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IS GRAMMAR FOR FIRST THAT DIFFICULT?

Having a good knowledge of grammar is extremely important for doing well in the FCE exam. But you have to remember that just knowledge is not enough! They are going to be testing your grammar skills.


But the good news is that you don't need to know very complex grammatical structures. You will probably already know how to use most of the ones that you will find in the exam.


You don't need an advanced level of grammar, there will only be grammatical structures which are suitable for the level of the exam.



Which grammatical structures should you study for the exam then?


VERB TENSES

You need to make sure that you understand the main different uses they can have (in particular the 'present perfect') and how and when they can be used together (e.g. the 'past perfect' with the 'past simple').

  • Present simple

  • Present continuous

  • Present perfect continuous

  • Present perfect

  • Past simple

  • Past perfect

  • Past continuous

  • Past perfect continuous

  • Future simple

  • Future continuous

  • To be going to


PASSIVE

  • Passive present simple

  • Passive present continuous

  • Passive present perfect

  • Passive past simple

  • Passive past perfect


REPORTED / INDIRECT SPEECH

  • Affirmative & negative sentences

  • Questions

  • Passive sentences in reported speech

  • Commonly used reporting verbs


LINKERS

You should know commonly used words and phrases (which are often called 'linkers') which are used to join two parts of a sentence.

  • Linkers of contrast (e.g. but)

  • Linkers of addition (e.g. and)

  • Linkers of reason (e.g. because of)

  • Linkers of purpose (e.g. to)

  • Linkers of result (e.g. so)

  • Linkers giving examples (e.g. such as)

MODAL VERBS

You should know the main modal verbs, what they are used for (e.g. show ability, give advice etc...) and how to use them when talking about the present, future and past.

  • Modals of ability

  • Modals of probability

  • Modals of obligation

  • Modals of prohibition

  • Modals of advice

  • Modals of request and permission

  • Verbs, adjectives and adverbs which aren't modals, but are used for expressing probability (e.g. have to, perhaps etc...)


RELATIVE CLAUSES

  • Defining relative clauses

  • Non-defining relative clauses


OTHER GRAMMATICAL STRUCTURES YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Conditional sentences (How to form zero, first, second, third and mixed conditionals. And the words used in them (e.g. if, as if, unless etc...)

  • Comparative sentences (using both adjectives and adverbs)

  • Superlative sentences (using both adjectives and adverbs)

  • Question tags

  • Sentences with wish (both for the present and past)

  • Countable and uncountable nouns

  • Prepositions (the prepositions used with specific nouns, verbs, adjectives and those used talk about time, frequency and place)

  • Gerunds and infinitives after verbs and adjectives (whether a verb is followed by a gerund or an infinitive)

  • Gerunds as nouns (why they are used and where in a sentence they are used)

  • Adverbs (common adverbs used to start a sentence (e.g. eventually) or modify a verb or adjectives)

  • Would (the main uses of the verb 'would')

  • Do (using 'do', 'does', 'did' for emphasis in sentences)

  • Used to and usually (the differences when using these)

  • Any, some, no and every (what they mean and when they are used)


And finally... just some few tips on how to study grammar

  • Study only one or two grammatical structures a week

  • Read regularly in English

  • Revise what you have studied

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