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The English Verb: An Exploration of Structure and Meaning [Paperback]

Michael Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jan 1986 090671740X 978-0906717400
THE ENGLISH VERB is an exploration for teachers of the structure and meaning of the central verb system of English. Much that has been written about the grammar of English is detailed and can often seem confusing to the new teacher. Michael Lewis looks beyond the details and finds powerful general truths which help the teacher see English grammar as a coherent system.

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The English Verb: An Exploration of Structure and Meaning + About Language - Tasks for Teachers of English (Cambridge Teacher Training and Development) + An A-Z of ELT (Methodology)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Language Teaching Publications (1 Jan 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 090671740X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0906717400
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.5 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 160,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars we mean what we say 13 Jan 2004
For someone who has been through the trial of trying to learn a foreign language using a "prescriptive" grammar, Lewis' book is a very welcome breath of fresh air, he discusses eloquently, and with clear and appropriate examples, his idea of how English grammar *actually* works (there is none of the sermonising about "poor usage" that you find in traditional grammar books).
From the careful explanation of his key idea, that grammar should be a matter of *describing* how the language is used by native speakers, rather than an attempt to tell them how to use their own language; he goes on to explain in detail what is wrong with a lot of the supposed "rules" that people learning the English language are taught (rules regarding the use of "shall and will" or "the subjunctive" being good examples), and gives much better usage guidelines that can be used (admittedly, only with more advanced pupils) to give a much better understanding of how verbs work in English.
This is a must-read for anyone who wants to teach English as a foreign language. It is a very enjoyable read for anyone who just wants to understand more about the language works.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute eye-opener 1 Oct 2009
This has got to be essential reading for any grammarian and English Language teacher. It dispels the accepted awkward categorisations of verbs with which we are all familiar and demonstrates effective methods of explaining why and how verb tenses really work in the way they do. It has helped, enormously, my own understanding of verb tenses and has also enabled me to teach grammar in a new and invigorating way which has proven popular with students, particularly at upper-intermediate and advanced levels.

(No relation to the author, incidentally)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing short of an inspired work of genius 2 Jun 2009
A book full of revelations and "eureka moments". This book should be required reading for any teacher of English, at any level, in whatever setting, as well as for any student (typically of strong / upper-intermediate level) who feels stifled by a cumbersome and largely unwieldy set of repeatedly modified / updated / refined "rules of grammar." I cannot praise this book highly enough, nor recommend strongly enough that anyone to whom this book appeals also consider buying David Maule's "The naked verb - the meaning of the English verb tenses", which learners, especially at slightly lower levels, might find more digestible. Both books are replete with examples of natural English.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 28 Jun 2013
I can only re-echo what the other reviewers have said - this is essential and riveting reading for all English language teachers and fanatics. Well-written, interesting and clear explanations abound.
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