The Survey of English Usage carries out research in English Linguistics and was the first corpus linguistics research centre established in Europe (the second in the world). We have been building corpora and analysing grammar for more than 50 years, and our parsed corpora and software remain world-leading. We are based in the Department of English Language and Literature at UCL. More...


Summer School
Summer School in English Corpus Linguistics

Our fifth Summer School in English Corpus Linguistics ran from Wednesday 5 July to Friday 7 July 2017.

The Summer School is an introduction to Corpus Linguistics for students of language and linguistics and teachers of English. Participants should have a basic knowledge of English linguistics and grammar. Students gained experience with a state-of-art corpus and an understanding of basic statistical ideas.

If you are interested in attending next year, you can email us at

More information

English Grammar Day 2017

Monday, 3 July 2017 saw the fourth English Grammar Day at the British Library, jointly organised by the Survey of English Usage, the University of Oxford and the British Library.

Join leading language authorities to reflect on the state of, and attitudes towards, English grammar and vocabulary.

The first three English Grammar Days were very successful events: they were fully booked and attracted a great number of teachers and school children, as well as members of the public and the press.

Speakers for 2017 are Times journalist, Oliver Kamm; language specialists Geoffrey Pullum, Devyani Sharma, Marcello Giovanelli and Lucy Dipper; and secondary school teacher Eleanor Trafford. Public participation is encouraged in a Panel chaired by English Professor John Mullan.

You can watch the short video below about last year's English Grammar Day.

More information from the British Library

The ISLE 5 Conference
ISLE 5 – The 5th International Conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English

We are very pleased to announce that the Survey is hosting ISLE 5, the Fifth International Conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE), from 17-20 July, 2018.

ISLE 5 will take place at Senate House, University of London.

For more information about the conference, the call for papers and key dates, see the ISLE 5 Conference website.

Survey Seminars

The Survey Seminar speakers for the Spring term were Ellen Smith-Dennis (Warwick), talking about language endangerment and linguistic change in Papapana, and Rob Lawson (Birmingham City), who spoke about a socio-corpus study of masculinity and language in a 'Pick Up Artist' online community.

More information.

Grammar Practice KS2

App for iOS - Android coming soon

Our very latest mobile app, Grammar Practice KS2, is designed for UK primary school students to test themselves in preparation for the Key Stage 2 Grammar Test at the end of Year 6.

Developed as a spin-off of the Englicious project, GP KS2 contains:

  • Extensive practice material — 50 exercises with nearly 3,000 test questions.
  • The complete 'non-statutory' New UK National Curriculum Grammar Glossary as a bonus, plus explanations from the Englicious website.

The test changed this year — our app is up-to-date.

Grammar Practice KS2
Other UCL English Apps

Our website is 'mobile-friendly'. Hand-held users have the option of a new 'mobile reader mode' alongside the standard desktop view.

Release Candidate 2 of ICECUP 3.1.1 now available

The latest version of our state-of-the-art ICECUP software is now available as a beta release for download from our website ahead of the official release in 2016.

The Release Candidate 2 package contains a new software codebase created with Visual Studio, and a new complete help file. Most importantly, the software has been reworked extensively to ensure that it is compatible with 64bit and 32bit versions of Windows, from XP to Windows 10.

You can also download a free ICE-GB sample corpus to experiment for yourself.

Watch a 'flash' preview demo of ICECUP
Download the software

Free Grammar Resources for School Teachers — the Englicious Website

We are pleased to see our Englicious website going from strength to strength, with more teachers signing up every day. Englicious ( is an online resource for improving the teaching of English grammar and literacy in UK schools. Our site uses the latest UK National Curriculum grammar terminology and spans both the primary and secondary sectors.

We also run a course for school teachers, in conjunction with the UCL Institute of Education, called Grammar for Teachers, which uses Englicious.

Englicious website
English Grammar for Teachers course

In the following video, school teachers at St Aidan's Primary School, North London, talk about their experience using Englicious in the classroom.

Grammar Teaching KT Project
Teaching English Grammar in Schools

Englicious was developed out of the AHRC Knowledge Transfer Fellowship Creating a Web-Based Platform for English Language Teaching and Learning started in 2010. This project involved building a website of interactive structured English language courses with a grammatical focus, initially tailored to the goals of the National Curriculum’s Key Stages 3-5. The resource consists of lesson modules dynamically accessing the corpora based at the Survey. The project was subsequently supported by the EPSRC via a UCL BEAMS Enterprise Award in 2012.

The Survey was subsequently awarded Follow-on Funding in 2013 for Impact and Engagement by the AHRC to develop teaching and learning materials for English primary schools. The new content is specifically aimed at pupils at Key Stages 1 and 2 in three domains, namely spelling, punctuation and grammar, and forms part of the Englicious website. This short project started on 1 September 2013 and ran for six months.

St Aidan's Primary School NATE

The UCL team worked closely with a number of partners, namely the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE), St Aidan's VC Primary School in north London, and UCL Business PLC (UCL’s Technology Transfer company).

More information

Academic guidance in your pocket!

App for iOS and Android

We are proud to announce the release of Academic Writing in English (AWE), a new app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices. AWE is an interactive self-learning course in academic writing that takes you on a journey from critical thinking skills and organising your writing, via questions of English word choice and grammar, to identifying (and addressing) ambiguity in your own writing.

AWE is for undergraduates, postgraduates, professional academics and secondary school students preparing for university – in short, anyone who does academic writing. It is for native and non-native speakers of English.

Verb Phrase book published

The grammar of English is often thought to be stable over time. However a new book, edited by Bas Aarts, Joanne Close, Geoffrey Leech and Sean Wallis, The Verb Phrase in English: investigating recent language change with corpora (Cambridge University Press, 2013) presents a body of research from linguists that shows that using natural language corpora one can find changes within a core element of grammar, the Verb Phrase, over a span of decades rather than centuries.

The book draws from papers first presented at a symposium on the verb phrase organised for the Survey’s 50th anniversary and on research from the Changing English Verb Phrase project.

For more information, table of contents and sample articles see here.

Grammar at your fingertips:

App for iOS and Android

We are proud to announce the release of the iGE App for the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices. The interactive Grammar of English is a complete course in Modern English Grammar. iGE updates our popular Internet Grammar, and presents it as a mobile application for a phone or tablet.

Click here for more information. The latest iGE 1.1 release is published for Android and the latest Apple devices.

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Parsed Corpora of English

Two major parsed corpora of British English are available to order from the Survey of English Usage.

The Diachronic Corpus of Present-Day Spoken English (DCPSE) consists of 87,000 trees and 800,000 words of spoken English across the decades. Release 2 of the British Component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-GB) is an upgrade of the popular 1 million-word ICE-GB corpus. Both corpora are released with the new ICECUP 3.1 software.

More information, free sample downloads and order forms are here.

Full contact information

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This page last modified 11 July, 2017 by Survey Web Administrator.