A vital reference tool for teachers and higher-level learners

Over 600 short entries on common problems in English

Free sample entries available: see below.

Entries cover:
spoken and written grammar, vocabulary, spelling and pronunciation,
formal and informal language, British-American differences
Clear simple explanations; examples in natural everyday English
New revised and updated edition, reorganised into two parts for easier quicker reference:
1. Complete topic-by-topic student's grammar,
with section introductions highlighting common mistakes.
2. Guide to key vocabulary topics,
with A–Z list of over 250 common word problems.

Additional background notes on:
• changes in English
• the meaning of ‘correctness’
• standard English and dialect grammar
• other world varieties of English
• style and idiom
• politeness
• avoiding offensive language
and many other matters

When using the app, you can:
• find the information you want quickly through the Index search or the systematic Contents list
• navigate immediately between related entries through the many cross-references
• listen to demonstrations of pronunciation points
• create your own list of favourite entries
• go to ‘History’ to return to recent searches

Free sample entries

When do we use ‘will’, ‘going to’ or present progressive to talk about the future?
Can ‘they’ and ‘them’ have a singular meaning?
Why can't we say *‘She’s very interested in the nature’*?
When do we use ‘get’ as a passive auxiliary? For example: ‘He got caught.’
The truth about conditionals
When do we use ‘bring’ and when do we use ‘take’?
When do we use ‘can’, ‘could’, ‘may’ or ‘might’ to talk about permission?
How do we read out an email address?
How can we use a question to sound more polite?
When do we use ‘classic’ and when do we use ‘classical’?
How do we use passives like 'Her sister was given the car'?
Why can't we say *‘I look forward to hear from you’*?
When do we use ‘do’/’does’/’did’ in questions beginning ‘Who...’? And when not?

To access free sample, click ‘Get’ above

Ratings and Reviews

3.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

Andy Koval ,

Glad that I’ve bought it

Michael Swan’s Practical English Usage is the most comprehensive and the most helpful reference that I’ve seen over my two-decade struggle for a better English. And it’s twice as convenient to have it as an iPhone app.

Karthy's ,


I bought the previous version of the app for $39. Now, the past version is redundant; however, I didn’t get compensation for the old update. For the new version,the app developers told me to the buy the new update for another $30!

SardarAH ,

Old app ignored and new app released! Unfair.

I bought the other Practical English Usage app which was released a few years ago for iOS. I was expecting an update to support iPhone X and above screen size, but unfortunately I saw today that you have release a complete new app for practical English usage while ignoring the old app. Wouldn’t have been better for the ones who already have paid $39.99 for the old one had free of charge for the new one? Or at lease update the old one for us so that we enjoy using the app on new screen sizes rather having them on with smaller UI. Thanks.


Oxford University Press ELT
37 MB

Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating
Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
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