Readers of this blog will know that my preferred grammar book is English Grammar in Use (5th Edition). You can buy it on Amazon. I usually recommend it to students who want to increase their writing scores. Since the book is quite long, I’ve created a list of specific units that students can focus on (along with a few notes about the reasons for my choices).

Before you read the list, though, a few things should be recognized:

  • You really should communicate with a teacher to see what units are best for you. This list is just a starting point.
  • I think that the fourth edition of the book (from 2012) has the same unit names, so the list can be used with it.
  • The list can probably be used with the 3rd and 4th editions of “English in Use – Intermediate“. That is the American version of “English Grammar in Use.”

Present and Past

Unit 2 – Present Simple (for talking about things in general, the state of the world and writing a thesis statement)

Unit 3 – Present continuous and present simple (you must understand the difference)

Unit 5 – Past simple (for personal examples)

Unit 6 – Past continuous

Present Perfect and Past

Unit 7 – Present Perfect 1 (for examples, advanced grammar)

Unit 8 – Present Perfect 2

Unit 9 – Present Perfect Continuous

Unit 10 – Present Perfect Continuous and Simple (know the difference!)

Unit 12 – For and Since

Unit 13 – Present Perfect and Past (know the difference!)

Unit 14 -Present Perfect and Past 2

Unit 15 – Past Perfect (useful for examples)

Unit 16 – Past Perfect Continuous (useful for examples)

Unit 18 – Used to (frequent errors)


Unit 33 – Should (useful for topic sentences and thesis statements)

If and Wish

Unit 40 – If I had known… (useful for “summing up” sentences)


Unit 42 – Passive 1 (it is useful to know what this is because the e-rater prefers active voice)

Reported Speech

Unit 47 – Reported Speech 1 (know how to use it as quotes look bad in the essays)

-INg and to

Unit 53 – Verb + -ing (everything in this heading is fundamental)

Unit 54 – Verb + to…

Unit 55 – Verb (+ object)

Unit 56 – Verb +ing or to 1

Unit 57 – Verb +ing or to 2

Unit 58 – Verb +ing or to 3

Unit 59 – prefer and would rather (useful when writing a thesis statement or topic sentence)

Unit 60 – Preposition + -ing

Unit 62 – Preposition + -ing (very common error)

Articles and Nouns

Unit 69 – Countable and Uncountable 1 (very common errors)

Unit 72 – A/An and The (very common errors)

Unit 73 – The 1

Unit 74 – The 2

Pronouns and Determiners

Unit 88 – All/all of, most/most of, no/none of

Relative Clauses

Unit 92 -Relative Clauses 1

Unit 95 – Relative Clauses 4

Adjectives and Adverbs

Unit 98 – Adjective ending in -ing and -ed

Unit 101 – Adjectives and Adverbs 2

Unit 107 – Comparatives 3

Conjunctions and Prepositions

Unit 117 – Like and As

Unit 119 – During, for, while (common errors)


Unit 125 – In/at/on

Unit 126 – to, at, in and into

Unit 127 – in/on/at

Unit 130 – adjective + preposition 1

Unit 132 – verb + preposition 1

Unit 133 – verb + preposition 2

Unit 134 – verb + preposition 3

Unit 135 – verb + preposition 4

Phrasal Verbs

Study everything, but note that studying phrasal verbs in a grammar book has limitations.

Additional Exercises

Try numbers 1, 5, 9, 29 and 32.

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