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)

  • 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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