using other sites to find exactly what I'm looking for:

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  • I am finding it hard to co-ordinate activities for the right level and age - and topic!

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  • And I think the opposite! I find it much more intuitive!

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  • I agree, the site is not intuitive or easy to use. I agree with John-I'm spending too much time looking for things I once accessed easily. Where are the printable vocab and grammar games, activities, and worksheetsfor ESL students?

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  • Dear John,
    We're sorry that you are having problems with the new site.
    If you are encountering bugs, please contact us via this page:
    We will then try and fix the problem as soon as possible.

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  • Very disappointed with the new site. Not at all user friendly. I tried something very simple i.e. a search for a worksheet for children to practise verbs, half an hour later I'm still looking. The new site is worse than the old site and that was not easy to use. Has anyone checked the site, it's also full of bugs! I want to rate the site 0.5 out of 5, but it's not possible.
    John Dadd

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