Gill (Jyl) Francis 1945 – 2024

Gill Francis (she later used the spelling Jyl) was one of the pioneering team who worked on the Collins Cobuild English Dictionary (CCED), published in 1995, and led a small team that compiled the Grammar Pattern series published in 1996 and 1998. In this she was… Read More

National Grammar Day

Saturday 4 March marks National Grammar Day (henceforth, for brevity, NGD). Time to move into top grammar gear. Are you a tad hazy about the difference between a conjunction and a preposition? And what exactly are parts of… Read More

What are grammar patterns?

Grammar patterns are ways of describing how words are used in English. A grammar pattern tells us what phrases or clauses are used with a given adjective, noun, or verb. For example the adjective afraid can be used with a that-clause (He was afraid that…) or… Read More

Grammar or vocabulary? A blurry line

This article has been written by Julie Moore, who is an ELT materials developer and lexicographer, and originally appeared on our ELT Blog. Most language learning coursebooks include grammar activities and vocabulary activities. As teachers, we talk about ‘teaching grammar’ and ‘teaching vocabulary’. Grammar and vocabulary are… Read More

Silent letters

To pronounce or not to pronounce, that is the dilemma. English, like some other languages, has a number of letters which are ‘silent’ in certain words. The tricky thing is, knowing which letters can be silent, and learning when they should and should not be pronounced. The main silent letters… Read More

Pronunciation of ‘-ough’ words

This is the first blog of our brand new series looking at difficult to pronounce words. If there is any group of letters that underlines how tricky English pronunciation can be, it is the string ‘-ough’. Fortunately, there are few letter combinations in English that vary as widely in the… Read More