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 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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