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Want to improve your grammar knowledge so you can communicate better or use your skills to make money from home? In this Grammar Lion review, I’m diving into one resource that can help you achieve those goals.
Grammar is a tricky thing, even for proofreaders and editors.
Many of us think we’ve got it down because we were top of our English class in school, but then a few years later (or a few decades later!), we realize we’ve forgotten a lot of things.
We learn the rules we’ve been holding onto for dear life have changed.
If you write for a living or you want to become a proofreader, it’s wise to stay on top of the ways language has changed over the years. One way to do this is to take courses to update your skills.
I’ve taken a few grammar courses over the years, but the one that sticks out the most for me is Grammar Lion.
Here’s my Grammar Lion review to help you decide if it’s the right grammar course for you.
What is Grammar Lion: A Grammar Refresher?
Grammar Lion: A Grammar Refresher is a fun, easy-to-navigate, comprehensive online course in English grammar for anyone who wants to enhance their communication skills. It’s perfect for proofreaders, editors, and writers who want to hone their grammar knowledge.
Who teaches the course?
The course is taught by Ellen Feld who has been an online grammar instructor for over sixteen years. She holds a master’s degree in writing from the Johns Hopkins University and has taught college courses online and in the traditional classroom, including creative writing, developmental writing, and English composition. Ellen has worked as a newspaper reporter and copy chief, personal essayist, website reviewer, and writing coach.
After she became a mom, Ellen switched from in-person teaching to online teaching and has helped thousands of people improve their grammar skills.
I’ve corresponded with Ellen multiple times over email and find her to be very responsive and knowledgeable.
What’s covered in the Grammar Lion course?
The course is broken down into twelve chapters, each covering a different area of grammar and punctuation.
Chapter 1. Parts of Speech
You’ll learn how to identify the different parts of speech: verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections. This lays the foundation for the rest of the course and gives you confidence that you’re using the correct vocabulary when you speak about grammar.
Chapter 2. Mixed-up Words
Everyone has words that they confuse all the time. You might get lay and lie mixed up (I know I do!). You might have a tendency to mix up certain contractions with possessive pronouns (e.g., its vs it’s).
This chapter will help you learn the difference between common homophones so you can spot them a mile off.
Chapter 3. Contractions and Possessives
The last chapter introduced contractions and possessive pronouns, but chapter 3 dives into them in a lot more detail. You’ll learn how to use the apostrophe correctly and when to avoid using it.
This chapter will help you ensure that you’ll never again use a contraction when you should have used a possessive pronoun.
Chapter 4. Subjects and Predicates
Subjects and predicates are the staples of sentence structure. The rest of a sentence is built around them. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to identify the subject and predicate in a sentence so you can make sure you (or your client) are writing in complete sentences.
Chapter 5. Sentence Fragments
Sentence fragments often leave the reader confused. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to spot sentence fragments and how to fix them so that the sentence is complete. You’ll also learn when it’s acceptable to use sentence fragments.
Chapter 6. Run-on Sentences
Before we learn how to punctuate long sentences correctly, many of us are guilty of creating run-on sentences that are confusing for the reader. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to identify run-on sentences and how to punctuate them correctly so your writing is easy to understand.
Chapter 7. Standard Verb Forms
Good use of verbs makes writing more interesting. In this chapter, you’ll cover the rules for regular verbs as well as irregular verbs. You’ll also learn how verbs are affected by person, number, tense, voice, and mood.
Chapter 8. Pronouns
There is more to pronouns than meets the eye. In this chapter, you’ll explore eight different pronoun groups and the surprising number of jobs they perform.
Chapter 9. Agreement
Does subject-verb agreement trip you up sometimes? What about pronoun-antecedent agreement? In this chapter, you’ll learn how to ensure agreement between different elements in your sentences. You’ll also learn what to do about compound subjects that represent a single unit and how to deal with collective nouns.
Chapter 10. Shifts in Person, Tense, and Structure
Inconsistencies in person, tense, and structure can leave readers scratching their heads trying to figure out what the author meant. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to recognize inconsistencies in writing and how to correct them.
Chapter 11. Clarity, Concision, Diction, and Logic
Clarity and accuracy are crucial in good writing. They ensure that the reader can follow and understand the story. In this chapter, you’ll focus on how the order of words and phrases affects the meaning of the sentence.
Chapter 12. Capitalization and Punctuation:
Capitalization and punctuation to provide the visual signs to tell us when to start, pause, stop, and start again. Without these guideposts, all hell breaks loose. In this chapter, you’ll master the basic rules of punctuation and capitalization.
What were my impressions of the course?
Grammar Lion is not the first grammar course I’ve taken. I’ve taken other courses over the years, but Grammar Lion is the best online grammar course I’ve found.
If you’re like me, maybe you have no recollection of learning grammar rules at school!
I must have been taught the rules of English grammar at some stage. I have vague memories of learning grammar as Gaeilge (in Irish), but none whatsoever of learning it in English.
So that’s why when I started proofreading as part of my former job, I was a bit wary that my skills weren’t up to scratch.
I took one course that, to be honest, didn’t really help all that much. The format of the course just didn’t gel with me. I struggled on and learned what I could from other resources over the years.
When I found Grammar Lion, I felt relieved. Finally, I’ve found a grammar course that’s stimulating and easy to follow!
Other courses are clunky, but I found it very easy to navigate through this course.
The course includes twenty-four quizzes so you can self-assess your skills. You identify gaps in your knowledge before you work through the chapter, and then you take another quiz at the end of the chapter to track your progress. The quizzes were my favorite part. Who doesn’t love being able to see how they’re progressing in real time!
Another thing I loved about the course is Ellen’s teaching style. She uses fun examples throughout, and also stresses that language changes over time. You don’t have to memorize the rules! Trying to memorize every single grammar rule is overwhelming, so I appreciate that Ellen emphasizes comprehension over memorization.
I also like that Ellen advocates using your resources. I’m a huge proponent of using books and style manuals to deepen your knowledge of grammar and punctuation.
How is this course different from other online grammar courses?
In many online courses, there’s no contact between students and instructors; with Grammar Lion, you get direct access to Ellen through a community discussion board AND you can email her privately. You’ll receive a response within one working day. There’s also a private Facebook group. Ellen is very hands-on, and that is a striking difference between this course and others I’ve taken.
What types of questions can I ask in the forum?
You can ask questions about anything grammar-related. Here’s a preview of some course topics you might have questions about: parts of speech, homophones, apostrophes, possessives, subjects and verbs, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, pronouns, active voice versus passive voice, punctuation (commas, ellipses, dashes, semicolons, and more), formal writing versus informal writing, and proofreading.
How long do I have to finish the course?
You get twelve weeks of access to the course. It’s designed to be completed over four weeks, but you can go at your own pace. Twelve weeks is plenty of time to complete the course, but it will also encourage you to dedicate some time to it now, rather than putting it off for someday.
That’s one of the dangers of courses that give lifetime access. You often never get around to finishing them because there’s nothing pushing you to do it. However, if you do want to get lifetime access to the material, you can pay a small sum to upgrade and get a PDF copy of the course lessons.
Will I get a certificate?
When you complete your course and pass your Final Quiz with a minimum score of 75%, you’ll automatically receive a completion certificate by email. The quiz is multiple choice.
It’s important to note that a certificate of completion is not a certification. There is no official grammar certification, but uploading your certificate of completion to your website or LinkedIn profile is a great way to show potential proofreading or writing clients that you’re proficient in grammar.
Is there a refund policy?
If you’re enrolled in Grammar Lion: A Grammar Refresher, you can ask for a refund during your first seven days. Personally, I don’t think you’ll want to ask for a refund once you get stuck into the course, but the option is there if it turns out not to be what you were hoping for.
Final thoughts in this Grammar Lion review
Let’s recap what’s included in the course:
- Twelve chapters that dive into topics like parts of speech, homophones, subject-verb agreement, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, and much more.
- Twenty-four quizzes to test your understanding and track your progress.
- A certificate of completion if you score 75% or more in the Final Quiz.
- Access to a community of people you can ask questions and bond with over your love of grammar through the discussion forum and private Facebook group.
- Direct access to the course instructor via the community forum or private email.
- Twelve weeks of access to the course, which will allow you to work through it at your own pace.
I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that I’m a fan of the course! If you’re wondering if Grammar Lion is worth it, my answer is YES! This course is perfect for anyone who wants to hone their grammar skills to communicate better or to make money as a proofreader or editor.
Commas tripping you up? Take this free comma course to refresh your knowledge.