Exercises to revise key grammar points (Bachillerato, B1-B2)

You can find below an updated version of the grammar booklet I used to prepare for my year 2 Bachillerato students, back in the days when I was teaching Bachillerato. I’ve tried to bring it up to date, and I have added as many links to video explanations and keys to exercises as I could. It could also be used with B1-B2 students whose grammar structures need reinforcing.

I’m sharing it now in the hope that it will help students in the final weeks before they sit their EvAU/EBAU exam, or teachers who are looking for extra materials for their students. Most of the exercises can be self-checked, so they don’t need extra work on the teacher’s side (or not much, anyway). Many of the units are aimed at providing ample rephrasing practice.

The grammar points it covers are:

  1. Conditional clauses/I wish-If only
  2. Relative clauses
  3. Reported Speech
  4. Passive voice. Personal/impersonal construction.
  5. Have/get something done.
  6. Used to/would; be used to -ing/get used to -ing
  7. Modal verbs
  8. As/like
  9. Subordinate clauses: purpose, result, contrast, cause, time)
  10. Comparatives and superlatives
  11. Emphasising the message: cleft/pseudo-cleft sentences, inversions
  12. Gerund /it…to inf
  13. Too/enough
  14. Rephrasing practice

I’ve tried to check for mistakes and outdated references, but there might still be some. My apologies.

It has to be said that most of the material is just a compilation of exercises taken, adapted and rehashed from many different sources: textbooks, grammar books, websites… I couldn’t honestly cite the sources now, but I definitely do not claim authorship of the exercises. Extensive reworking has been made over the years, though. The links to explanations are all my own, as are the keys to exercises.

Click on the image to download the pdf file

Please feel free to share with whomever you think might find it useful.

purpose clauses

If you need to know how to express purpose (your objective, your intention) in English, you can watch this video:

You can download the slides used in the video here.

contrast clauses (although, in spite of, however…)

In this video you can find a series of linking words that can help you express contrast between two clauses or sentences:

You can download the slides used in the video here

Conditional clauses- how to make them, ads and songs to practise them

Watch this video to understand how to express condition in English:

Click on the screenshot below or here if you want to download the slides used in the video

Conditionals- video

Click on the screenshot to download the slides used in the video

You may find the following ads useful to teach/understand 3rd conditional sentences [Specsavers are a British chain of opticians, also to be found in other countries such as Ireland and Australia]:

(Subtitled ad here)

And for Fawlty Towers/John Cleese fans…

Playlist with songs to practise conditional clauses (link):

You can also listen to this cover version of a song called ‘If It Hadn’t Been for Love’ by Adele:

Watch the video with subtitles here

(The subject matter of the song is not pleasant at all, rather similar to the songs discussed here)

passive voice in English: personal/impersonal construction

Passive sentences are much more frequent in English than in Spanish. One of the reasons is that they allow parts of the sentence other than the ‘agent’ to become the focus of information. If you start a sentence saying ‘An article claims that Ed Sheeran is one of the most streamed artists of the decade’ the focus of information is ‘people’. Not really interesting, is it? However, if you start by saying ‘Ed Sheeran is claimed to be one of the most streamed artists of the decade’, the focus of information is Ed Sheeran, which may attract your listener’s attention.

Alternatively, if you need to sound academic, factual (stating information, not just your opinion or guess), for example, in essays or academic papers, you may want to use expressions such as ‘It is reported that 2019 was the hottest year since records began’, rather than ‘Scientists have reported that 2019 was the hottest year since records began’.

To revise how to make these transformations, you can watch this video:

You can see some examples taken from real-language use here.


Words in the news: coronavirus, inversions, work

The coronavirus crisis is making headlines worldwide. Some of the language used to report it refers back to aspects we have discussed in class at some point in the year:

  1. Italy locked down to slow the spread of coronavirus- as mentioned in the report, documents allowing citizens to travel within Italy are now needed: 

The new reality is dawning in Italy. The heart of Europe has been quarantined with a blanket ban on gatherings and public venues closed, the toughest confinement measures since the war. Travel is prohibited without filling in a document showing urgent need or a return home, which we as everyone have to complete. We’d need to produce it if asked.

Well, this form will now allow me to be able to drive back to Rome. And it says here that falsifying this document could lead to prosecution. Never could people in Italy have conceived of the idea that they’d need this to be able to move within their own country.

2. Airlines cancel thousands of flights:

The extent to which airlines are struggling is becoming clear. B.A. has emailed all of its staff asking people to volunteer for unpaid leave. Norwegian Air has said it will cut 15 percent of its global schedule for a month, while some staff will be temporarily laid off. The German giant Lufthansa has already said it will cut up to half of its flights during the coming weeks. Anyone booked on a flight which is canceled is eligible for a full refund.


Words in the news: inversions (Tokyo 2020 and the new coronavirus)

Listen to this extract from the news about the potential impact of the new coronavirus on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games:

Discussions over the coronavirus outbreak dominated the first morning of a scheduled two-day meeting at Olympic headquarters. Japan’s Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto has hinted that the Games could be moved until later in the year. But the IOC president, Thomas Bach, said he was fully committed to staging a successful event, which starts on July the 24th. The IOC is seemingly reluctant to speculate on possible deadlines should the disease continue to spread.

As you will remember, the use of this inversion (should the disease continue to spread) is an alternative to an ordinary second conditional clause (if the disease continued to spread). By using the inversion, the speaker aims to emphasise that remote possibility in the context of the sentence. (More about inversions for emphasis here).