Oxford Launches Fourth edition of the Practical English Usage App – a World Bestseller and Vital Reference Tool that Helps Teachers and Higher-level Learners with Common Language Problems in English


The Fourth edition of Practical English Usage, a world bestseller with sales of over two million, is now available as an app. This vital reference tool helps teachers and higher-level learners with common language problems in English, making it quicker and easier to look up the 600+ entries in Practical English Usage.

Highly-respected and award-winning grammarian Michael Swan wrote Practical English Usage to provide clear answers to questions about the English language which both native and non-native speakers find difficult to explain. For example: When and why do English speakers use ‘the’?  Do I say ‘big’, ‘large’, or ‘great’? How do I read out an email address? The Fourth edition app replaces the Third edition app; it has been completely revised in line with Practical English Usage Fourth edition and updated to reflect changes in language use. The app is even easier to use and has a new layout with two clear and easy ways to find the answers: Index Search and Contents.

Managing Editor for ELT Dictionaries and Reference Grammar at Oxford University Press, Martin Moore, says “Practical English Usage holds a unique place in the hearts of teachers and learners of English. When faced with a tricky question about English grammar or vocabulary, they know that Practical English Usage will not only provide the answer, but will do so with Michael Swan’s characteristic clarity, simplicity and elegance. Thanks to the new app, teachers and learners can now find answers faster than ever and access the full riches of Practical English Usage from their mobile device.”


The Practical English Usage app deals with spoken and written grammar, vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, and differences between formal and informal language. It contains over 600 indexed entries covering all the important problems for learners of English. It includes notes on letters and emails, politeness, the meaning of ‘correctness’, differences between spoken and written English, British-American differences, and changes in English. Users can save their favourite entries, and can use the History list to review entries they have looked up.

Grzegorz Spiewak, former lecturer at the English Department of Warsaw University, active teacher trainer, ELT consultant and author, and founder of DOS-ELTea, describes Practical English Usage as “one of the few instant classics in our field, the ultimate reference book for a great many professionals, and an all-time favourite title on their grammar shelf.”[1]


Practical English Usage is available to download for Android and iOS. The app is now available to download for free with 13 free preview entries, and the full app is available to buy for £29.99 GBP (or $30.99 USD).

[1] Grzegorz Spiewak, Practical English Usage, 4th edn, fully revised, ELT Journal, Volume 72, Issue 4, October 2018, Pages 448–451, https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccy029