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4.3 out of 5 stars65
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 23 June 2012
This is a handy concise guide to some of the more common matters of grammar and punctuation (and some of the less common ones too). Being alphabetically arranged it's quite easy to navigate through this book.

It's very small, and so it doesn't cover things in great depth, rather it focuses on the more common points and deals with them in a superficial yet informative and useful manner. In doing so it keeps things simple and accessible.

If you're looking for something comprehensive then this isn't for you at all. This is more for quick reference and checking things which come up regularly in speech and writing, and to gain a general understanding of the subject matter. I would say that this book is not ideal to learn or check finer points, and if you use this as I do then it'd meet many but not all of your requirements. For the price you can't complain though.

There were however one or two things which didn't sit right with me, for instance in the section on direct speech it states that "Each new piece of speech begins with a capital letter, even if it is not at the beginning of the sentence", however this isn't always true, for example:

"The shark," whispered the narrator, "is a deft hunter."

The book also claims that prepositions can be put at the end of sentences, and infinitives can be split. While I acknowledge that modern usage certainly conforms to these descriptions and they are much more acceptable than they used to be, there are other authorities which would still state the contrary, particularly with regards to formal writing.

A proper contents page and an index would also do no harm, and I feel it's a shame that they're missing. Even though the topics are arranged alphabetically, they'd still be useful.

In summary I'd say it's handy for most "every day" queries, but it lacks a lot of detail and doesn't go into many of the more technical aspects of grammar and punctuation. It really just depends on what you're looking for though, this book may well suit your needs. The number of pages and the dimensions of the book can perhaps be used as an indication of its level of detail. I'm guessing it would be ideal for GCSE students and younger (but if you're doing your GCSEs then best check with your teacher whether or not this book will be sufficient).
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on 7 September 2010
This book is like a dictionary of grammar, it has limited examples of grammatical terms and although easy to use as a reference it is not great if you are trying to learn/re-learn grammar and need detail. Would recommend it for day to day use but look for something more detailed if you need as many explanations as possible, there are better books on the market for this purpose.
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I'm just useless at grammar and punctuation, if you read all of my reviews you'll see that, and I feel the same dread dealing with the mechanics of the English language as I do when I'm confronted with maths. Decided to pull my socks up and educate myself by buying this little pocket rocket and taking my time to study it. Very small book, much smaller than I anticipated, but very clearly set out in a format that's easy to understand, which is more than can be said for the contents. Nice sized print on quality paper and it's well worth the money.
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VINE VOICEon 1 February 2010
Don't know what a "past participle" is? Then buy this book - it gives good, short, easy to understand definitions for all kinds of grammatical terms.
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on 7 October 2014
Not quite what I was expecting - but very impressive nonetheless. A very slim, very clear and concise guide to grammar. I wanted it as a reference guide for a proofreading course (hence only 4 stars as I felt I hadn't got quite what the description promised) but this would have made an enormous difference to me at A level or degree level. In the absence of actual English grammar lessons at school, Latin taught me the rudiments instead, and evidently to a far higher level than I'd appreciated. I was hoping to use the book to build up my knowledge, but although it doesn't really work for me, I think it should be required reading for all GCSE students as it explains everything with superb clarity. I really wish I'd read this when I was at school: highly recommended!
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on 24 July 2013
Interesting book, but it's an American publication and I lost faith in it when I started coming across American words and grammar. Now I don't know whether to believe it or not. It's not what I expected of the 'Oxford' brand
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on 4 January 2012
As a German I've learnt English as a foreign language at school. Not using the English language every day, a lot of grammar knowledge gets lost. Every time looking into a German standard English grammar? That might be too lavishly. But using the Oxford A-Z Grammar is an easy and successful way! Short answres sum up all you want to know. And coaching German pupils in English, I could quickly find answers to their questions.
This grammar does not substitute a complete grammar while learning English for the first time, but it is a very helpful little book for advanced learners - it will accompany me on my travels to the UK.
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on 9 March 2013
Descriptions are very brief. Difficult to see who the book is aimed at. Failed to answer many of the questions I had on grammar. A lot more examples and counter-examples would have been useful.
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on 31 December 2012
Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation

This book is written in an easily-readable format that is consistent throughout. Any examples given to explain an element of grammar etc., are not the best they could've been, but enough to explain the idea adequately.

Where some idea can be represented or explained by a little diagram, they are. This helps the reader in understanding how these concepts can be applied, in their own examples.

Overall, very easy to read, concise, descriptive, and helpful.

I would rate this product: 3/5 ***--
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on 9 February 2014
This concise reference book is very useful when you need to dip in and out for a particular topic you are unsure of. The book is arranged alphabetically making it easy to navigate. It also gives to the point explanations which in the most part have answered my queries. However, it is dependent on how much detail is required, for some it may not be enough. I used this a lot when I was writing my thesis in college and in more day to day situations and has been invaluable.
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