PTE Grammar Practice: Tips, Tricks, And Important Rules

Posted on 14/06/2023 by Moni PTE Magic

A solid grammar background will give you an edge in the PTE Reading section. Plus, it contributes to high scores in other areas of the PTE academic exam.

However, many students are too focused on improving their listening and speaking skills. They overlook grammar as a key element throughout the PTE test.

This post will show you the importance of PTE grammar and the golden rules for acing the PTE Reading exam with the best score.

(See our Vietnamese version here)

Related: See this PTE exam preparation guide if you really want to score 79+!

Why is PTE grammar practice important?

In the real world, English is a global language used daily in the communication environment of school and work in English-speaking countries.

Even when travelling, speaking English makes everything so much easier.

To join an academic environment or take an English proficiency test, you must first build a strong vocabulary and apply proper grammar.

Grammar is a key element of the PTE test. The PTE exam is a standardized English Language exam measuring your English speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills.

The PTE test will evaluate your grammatical understanding through written discourse, oral fluency, pronunciation, and vocabulary.

While the AI system will assess your grammar skills in all PTE sections, grammar plays an important role in the Reading test.

Grammar skills will help you comprehend the reading text. You must master the tense system, proper usage of articles and pronouns, etc.

You can gain grammar scores from tasks such as Fill in the Blanks, Summarize Written Text, Summarize Spoken Text, and Essay Writing. These question types set specific grammatical grading requirements.

Therefore, you need to brush up on strong PTE grammatical skills to boost your PTE score. Besides fluency and vocabulary, you should practice controlling grammar properly.

Good grammar knowledge will give you confidence in the PTE Reading section and daily communication.

Related: PTE Collocation List: Tips & Tricks To Memorize

PTE grammar rules you must remember

pte grammar tips and tricks

Grammar matters in the PTE reading test. Therefore, you have to build strong grammar skills. The following ten crucial PTE grammar rules will help you:

Rule 1:  Have/has/had + past participle tense (V3)

After have/has/had, choose the past participle of a verb with the form -ed or the third form.


The project has been accepted by the manager.

Alan had finished his project right before the deadline last week.

I have worked as a nurse for 15 years.

Rule 2: Am/is/are/was/were + past participle tense (V3)

After am/is/are/was/were, choose the past participle of a verb with the form -ed or the third form.


The customer team is assigned lots of tasks.

Our company was bought by a big corporation last month.

However, the verb is sometimes the first form after is/am/are/was/were.


Kim was sleeping when the bell rang.

My friends are coming to Lily’s wedding party.

Rule 3: Be/being/been+ past participle tense (V3)

After be/been/being, choose the past participle of a verb with the form -ed or the third form.


Her favourite vase has been broken by her little daughter.

Rule 4: Preposition ‘to’ + first form of the verb (V1)

After the preposition “to”, choose a verb in the present or first form of the verb.


She wants to register for a nursing course in Australia.

Rule 5: Preposition with, of, for, about + verb-ing

After the prepositions ‘with’, ‘of’, ‘for’, and ‘about’ (except for ‘to’), use verbs ending in ‘-ing’.


He was sorry for not picking me up.

My son dreamed of becoming an astronaut in the future.

Rule 6: Articles a/an/the + noun

There are two types of articles:

  • The definite article ‘The’
  • The indefinite article ‘a’, ‘an’

‘A’ or ‘an’ frequently appears before ‘the’ before the same noun in a paragraph.

Remember that nouns always come after articles. So, if the blank comes after a/an/the, you can immediately identify the noun from the list of options.

Here are the 3 Article Rules:

  1. “An” comes before words that begin with a vowel sound—five vowels” a, e, i, o, u.

Example: an aeroplane, an orange, an egg

  1. “A” comes before words that begin with consonants.

Example: a cat, a house, a tree

  1. ‘The’ appears before noun forms to emphasize that the reader knows the noun’s identity.

Example: “I will buy the car which comes with a high-class interior“. The speaker means a specific car that is mentioned before.

Rule 7: Article a/an/the + adjective + noun

While rule 6 indicates that a/an/the comes with nouns, they may additionally occur with noun phrases (adjective + noun).

If there is a space between an article and a noun, you can add an adjective to fill it.

Example: a high mountain, an unforgettable memory

Rule 8: Modal verb + first form of the verb

can/ could/shall/should/may/might/will/ would/must/have to + first verb form

A modal verb (or modal auxiliary verb) expresses the certainty and uncertainty of action.


You must park your car in the parking zone.

Jack can finish the task before this weekend.

My sister should prepare well before the exam date.

Rule 9: Many + Plural nouns

After ‘many’, use a plural noun to fill in the gap. The plural form of a noun will always end with “s or es”.


Many birds were startled by the sound of gunfire.

Rule 10: Conjunction rule

The verb form must remain consistent before and after a conjunction


I will quit this job and start a new career in Australia.

Other rules

Remember the above ten key rules may help you score 80+ on the Reading test. Plus, note some other common rules to maximize your score.

  • Don’t use “with” with “being”.
  • Use “in” for cars and taxis; “on” for bicycles and public transit.
  • Use “at” for a specific address; at a general location (at the station); “in” for cities and towns (in New York)
  • Use “at” with times (at 5 am); “on” with dates and days (on 12th May); “in” for longer periods (in 1999).
  • Use “until or till” (until next year) to express how long a situation continues.
  • Use “for a period of time” (for one year) to express how long something lasts.
  • Use “during+noun” (during the exam) to describe when something occurs.
  • Use a noun with a preposition (for example, the reason for).
  • “Despite” or “in spite of” goes with a noun, a pronoun, or –ing. “Although” comes before a clause.
  • “In time” means early enough to do something. “On time” means not late, punctual.

PTE grammar tips and tricks

Grammar may be frustrating for many PTE candidates because of its complex rules.

However, applying grammar correctly in the PTE Reading section is crucial to get a high score.

Memorize the above rules and get PTE grammar practice tests with the following tips and tricks.

Identify word types

You can determine the word type to use to fill in the blanks after skimming the text. It can be a preposition, verb, adverb, adjective, or noun.

All word types have position rules. For example, adjectives always come before nouns.

However, don’t be subjective! You need to carefully read the words before and after the blanks to eliminate the possibilities.

Make it a habit to read

Read frequently but do not skim! Scan the text carefully! You will encounter new vocabulary, grammatical rules, and usage.

Analyze difficult grammatical phrases. This will be greatly beneficial to your grammatical skills.

Take notes and make examples

Besides focused and active reading, note down any new words and grammar knowledge.

Try to explain it as simply as possible. Give it an example to grasp its usage. This way, you will remember grammar usage better.

Observe how native speakers use grammar

Try watching without subtitles! Study how native speakers use dialect, vocabulary, and grammatical usage.

Practice, practice, practice

Memorizing grammar rules is not enough. You must be able to use them correctly in any context.

However, this requires time and practice.

You should take as many PTE mock tests as possible until you familiarize yourself with the grammar rules. Additionally, use English daily. Speak at the right speed to control your use of grammar.


Grammar rules are easy to memorize, but you need to spend time and practice.

Check out our mock tests to improve your grammar skills. Contact us today!

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Moni PTE Magic

My name is Moni, and I am a seasoned PTE teacher with over 6 years of experience. I have helped thousands of students overcome their struggles and achieve their desired scores. My passion for teaching and dedication to my student’s success drives me to continually improve my teaching methods and provide the best possible support. Join me on this journey toward PTE success!

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