River Thames near Hampton Court
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English Learner Home Page

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To start with...

...this website might look or feel slightly 'different' because it is custom-built and not created from any template. The color scheme has been kept plain and simple, with good contrast throughout to make reading easier for all age groups.

Each page is formatted for your computer screen or iPad rather than the smartphone you carry with you everywhere. This is so we can present key English learning points in table form with clear examples always in view alongside. Busy students preparing to sit exams will not want to waste too much time scrolling up and down, especially on a very small screen.

You will find useful terms hyperlinked to their definitions elsewhere on the site, and in the British and American vocabulary glossaries expressions with differering meaning on either side of the Atlantic are cross-linked for quick comparison.

DavidAppleyard.com in 2004The approach to grammar is a traditional one. Just as with safe driving, language acquisition and effective communication are helped along by some basic rules of the road.

Lastly, our new domain name Tolisto.com is easy to remember and easy to share, as are the shorter page URLs. So anytime you wish to review e.g. English tenses, simply go to tolisto.com/tenses.html.

Whether you are a native speaker of English or a non-native learner, we hope you will find something of interest. All genuine feedback is most welcome here, and thank you for today's visit!

Main Menu


Master the subtleties of English punctuation so you can express yourself with greater accuracy.

Spelling Rules

Your compact guide to correct spelling, both British and American

English Grammar at a Glance

A glossary of key grammar and linguistic terms

Article Usage

A short article on articles in English, and when to use A, AN, THE, or nothing at all

Tense Usage

Do tenses make you tense? Let us relieve those tensions — past, present and future!

Irregular Verbs A–Z

Traditional listing of irregular verbs in alphabetical order. Easily find the verb that you want.

Irregular Verb Patterns

Irregular verbs presented in groups with common inflection patterns for faster memorization


Playful, easy-to-remember MP3-audio practice drills for standard British English

Words Often Confused

Learn to distinguish between words which look or sound alike.

Transatlantic Vocabulary Variants

British–American and American–British glossaries

Territory-Related Words

Summary of nations, nationalities, nationality adjectives, and languages spoken in each territory

Sound Symbolism

Initial sounds that seem to convey a certain message

Grammar for Japan

A bilingual glossary of grammar terms, with examples

East–West TimelinesEast-West Timelines

Tracking Chinese and Korean dynasties, Japanese eras, English monarchies and, later on, British prime ministers and U.S. presidents side by side, this 2,022-year timechart shows at a glance who prevailed in each jurisdiction in any given year and how long they had been there. Helpful for history students. Contextualizes classic English literature.


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