Practical English Usage 4th Edition

An indispensable guide to problems in English

The world’s most trusted guide to English language problems

Practical English Usage 4th Edition has sold over 2 million copies worldwide. Fully revised and updated,and now available online, in print and via an app. It is recommended for any teacher, trainee teacher, or advanced-level.


Michael Swan





  • Completely revised and updated to reflect changes in language use.
  • 600+ entries provide answers to the questions that learners typically ask, such as the language of emails, use of tenses, singular they, modal verbs, and more.
  • Now with an online version, giving users the choice of print, an offline app, and a website. The Practical English Usage app is available for iOS and Android devices.


Practical English Usage is now organised in two parts (grammar and vocabulary), making it easier than ever to find the answers, either online or in print:

  • Part 1 is a complete practical learner’s grammar with 28 sections, covering all the structural points that cause problems for learners.
  • Part 2 is a guide to vocabulary problems covering:
    • rules for word formation and spelling
    • a survey of high-priority vocabulary areas
    • an A–Z guide to over 250 common word problems

Discover more about the course in this handy brochure


  • Move easily through the entries using the “Previous” and “Next” buttons, or by following the many cross-references within entries.
  • Find out what you know and what you don’t know with 87 interactive Diagnostic Tests, including links to the relevant sections of Practical English Usage.
  • Use Practical English Usage on any device - on your PC, tablet, or mobile phone.

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