Sunday, April 15, 2018

C2-level Grammar List


Students of English who are preparing to sit an examination at C2 level often worry, amongst a million other things, about grammar. Whether the exam consists of a separate section that tests grammar or not, there is little doubt that the textbooks used in preparation for the exam include individual sections that explain a grammatical construct with subsequent exercises to consolidate a student's understanding.

The following list is one that should serve as a basis  for candidates and teachers. If a C2 exam candidate is able to outline the rules that apply to each and every element on this list, then they will be able to 


a) recognize the grammatical construct examined in a particular question of the exam (for instance, in the multiple choice questions of the grammar section of the ECPE or MSU-CELP, or in the Use of English section of the CPE)

b) use the 'best' C2 grammatical constructs, that is, ones that surpass B2 level due to their complexity. When such more complex structures are incorporated in the Speaking section of the exam (the oral component, in other words) or Writing section, then points will be awarded resulting in a higher mark.

This list should therefore serve as a checklist for students and teachers and specific sections need to be highlighted in particular. The aim is twofold: steer candidates away from pitfalls in the grammar section on the one hand, and encourage systematic usage of these highlighted sections in speaking and writing so that they become second nature.


As the blog grows, explanations and exercises for each of these points will be uploaded.



CPE / ECPE Grammar Checklist




1)   Present tenses

2)   Past tenses

3)   Present perfect tenses

4)   Past perfect tenses

5)   Future tenses

6)   Modals + modal perfect

7)   gerunds – infinitives

8)   passive voice

9)   causatives

10) reported speech (indirect speech)


12) conditionals

13) wishes

14) temporals

15) would rather / would sooner / would prefer

16) it’s time / as if / imagine

17) word order

18) question tags


20) emphasis

21) relative clauses

22) participle clauses

23) connectors

24) adjectives

25) adverbs

26) comparatives / superlatives

27) nouns / articles

28) quantifiers

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