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English Course for Native Mongolian Speakers, Common English Grammar Problems

Free Online Grammar Lessons: Concentrate on your common mistakes here.
Study, practise and produce your own examples. You will need one of these books:

Essential Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy for Elementary/Pre-Intermediate Levels -Red Book Cambridge University Press, or

Essential Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy for Intermediate/Upper-Intermediate Levels-Blue Book Cambridge University Press

Click on the "Study Book" link in the table in order to know what units to study very well.

Everything in this table is very important for Mongolian students and others.

Practise, Practise!


Grammar Topic Grammar Problem Correct Examples Study Material
ArticlesVery important! Use and non-use of articles I have a dog.The computer isn’t working.

I like chocolate.

Time, tense and aspect:1. Past

2. Present

3. Future

Present Perfect Very important!

Past Continuous

Past Perfect

She still hasn’t come. I've seen that film.

I was watching TV when you rang.

I had never seen her before.

Present Cont.Present Simple They are working now.She lives here. Exercise 
“Going to” or “Will”Present Cont. with future meaning

Future time clauses

Future Perfect

The film will end in ten minutes.I’m meeting her tomorrow.

When I get there, I will phone you.

He will have come back by Monday.

Word Order: Very important! VerbsAdverbs This is the house where my friends live.The question that the teacher asked was easy.

I speak Mongolian


I don’t often go to the cinema.

Adjectives I live in an old, green, detached house. Exercise 
Final Prepositions What are you looking at?Where are you from?  
Indirect Questions Tell me how he is.He asked how you do it.  
Questions and Negatives Auxiliary Verbs Does she live here?He doesn’t know him.  
Question Tags, Short Answers Positive or Negative? You speak French, don’t you? Yes, I do.  
“It” , “There” as subjects There or it? It is cold today.It’s already getting dark. There is a table in my room.

Very important!
Modal Verbs Modal Auxiliaries, must, need to, needn’t etc. I have to go.He needn't come. Very important!
Conditionals The 1st conditional, Mixed conditionals If I pass, I will celebrate.If I had listened, I would be rich today. Exercise 1 
Exercise 2 
The Passive Voice The continuous passive,Adjectives. It is being done now.I was born in 1980.

I am interested in music.

Reported Speech Said or Told?Reporting Verbs He told me that you are busy.He said that you are busy.

He realised she didn’t know about it.

Singular/Plural Nouns, a half are, a lot are……. He has sixty sheep.I love that woman.

Countable or Uncountable Nouns like money, news, advice, furniture, door…… I would like some more rice.Where are my pencils?  
Adjectives and Adverbs Which will I use? It looks beautiful.She sings


Give me the red one, please.

Adjectives with Prepositions What preposition is correct? I am aware of that.She is related to them. Exercise 
Comparatives and Superlatives Which one will I use? This is better than that.That is the worst film I’ve seen.  
Pronouns: Personal Pronouns Possessive Pronouns

Reflexive Pronouns

I can’t see him.I have to do my homework.

I looked at myself in the mirror.

Quantifiers Many, much, few, a few, a lot, lots, any, some…………. Did you buy much food?Have you many friends?

He has lots of friends.

Exercise Very important!
Relative Pronouns/ Clauses Which, who, that or none of these. The man who lives there is a policeman.This is all that I need.  
Infinitive or Gerund “to do something” or “doing something”? I enjoy dancing.He should stop smoking.

He denied stealing the car.

Exercise Very important!
Irregular Verbs and Past Participles Forget, forgot, forgotten, Bite, bit, bitten, Drive, drove, driven I held her hand all evening.I have hidden the photos.

I was chosen by the teacher.

Learn 3-5 verbs everyday!
Prepositions On, in, at, since, for, no preposition…………... With a Preposition:at work/school/university

at the party/concert

at Christmas/Easter

at the bottom/top

Sit at the table.

On TV/radio

I was there for ten days

See you in ten days.

That is typical of him.

I am better/bigger than you.

He is angry at her.

He married to her.

I arrived in Dublin today.

in front of the museum. an exam in mathematics.

good/bad at mathematics.

It is made of wood.

It was discussed among the students.

I listen to music everyday.

Explain to me why you . . .

Repeat to me why you .

No Preposition:

I have to go home

He is at home

Let’s discuss this later

I can’t believe this

I can’t ride a bicycle

I’ve never climbed a tree

I left school last year.

I am doing it next week.

Very important!Learn 3 everyday!
Verbs with Prepositions Listen to, speak to, think of, wait for, look at…… I forget to thank him for the gift. It belongs to her. Learn 3-5 verbs every day!
Phrasal Verbs Very important! Eat out, go out, fall off, fall out, make up, chill out, get round……… I got on the bus. I got off the train. I got into the car. Exercise