If you've already had a go at making your own SentenceBuilder resources on, you are likely to have experienced issues with sentences which don't appear quite as you would like them to.

Maybe you've wanted to know how to include annotations in the SentenceBuilder but not have these appear in the sentences that it generates? e.g. markers for masculine and feminine, such as "(m)" or "(f)"

Perhaps you've wanted to know how to make the English items appear in the correct order, for things like nouns and adjectives? e.g. "une voiture rouge" = "a car red" ???

Or how to solve the word order issues in German, especially around verbs being sent to the end of the clause? e.g. "Ich bin ins Kino gegangen" = "I am to the cinema gone" ???

These problems occur because sentences are generated (in both the L1 and the L2) by simply combining the items as they appear in the SentenceBuilder, moving from left to right.

You need to add something extra -- beyond just the SentenceBuilder contents -- if you want your SentenceBuilder to generate sentences that work.

And that something extra is... 

2 recent updates to Assignments on delayed start + audience

We thought we'd get ready for the new academic year 2022-23 (Northern hemisphere only, I know...!) by adding a couple of exciting new Assignment features that some of our users have been asking for for quite a while:

  1. Delayed start: i.e. assignments that become available from a specific date & time.

    This allows you to, for example, set assignments that only become available once a lesson starts, or once school is finished, or on a particular day. Great for setting cover work, for example. But also really good for planning in advance without being worried about students tackling assignments before they are ready to do them.
    See this blog post for full info about this new feature :)

  2. Audience: i.e. the ability to set an assignment for specific students as well as for the whole class.

    The new "Groups" feature that accompanies this upgrade makes it really easy to set assignments for a predefined group of students within your class, or you can simply select from the student list. Great for setting differentiated work. Also really good for setting catch-up assignments, or for reassigning to those who have missed or uncompleted assignments.
    See this blog post for lots more info about this new feature :)

The image above shows both of these features in the new Assignment pop-up, accessed via the Assignments tab of all of your classes on

We hope these 2 updates combined will offer you much more flexibility when it comes to setting assignments via our platform :o)

A look back at the 1st year of

16th April 2022 marks 1 year since SentenceBuilders was launched.

It's been a busy year!

Let's look back at how the site has developed in its first 12 months.

1. SB Premium Content

The original concept for the SentenceBuilders website was as a vehicle for providing interactive SentenceBuilders and interactive activities based on the SentenceBuilders from the best-selling Sentence Builders books from The Language Gym. (We only decided to add some rudimentary authoring functionality in the few weeks prior to launch!!)

So how has the SB Premium content developed in this 1st year?


Tracking student activity on

On there are several ways that students can get involved in interactive activities -- each involving a certain level of performance tracking -- so there's plenty of feedback available to teachers on student progress, effort, accuracy and time spent.


On SentenceBuilders you can set assignments based on any resource, whether an "SB premium" resource (created by the SentenceBuilders team for the website), or a "community" resource (created by our users).

Assignments can be "pre-defined" or "DIY"...

Direct translations + word order transformations: a German example

Very often the direct translation of chunks within a SentenceBuilder into English can produce L1 English sentences that are far from ideal.

Here's a German example:

In this example the English translation for the sentence (e.g. I ate ice cream) has been split across the first SB row so that it matches the German, as we would expect. In fact, though, the sentences generated by the SB are, for example:

Ich habe Eis gegessen >> I ice cream ate
Du hast Fußball gespielt >> You football played
Sie hat eine Tour gemacht >> She a tour did

This is logical and inevitable if the language is entered into the SB in this way and the sentences are not transformed.

So how can we improve on this?

Team Competitions

Inside the "Edit" tab of every class there is now (as of 28th March 2022) a "Manage teams" button. When you click this, you see a pop-up that looks something like the one in the image above.

This pop-up allows you to define teams for TEAM COMPETITIONS :)

When you go to set a Competition for your class, you'll now be asked to choose a "Competition mode", which means choosing between individuals or teams.

Here's how the competition teams settings work:

Some "creating a SentenceBuilders resource" walk-throughs...

Below you'll find a few "walk-through" videos in which I attempt to talk you through the process of converting a basic paper-based / column-based sentence builder into something that will work on, avoiding many of the pitfalls that are explained in detail in this blog post: "Creating [complex] interactive SentenceBuilder machines that work"

The video preview image for each video shows the finished SentenceBuilder. I've also included links to versions of the finished resources on the SentenceBuilders website (accessible by those who have a subscription).

French - Giving my name and age

The video:

The link to a similar finished resource:

French - School subjects, likes and dislikes

The video:

The link to a similar finished resource:

Spanish - Describing people - "ser" + adjectives (m/f/pl)

The video:

The link to a similar finished resource:

Hope you find this useful :)

Creating complex SentenceBuilders - a fabulous video guide by Julia Morris (@JuschMo)

SentenceBuilders subscriber Julia Morris has produced a REALLY USEFUL video user-guide for users of, which she has shared via her YouTube channel.

It is aimed at those users of the site who wish to use the authoring options to create their own SentenceBuilders (which, to be fair, is most of the teacher subscribers...)

Julia's guide deals with most aspects of creating your own resources, including:

  • Clearing data to start a new resource
  • Hints on adding content, including capitalization, etc.
  • Using the various SB tools to add rows and columns, split and merge cells etc.
  • Factors influencing SB design
  • Colour-coding of SB cells
  • Understanding "flow" (in-depth explanation with examples)
  • Adding vertical columns to enable "flow"
  • Excluding "impossible" routes / enforcing certain combinations (cell exclusions)
  • Using the "SB routes / Cell combos" pop-up
  • Using the Transformations pop-up
  • Excluding certain words from gap-fills
  • Introduction to vocab chunks and TTS transformations
  • "Verify now"
  • Uploading your resource

Here's the video. Enjoy!

Julia's video guide is a really good accompaniment to this (written) user-guide: "Creating [complex] interactive SentenceBuilder machines that work"

Hope you find this useful :o)