Angela Downing holds B.A. Honours and M.A. degrees in French and Spanish from the University of Oxford, where she was Somerville Scholar. She is also a graduate of the Complutense Universidad of Madrid, where she obtained a PhD in Linguistics. She was Full Professor in English Language and Linguistics at the Universidad Complutense from 1986 until 2003, when she became Professor Emeritus.
Her research interests and numerous publications centre on functional grammar, discourse analysis and pragmatics. With Philip Locke she co-authored A University Course inEnglish Grammar (Prentice-Hall 1992), which in 1993 was awarded First Prize in the Grammar and Dictionaries category of the Duke of Edinburgh´s Award, while the Premio de Investigación Enrique García Díez was awarded by AEDEAN in the same year. A second edition was published by Routledge in 2002, followed by a second revised edition in 2006 under the title English Grammar: A University Course. A third edition was published in January 2015 under the authorship of Angela Downing.
She has co-edited several collections of articles, including Patterns in Discourse and Texts (1998) and Talk and Text. Studies on Spoken and Written Discourse (2000), with A. J. Moya and J. I. Albentosa (Cuenca, Ediciones de la Universidad de Castilla La Mancha). Also co-edited, with Mª de los Ángeles Gómez González, Francisco José Ruiz de Mendoza Ibañez and Francisco Gonzálvez García, is the volume titled The Functional Perspective on Language and Discourse (2014, Benjamins).
Angela Downing was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Estudios Ingleses de la Universidad Complutense from its foundation in 1992 through 2006, and was General Editor of Atlantis, the Journal of the Spanish Association for Anglo-American Studies (AEDEAN) from November 2005 through 2011.
She also taught Doctoral Courses from 1980 onwards through 2003 and has supervised over 20 Doctoral Theses. She is currently Honorary Professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.