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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handy reference for writers, editors and linguistics students.
Larry Trask was one of the greatest contemporary writers on linguistics and grammar, and all his books are packed with lucid, complete, and often very witty descriptions. The cover of this book claims that it shows "How to use English correctly". This is perhaps misleading, because the book is not principally a usage guide. (Two other books by Trask - "Mind the Gaffe" and...
Published on 20 Nov 2007 by Historical Pedant

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok. Serves a purpose
A good tool for those studying English, but difficult for those with less understanding. Good for more advanced terminology and understanding.
Published 15 months ago by Claire Brown


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handy reference for writers, editors and linguistics students., 20 Nov 2007
This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (Penguin Reference Books) (Paperback)
Larry Trask was one of the greatest contemporary writers on linguistics and grammar, and all his books are packed with lucid, complete, and often very witty descriptions. The cover of this book claims that it shows "How to use English correctly". This is perhaps misleading, because the book is not principally a usage guide. (Two other books by Trask - "Mind the Gaffe" and "The Penguin Guide to Punctuation - do provide solid, clear guidance on writing; anyone looking for instruction on how to write well should get hold of copies of these books first - they are indispensable.) The "Dictionary of English Grammar" contributes to better writing in a more indirect way. It provides succinct and clear definitions of terms and concepts, many of them quite technical, that are used to describe English grammar. In so doing it "enables us to see how language works and how to use it in the right ways" (from the back cover). Despite running to only 148 pages, the book is pretty comprehensive, and just as important it is contemporary. Authorities on English grammar often use terms and concepts in different and conflicting ways, and this can leave the student perplexed and irritated. A major value of Trask's book is that it summarizes these differences; for example, traditional and more recent definitions of "clause" are both explained. So if you have been confused by the varied terminologies used in different sources, this book will provide invaluable help in resolving your questions. This book is a handy reference for anyone interested in the structure of English and the vocabulary used to describe it. But be warned; this is a dictionary of grammatical terms, not a grammar. It makes an ideal partner to a student grammar (such as Longman), but it is not a substitute for one.
Incidentally, the earlier reviewer who was made cross by the use of "who" in an object position would do well to read the entry under "Objective" on page 92, and better still should look up the entry under "Whom" in "Mind the Gaffe" (p296).
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5.0 out of 5 stars So useful, 4 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (Penguin Reference Books) (Paperback)
This book is brilliant for keeping on hand to look up terms. I found it particularly useful when wanting to reference definitions for my university coursework. I use it all the time - I couldnt do my grammar module without it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 3 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (Penguin Reference Books) (Paperback)
This book is very useful for any students studying English language. It provides clear definitions and examples for many key words and concepts related to English grammar.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ok. Serves a purpose, 1 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (Penguin Reference Books) (Paperback)
A good tool for those studying English, but difficult for those with less understanding. Good for more advanced terminology and understanding.
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27 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for undergrad degree students!!, 15 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (Penguin Reference Books) (Paperback)
This book explores the elementry aspects of English Grammar, word class etc but at a higher level and using different tests than what your average A level student will be used to, a great introduction to degree level linguistics and useful extra reading for A level students who are looking for the top grade.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars English as it is spoke., 27 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (Penguin Reference Books) (Paperback)
A good reference book but not in the same league as the Collins Instant Facts 'English.'
It could be more colloquial.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My review, 2 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (Penguin Reference Books) (Paperback)
The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar is a good book but is not as good as a Oxford Dictionary tut tut.
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42 of 83 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar, 14 Feb 2003
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (Penguin Reference Books) (Paperback)
What a waste of money! I was somewhat surprised to find as early as page 2 a glaring grammatical mistake - "Younger than who" - surely should be "younger than whom". And how about this for a clear explanation - 'this means - "the book which the professor who the students who failed their exams complained about is hard to understand" '. Rather than clarifying English Grammar, this book would lead to confusion and error.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully designed cover, smells like a book, clear definitions, 18 Oct 2011
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N. Rutherford - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (Penguin Reference Books) (Paperback)
I think I'll be using this one a lot, given that Swales and Feak throw grammar around as though people learn it in school.
I've found the definitions to be brief yet accessible.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unecessary, 3 Sep 2011
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (Penguin Reference Books) (Paperback)
This is probably one of the most unecessary books I have ever had the misfortune to purchase and at an RRP of GBP7.99 it is a rip-off.

First, this is a DICTIONARY of words relating to English grammar. This escaped my attention when I brought it and I regret it. It literally simply defines words like "main verb". You might as well just get a normal dictionary and use that if you want a dictionary of words relating to English grammar.

Second, what you are probably looking for is Pocket Fowler's Modern English Usage. This is excellent in terms of guiding you on grammar and usage. Alternatively, you can use a punctuation book. This book, however, is one of the most pointless and I've never had occasion to use it.
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