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EAL grammar exercises

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Count and Non-Count NounsArticlesPresent Perfect vs. Simple PastPractice with Prepositional Phrases

Count and Non-Count Nouns

Add final s/es to the nouns in italics if necessary. Do not change other words. The first sentence is done for you.

Example: Athena always has fresh eggs available because she raises chickens in her yard.

I had chicken and rice for dinner last night.
Outside my window, I can see a lot of tree, bush, grass, dirt, and flower.
Alton gave me some good advice. Nadia also gave me some good suggestion.
Yoko learned several new word today. She increased her vocabulary today.
I drank two glass of wine last night.

For an explanation of count and non count nouns, including more exercises, see pages 107-111 in Azar’s Understanding and Using English Grammar (3rd edition).


Complete the sentences with a/an, the, or no article Ø.

  1. We need to get __________________ new phone.
  2. Alex, would you please answer ______________ phone.
  3. __________________people use ___________________ plants in________________ many different ways. Plants supply us with oxygen. They are a source of __________ lifesaving medicines. We use plant products to build _________________ houses and to make ___________________ paper and _______________textiles.
  4. When you look at _________________ sandy shore, it might seem practically empty of ____________ animals. This appearance is deceptive, however. Beneath __________________ surface, the sand is full of ______________life. It is teeming with ____________ crabs, ______________ shrimp, _____________ worms, ___________ snails, and ____________________other kinds of ______________ animals.
  5. Our children enjoyed going to the beach yesterday. When they dug in ___________ sand, they found various kinds of _______________ animals. Susie found ___________ crab, and so did Johnny. _________________ crab Johnny found pinched him, which made him cry. But he had _____________ good time at _______________ beach anyway.

For an explanation of basic article usage, please consult pages 112-118 in Azar’s Understanding and Using English Grammar (3rd edition).

Present Perfect vs. Simple Past

Fill in the blanks.

Libraries today are different from those in the 1800s. For example, the contents of libraries (change)____________________________greatly through the years. In the 1800s, libraries (be)_______________________________simply collections of books. However, today most libraries (become)________________________multimedia centres that contain tapes, computers, disks, films, magazines, music, and paintings. The role of the library in society(change, also) _______________________. In the 1800s, libraries (be)_______________open only to certain people, such as scholars or the wealthy. Today libraries serve everyone.

For an overview of verb tenses, check out Chapters 1-4 of Azar. Also see: Simple Past, page 26, and Present Perfect, pages 36 to 41.

Practice with Prepositional Phrases

Identify the prepositional phrase:

1. Beetles destroyed the corn in the field.
2. The police officer cleared traffic from the intersection.
3. I parked my tiny car in my huge garage.
4. Trees fell during the Ice Storm of 1997.
5. Students depend on buses and bicycles for transportation.
6. We walked to White Mountain and ate ice cream yesterday.
Information on Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases can be found in the Supplementary Grammar Units section (A3) of Azar. Also note the Preposition Combinations chart on page A21.

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