English: language resources

The Library and Language Service have joined forces to select a series of resources for English. This dossier includes reference works and tools to help resolve doubts on spelling, grammar or vocabulary. You can also find resources to help with pronunciation or to keep up-to-date with the news and new developments in the use of English.

Last modified: 

The Language Service

It provides resources and criteria for language use and editing in Catalan, English and Spanish.
References according to the ISO 690 standard
Practical guide to English usage. Bibliographical references section.
Practical Guide to English Usage (Language Service, UOC)
This guide covers the English language needs arising at the UOC which the Language Service has worked.


This section has a selection of lexicographic reference works.

Oxford Dictionaries
It offers free access to a number of the dictionaries produced by the Oxford University Press and grammar section.
Merriam-Webster produces the leading dictionaries for US English.
Cambridge University Press has been publishing dictionaries for learners of English since 1995.
OneLook Dictionary Search
A search engine for words and phrases.
Acronym Finder
Abbreviations dictionary providing the definitions of acronyms, initialisms and other shortened forms.
Collins Dictionary
A dictionary that has been published by Harper Collins since 1819.
MacMillan Dictionary
A dictionary that has been published since 2002.
Oxford Advanced American Dictionary
The dictionary on the Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries website.
A dictionary that offers the most common word combinations in British and American English.


These resources can help resolve any possible doubts relating to the conjunction of verbs.

A list of frequent irregular verbs in English produced by the British Council.


Bilingual and multilingual dictionaries and databases to help with translations.

The EU's inter-institutional terminology database.
A search engine with which you can search billions of bilingual texts for words and expressions.
A tool to find the word selected and offer its definition, synonyms & antonyms or translation into other languages.
Oxford Dictionaries (Spanish-English)
The English-Spanish dictionary offered by Oxforddictionaries.com

Grammar questions and doubts

This section has resources to resolve all kinds of doubts about language and grammar.

A question and answer site for linguists, etymologists and serious English language enthusiasts.
A useful and fun guide to mixed-up, mangled expressions and commonly mispronounced words.
Oxford Dictionaries (Grammar)
Useful information on English grammar and usage from the people behind the Oxford dictionary.
Headway Upper-Intermediate
A section of the Oxford University Press website dedicated to an intermediate academic grammar level.
Self Access Corner
The section of the Self Access Corner website on the Xarxa Telemàtica Educativa de Catalunya (XTEC).


This section offers a range of tools including resources to improve writing or machine translation systems.

Interuniversity Style Guide for Writing Institutional Texts in English
A style guide designed for people who have to write institutional documents in English.
Writing Guides: Scholarly Publishing
They address issues related to the publication of research work.
Research Writing
The University of Florida University Writing Center is a resource for writing, research and scholary writing.
A selection of tools and resources to help Catalan speakers learn English.
This tool can check your grammar in your browser and offers helpful advice to improve your writing.


This section offers tools to find out how to pronounce words in different languages.

The place where you can find millions of words pronounced in their original language.
Online English pronunciation dictionary.
Pronunciation lessons 5 minute english
Pronunciation section of the English teaching website 5 Minute English.
ship or sheep
English pronunciation website based on the similarities between two sounds.


This section has databases with large numbers of words and the contexts in which they appear.

A 100-million word collection of samples of written and spoken British English from the late 20th century.
The largest freely available corpus of English, and the only large and balanced corpus of American English.
Springer Exemplar
Springer Exemplar searches the contents of Springer's journals to provide words in context.
Google Books Ngram Viewer
Graphs showing how phrases occur in a corpus of books over a period of time.

Keeping up-to-date

This section has a selection of websites and blogs with news and new developments from the world of languages.

Lingua Franca
A blog about language and writing in academe from the Chronicle of Higher Education.
World Wide Words
The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings.
Grammar Girl provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing.
Words are powerful tools and deserve careful use, but language usage changes constantly.
Notes on the use and abuse of languages around the world, in a blog named after the dictionary-maker.


Writing Skills - EnglishClub
Section of the EnglishClub website with guides to help users write in English.
Writing help - Oxford Living Dictionaries
Help section on writing within the grammar section of the Oxford Living Dictionaries website.
Academic Writing - Warwick
Academic writing section from the University of Warwick's Faculty of Social Sciences.


English Word Games - Learn English Today
Section of the Learn English Today website for learning English through word games.


Short Stories - EnglishClub
Section of the EnglishClub website with short stories for increasing English vocabulary.
Metropolitan Barcelona
Magazine published in English dedicated to the city of Barcelona and aimed at visitors.
Short Stories - East of the Web
Section of the East of the Web website dedicated to stories in English.
World News in English - The Big Project
Website with links to newspapers in English from around the world.
The Times Higher Education
Website for The Times Higher Education journal, covering news items related to higher education.


SUB Ingles
A website which offers song videos in English with subtitled lyrics.
BBC News
BBC website in English of the department responsible for current affairs.


Learn English Network
An NGO which has provided support to students and teachers of English since 1999.
BBC Learning English
A BBC website that has been teaching English since 1943, with free audio, video and written materials