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Exploring Grammar in Context: Upper-intermediate and Advanced [Paperback]

Ronald Carter , Rebecca Hughes , Michael McCarthy


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Book Description

21 Sep 2000 0521568447 978-0521568449
Corpus-based reference/practice grammar emphasising speech and grammar choices in context. Exploring Grammar in Context draws on real spoken and written English from the most up-to-date research in the Cambridge International Corpus. Clearly structured units focus on main grammar areas with key points summarised in 'Observations' and 'Summary' panels. It also offers practical support and useful reference material. Key Features: • Real spoken and written English examples of grammar as it is used today. • A wide range of exercises enable students to check their understanding and progress. • The answer key offers detailed explanations, a glossary of grammar terms and supporting grammar reference notes.


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Book Description

Exploring Grammar in Context draws on real spoken and written English from the most up-to-date research in the Cambridge International Corpus. Clearly structured units focus on main grammar areas with key points summarised in 'Observations' and 'Summary' panels. It also offers practical support and useful reference material. Key Features: • Real spoken and written English examples of grammar as it is used today. • A wide range of exercises enable students to check their understanding and progress. • The answer key offers detailed explanations, a glossary of grammar terms and supporting grammar reference notes.

About the Author

Rebecca Hughes is Chair of Applied Linguistics at the University of Nottingham. She is the co-author of Exploring Grammar in Context (with Ronald Carter and Michael McCarthy) and author of Exploring Grammar in Writing both with Cambridge University Press. Her other main research interests are in spoken language, and language policy for Higher Education.

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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad grammar in a grammar text. Buyer beware 19 July 2012
By Brad Johnston - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Extract" on page 9. "The pilot said, 'you can go in the cabin', you see. Well, my mouth dropped open ... you see ... Oh, I'd had a joke with one of the girls, you know, the stewardess girls, and, maybe it was her. Or there was a young man with us who had been in our hotel, maybe he'd said something. Somebody had anyway. So they took me right into where the two pilots were. It was absolutely fantastic."

The instruction is to underline the verbs that are in the past perfect tense. The problem, Ronald and Rebecca and Michael, is that NONE of the verbs you think are in the past perfect tense (because they LOOK like it because they're in the right FORM) are in the past perfect tense. The first one is a fine example of 'had' in front of a past tense verb (I'd had a joke); the second uses 'had been' where 'was' belongs (who had been in our hotel); the third puts 'had' in front of a past tense verb (maybe he'd said something); the fourth uses 'had' instead of 'did' (Somebody had anyway).

These demonstrate the three principal error categories in the misuse of the past perfect. The first, 'had' in front of past tense verbs, has a variant that arises when people try to put 'had' in front of an irregular past tense verb and force the irregular past participle, as in the next example on page 9: "The police told me he <had done> DID it very often".

I've been criticized for saying that some authors 'make a mess of the past perfect' but surely it applies here. As usual, errors in examples arise because the definition the authors propound is in error. Bad examples flow easily from bad definitions, theirs being that the past perfect is used to describe events which happened before other events in the past. Thus they would have us write or say, "Aristotle HAD DIED before Christ was born" and "I WAS born in Nashville and my father HAD BEEN BORN in Amarillo", both of which are incorrect. (Sorry. I'm not shouting but Amazon won't let me underline; hence the caps.)

This grammar text is uninformed regarding the past perfect. It is an important tense and should not be overlooked, but you will have to go elsewhere for enlightenment. Remember: "had + the past participle" is NOT the definition of the past perfect. It only describes the FORM the verb takes when properly (meaningfully) used. The past perfect MEANS something. These authors would deprive it of its meaning.
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