Getting to Grips with Grammar and Punctuation

Who is this course suitable for?

This course is intended for anyone who works with words.

It is ideal if you:

  • want a refresher of the basics of English grammar
  • feel that you never learnt enough grammar
  • did learn grammar but have lost confidence in using it.

Course description

The course explains how to use basic grammar and punctuation accurately. It will help you to communicate your message clearly, with the least chance that your readers will misunderstand or misinterpret your meaning.

The course alternates units on grammar and punctuation, with two basic chapters followed by two which go into more detail. Each unit has several sets of short exercises on which you can test yourself to see how well you have taken in the information in the unit and there are two quizzes along the way to test your knowledge.

The course concentrates on British English, although some differences in American English are highlighted where appropriate.

What you should know after the course

By the end of the course you will understand:

  • the basic rules of English grammar
  • the rules of English punctuation
  • some finer points of usage and misusage
  • the contexts in which rules should or need not be applied.
curriculum screenshot


Availability, prices and upgrade points

Price (members)  
Price (non-members)  
CIEP upgrade points 3
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Other price discounts are available. See the fees page.

E-learning courses take between 10 and 45 hours to complete, depending on the course, but you have access to the course materials for 6 months.

Prices are exclusive of tax, which will be added automatically at your local rate at checkout.

E-learning course structure

Time allowed for access: 6 months CIEP upgrade points: 3
Approximate study time needed to complete the course: 25–30 hours

This is a self-assessed course. You will be assigned a tutor who will be available for up to one hour of support (usually by email), but the tutor does not mark any of your work. When you have finished, you can download and print a certificate that states that you have completed the course.


The course is divided into seven units:

  • Unit 1 is an introduction to the course, with a light-hearted exercise to get you started.
  • Unit 2 looks at sentences, verbs and pronouns.
  • Unit 3 covers the basics of punctuation, looking at commas, full stops, question marks, colons and semicolons, apostrophes, hyphens and dashes.
  • Unit 4 covers verbs, pronouns, comparison and misplacement in more detail.
  • Unit 5 moves on from the basic building blocks of punctuation to look at quotation marks and brackets, lists, ellipsis and more.
  • Unit 6 discusses finer points of usage and context.
  • Unit 7 consists of three longer texts as final exercises on which to practise everything you have learned from the course.

Units 2–5 are divided into sections.

  1. Introduction
  2. Grammar – the basics
    2.1 Sentences
    2.2 Verbs
    2.3 Pronouns
  3. Punctuation – the basics
    3.1 Commas
    3.2 Full stops, question marks, colons and semicolons
    3.3 Apostrophes
    3.4 Hyphens and dashes
  1. Grammar – next steps
    4.1 More about tenses
    4.2 More about pronouns
    4.3 Comparison
    4.4 Misplacement
    4.5 Consolidate your grammar learning
  2. Punctuation – the basics
    5.1 Quotation marks and brackets
    5.2 Lists and ellipsis
    5.3 Some finer points of punctuation
  3. Usage and context
  4. Final exercises

There are study notes in Units 2–6 and each unit includes exercises with a commentary, with examples and model answers where appropriate. There are 21 exercises throughout the course, giving you plenty of practice at honing your skills. At the end of Units 3 and 6 there are quizzes to test your knowledge.

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