Innovative Grammar Mind Map Is Perfect For Teaching English

catI tend to be an extremely linear thinker, so I don’t always love mind maps. Even though each branch can be fairly linear, something about the whole branching visualization of it doesn’t usually speak to me. I ran across this one today, and despite its many branches, I really like it.

Grammar can be tricky. We live in a world of self-proclaimed ‘grammar police’, and folks who admittedly ‘judge you when you use poor grammar’. While that’s fine (and I literally cringe when I see people misuse apostrophes), sometimes I think that we need to give grammar a little bit of a break. English grammar can be tough – it is a language full of as many exceptions as there are rules, and especially for those who are learning English as a second language, the grammar piece can be rough. Grammar can even be tough for native speakers. Despite hearing the language from an early age, grammar isn’t always taught as its own curriculum in schools, and what is picked up in every day life isn’t always correct.

The graphic below breaks down basic English grammar into eight branches, and then breaks down each branch a bit further. Despite my chronic linear thinking issue, I find that it is quite easy to understand. It might be a useful tool for your classroom, or even for yourself!

Basic English Grammar

The mind map below breaks down basic English grammar into eight branches.


  • comparative
  • descriptive


  • structure
  • SVA


  • restrictive
  • subjective
  • objective
  • possessive


  • countable
  • uncountable
  • verbal
  • deverbal
  • phrase


  • free
  • bound


  • action
  • transitive
  • intransitive
  • finite
  • non-finite


  • modify
  • -ly


  • participle
  • past
  • present
  • continuous
  • future




  1. Lucas Gruez

    November 25, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Thanks a lot to share this use of mindmapping. The work of Daniel Tay is great. I work for the french ministery of Education. When I was teacher of History and Geography in a junior high school, I started to use mind mapping and concept mapping with my pupils . Now I develop projects and I train about Innovation in Education with mindmapping, concept mapping and digital tools.

    Thanks for this post.
    Best regards
    Lucas Gruez

  2. Susan

    November 26, 2013 at 4:07 am

    This mindmap was far too confusing for my top Chinese university students. I’ll stick with X-Word Grammar by Robert Allen of NYU or the Silent Way.

    Color and creativity of the image appeals to people who’ve already internalized most grammar.