Tag: intermediate grammar

Countable and uncountable nouns
Countable and uncountable nouns

In this post, I try to explain what countable and uncountable nouns are. When I speak with native speakers of English they often tell me that the concept of countability in English is absolutely natural. “You simply know which noun is countable and which is not.” However, this natural feeling is nearly impossible to teach.

Based on my experience I have created the following mind map where I try to set some rules to help the learners of English. The rules given here are in no way foolproof but I hope they will help a bit.

In this post you will find the mind map and three game to revise the concept of countability.

Countable or Uncountable – mind map

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Games to practise countability

Now it is time to test your knowledge in games. The first one is absolutely new. You play the Tetris games and after 4 pieces you have to write whether the noun is Countable (C), Uncountable (U) or Both (B). USE ONLY CAPITAL LETTERS!!!

Countable and uncountable nouns – Tetris game

The second game is incredibly popular in my classes. It is called On Target and you should shoot the bad ducks. You can shoot one of the bottles on the side to get some bonus. The game is in Flash and will play only on desktop computers that have the Flash plugin activated.

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/countable/countable_ontarget.swf” target=”blank” background=”#f56b68″ size=”6″]Countable and Uncountable – On Target game[/su_button]

The third game is called Penalty Shootout. In this game you should choose the correct answer and then try to score a goal. Good luck.
As the game is in Flash, it will only play on desktop computers with Flash add on activated.

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/countable/countable_vs_uncountable_penalty.swf” target=”blank” background=”#f56b68″ size=”6″]Countability – Penalty game[/su_button]

You can find more activities and explanations on this topic at Countable and Uncountable Games.

You can learn the usage of the words HOW MUCH and How MANY here.

Conditionals grammar – the differences and usage of all the conditionals
Conditionals grammar – the differences and usage of all the conditionals

There are very few grammar points that I know so well as conditional sentences. Students always ask about them and they appear in tests and students. I have tried many times to explain this grammar, but I feel that I have always failed. I have created about 5 different presentations and three mind maps till I got to this simple one.

Conditionals – mind map

This is the simplest mind map I have managed to create and students say it is fine and they can understand it now. I hope it works the same way for you.
Read the map from the left side. The two arrows in the midle of the map show that the RESULT part can be at the beginning and the IF part at the end.
The horrible mess in the middle of the Unreal conditionals, shows the mixed conditionals, where the IF in the past can have a RESULT NOW. Or where IF now can have a RESULT in the past. I hope you understand.

[showmyads] Conditionals mind map

Conditionals – games

It is very important to understand the grammar rules, but it is even more important to be able to use them correctly. You can try this out in the following games.
The first one is called On Target and your task is to answer the questions and shoot all the BAD ducks. You can get a bonus if you shoot one of the bottles.

Conditionals – On target game

The second game is a new one. It is called darts. You should choose the correct answer but then WAIT and click it only at the moment you aim at a high number. It is not as easy as it seems. You can leave your score at the comments section and the winner will get ELM magazine from us.

Conditionals – DARTS


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Prepositions AT IN ON for time
Prepositions AT IN ON for time

Many students have problems with the prepositions AT, IN, ON. Prepositions are such small words with nearly the same meaning that it seems that you can use any of them. But that is not true. If you want to sound well, you have to be careful with the prepositions. And believe me, it is not so difficult to use the prepositions AT, IN, ON for time expressions correctly. There are many clear rules and only a few exceptions.

Prepositions AT IN ON for time – mind map

Go through the mind map. Start at 1 o’clock and then go clockwise. There are the rules of usage for the prepositions AT, IN, ON.

At the end of the mind map you will see that if you use the words NEXT, LAST, EVERY or THIS, there is no preposition in front of these words. (You cannot say “ON NEXT FRIDAY”).


Prepositions AT IN ON for time

Prepositions AT, IN, ON for time – games

If you want to really learn the prepositions correctly, you should practise them as often as and as much possible. Here there are three games to make your training more enjoyable. In the games there are 48 different phrases with the prepositions AT, IN, ON. If you finish all the games I am confident that you will know the usage of these prepositions fairly well.

The first game is called Teacher invaders. You should shoot all the Invaders and after some time you have to fill in the correct preposition in the sentences. Good luck.

Prepositions AT IN ON – Teacher invaders game.

The second game, HOOP SHOOT, is slightly easier as you have to pick the correct option and then stop the sliders in the center of the basket.

Prepositions AT IN ON – Hoop shoot game.

The third game is a more of a traditional quiz. Read the text and complete it with the prepositions AT IN ON. If you get more than 70% of your answers correct you will get to play the game called Indiara. Good luck!

Prepositions AT IN ON – Cloze test.

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Defining relative clauses
Defining relative clauses

Defining relative clauses are quite easy to understand and use. The name of the grammar sounds horrible but in fact you just need to know when you should use the words “which”, “that”, “who” and “whose”. I like teaching this piece of grammar as the students quickly get the idea and they are able to use it immediately. In this post on defining relative clauses you can find a mind map and three games to practise the grammar point.

Defining relative clauses – mind map

Always read the map clockwise. Start at the top (1 o’clock) go around the mind map.


Defining relative clauses

Defining relative clauses – games

Now that you understand the theory it is time to try it out in the real world. You can find here three games to practise defining relative clauses. First is called “Penalty”. Your task is to choose the correct option and then to score a goal.

Defining relative clauses – Penalty

The second game is slightly more difficult. It is called En garde and you have to be careful because most of the time you have to choose the option which is NOT correct. However, there are one or two items where you should choose the correct one. So pay attention.

Defining relative clauses – En Garde.

The last exercise might not seem like a game at all. It looks more like a test. You have to fill in the missing words. However, if you manage to get more than 80% of your answers correctly you will get to a page where you can play a game called “Angry finches” as a reward. So give it a try.

Defining relative clauses – Cloze test.

Other games to learn English

By now our site contains a lot of games and mind maps to help you learn English. We think you should try for example the games on present perfect tense or on reported speech.
Other activities worth trying are vocabulary games on Clothes, Christmas or Personal qualities.

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Reported Speech
Reported Speech

Reported speech is quite difficult. Students are often confused why the tenses change and what they mean. Here they will get a chance to understand the grammar point better.


Reported speech – video

[/su_heading][su_spacer] First, they can watch the two videos explaining the usage of reported speech.


The second explanation is based upon the Grammar challenge by BBC too. This time they explain the reported questions. Right click the link below and download the file. Then open it in Adobe Reader, otherwise it will not play.

Grammar challenge reported questions


Reported speech – mind map

[/su_heading][su_spacer] Here you can see a mind map which tries to sum up all the grammar points into one picture.

reported speech mind map


Reported speech – online quiz

[/su_heading][su_spacer] And as this site concentrates on games to practise grammar and vocabulary, here is another game to practise reported speech. In this game only the basic rules are practised and therefore the option that the direct speech remains as it is, is never correct in this game.

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Reported-speech_enguarde.pdf” target=”blank” background=”#f08cf5″ size=”6″]Reported Speech – En garde game[/su_button]

To play the game, click the download button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Then open the downloaded file in Adobe reader (it is free) and it will work.

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