A Descriptive Grammar of English: Modern English grammar by example

A Descriptive Grammar of English


This is a Grammar of English for the 2020s, bringing together the attention to detail of a university grammar with the clear examples and simple explanations of a grammar that is accessible to all.

Described by its first independent reviewer as comprehensive, simple and logical this Descriptive Grammar of English – by example – not only explains the workings of contemporary English grammar in a clear and understandable way, but shows how simple the underlying rules really are.

This is a grammar book that answers the questions that students ask, with explanations that teachers can use – a book that goes into the nitty-gritty detail of English grammar not to show how complicated it is, but to demonstrate the mostly simple rules that lie behind contemporary English, both in writing and in speech.

Illustrated with hundreds of examples from everyday written and spoken English, it pays particular attention to the tricky questions that often baffle speakers of other languages, such as the use of articles and determiners, or of conjunctions and connectors, when to use an ‘s or an of for possession, which past tense to use, and other sometimes confusing points. How is it that native speakers seem to know by intuition how to put adjectives in the right order? What’s the difference between “couldn’t have” and “wasn’t able to” , and so on?

More generally it clarifies the essential patterns of English grammar that many native speakers know how to use but cannot explain. In English, as in other languages, most native-speakers usually follow the essential rules of grammar as if by intuition; in many cases they will be quite unaware of what the rules are… even that they exist. But rules or principles or guidelines do exist, and without them it would be very difficult to communicate properly and coherently.

Grammar is the highway code of any language, and people need either to learn it, or to absorb it subconsciously or by example, as children do, in order to speak or write proficiently.

An understanding of the basic rules of grammar is particularly essential for anyone wanting to teach English whether to native speakers or as a foreign language – especially to speakers of other languages, who may never be in a situation where they can absorb English from others around them.

By highlighting (literally) hundreds of short sentences and expressions, this new Grammar of English clearly illustrates and succinctly explains the rules that govern acceptable usage of the English language today. And where extra clarity is needed, it uses colour coding to stress pertinent points and to contrast different structures or functions. This is a grammar book for anyone, and no prior knowledge of linguistics is required.

Talking about grammar requires the use of the terminology of grammar, words that may not be familiar to all readers, and for this reason the book concludes with a simply explained glossary of grammatical terms.

Originally conceived for non-native speakers of English, particularly in the world of TESOL, it is also very much suited school and home use in English-speaking countries. In short it is for anyone who is looking for clear and example-based explanations of how English works and is written and spoken. As well as explaining the essential aspects of English grammar, it includes succinct and clearly illustrated sections on such important points as style word-order and punctuation. It distinguishes where appropriate between the usages of written and spoken English, and between British English and American English. All the points covered in this grammar are copiously illustrated with examples from everyday English, including memorable and familiar expressions that are hard to forget. Children are not the only ones who learn their grammar by example.

Book Details

  • Language: English
  • Published: 2020
  • ISBN-13 : 979-8645611750
  • Format: PDF

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