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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for ESOL teachers and students
I teach English and my son teaches ESOL / EFL so I thought that between us we would find this book very useful; and we have. The book will prove very useful to students and teachers alike. The authors are well know and long-standing English teachers with a wealth of useful experience - all reflected in their work. This book will not let you down and if bought alongside...
Published on 16 Dec 2011 by Scampo

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars English Grammar Today with CD-Rom
This is a good reference book (and CD-Rom) for students and teachers of the English language. However, while the alphabetical format is usually successful, a proper contents page would be helpful. The alphabetical layout depends on the user knowing the technical terms for specific constructions e.g. "conditionals" or "modality". A contents page with a structured layout...
Published on 7 Dec 2011 by G. Archer


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for ESOL teachers and students, 16 Dec 2011
By 
Scampo "Steve C" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: English Grammar Today with CD-ROM: An A-Z of Spoken and Written Grammar (Book & CD Rom) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I teach English and my son teaches ESOL / EFL so I thought that between us we would find this book very useful; and we have. The book will prove very useful to students and teachers alike. The authors are well know and long-standing English teachers with a wealth of useful experience - all reflected in their work. This book will not let you down and if bought alongside the equally excellent and perhaps even more useful - Oxford's "Practical English Usage" by Michael Swan - you would have to hand a truly comprehensive and useful pair of books that will cover most questions relating to English in use. Your bookshelf needs these two books if you teach English to first language or second language users. Definitely recommended and the excellent CD-ROM is icing on the cake.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful reference, 12 Dec 2011
By 
L. Goldsmith (Featherstone) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: English Grammar Today with CD-ROM: An A-Z of Spoken and Written Grammar (Book & CD Rom) (Paperback)
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This is a great reference book, containing the A-Z of English grammar, including unusual phrases and the right contexts to place them in, as well as common misusage of language. Very useful tool for anyone looking to polish their spoken and written English.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars English Grammar Today with CD-Rom, 7 Dec 2011
By 
G. Archer (Bangor, NI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: English Grammar Today with CD-ROM: An A-Z of Spoken and Written Grammar (Book & CD Rom) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a good reference book (and CD-Rom) for students and teachers of the English language. However, while the alphabetical format is usually successful, a proper contents page would be helpful. The alphabetical layout depends on the user knowing the technical terms for specific constructions e.g. "conditionals" or "modality". A contents page with a structured layout would allow topics such as "Tense" to be covered in a complete section.
There also appears to be some key ommissions like split infinitives and other anomalies such as redundant words for example, "for free"!
Overall, a good book with useful CD-Rom, but it is certainly not as user friendly as I had hoped.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mind Your Language, 22 Feb 2012
By 
Neutral "Phil" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: English Grammar Today with CD-ROM: An A-Z of Spoken and Written Grammar (Book & CD Rom) (Paperback)
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I did not have the benefit of a grammar school education. The books we used in secondary modern school were from Victorian times and, apart from a few basic rules, such as a noun being a person, place or thing, a verb being a doing word and an adjective a describing word, knew virtually next to nothing about English grammar when I left school in my mid-teens. I know precious little now and most of what I know was learned by reference to points of grammar as they occured rather than by studying grammar itself. At evening classes I was introduced to the writing of English by Fowler's "Dictionary of Modern English Usage", Sir Ernest Gower's "The Complete Plain Words" and reading third leaders in The Times. The latter was supplemented by Roget's Thesaurus which, half a century later, is tattered and torn but still indispensible. I'm far from convinced that this book will be used as much in the next fifty years but it is an excellent addition to the reference section of any library.

The book is primarily for those learning English as a second language and native speakers who wish to progress from the dumbing down of language by modern television usage such as "Youf" and "init?" Such dumbing down has a pervasive influence. A work colleague and I analysed graffiti which read, "Get back where you came from" and concluded it should have read, "Get back from whence you came." Both are understandable but, as the book makes clear, there is a difference between formal and informal use of English. English can confuse non-English speakers when two words which are spelled differently sound the same when spoken, as in "bough" and "bow". Unlike many other languages English does not have a future tense, which must be as confusing for non-English students for whom this reference book is written as learning a foreign language is for the English (which is why so many English people don't bother).

Most language acquisition is achieved verbally. The rules governing the use of words are secondary to that primary purpose. Many people see no need to reconcile the two as is evident from websites and emails which still write the possessive pronoun "its" with an apostrophe between the t and the s. Those who write off such errors as incidental do not consider the implications of their ignorance. Rather like the nervous ensign in "The Bedford Incident" who heard the ship's captain say, "if he fires one, I'll fire one" and responded with "fire one", failure to communicate correctly can have catastrophic results. Similarly in the First World War a message passed through several stages by which time the original, "send reinforcements we're going to advance" had become "send three and fourpence we're going to a dance." The correct use of language is crucial whether spoken or written.

Once the A to Z format has been mastered it's relatively easy to find what is needed with the index providing additional assistance and the CD-ROM the icing on the cake. It's by no means perfect or comprehensive and should be supplemented by a relevant dictionary and thesaurus. Those challenged by grammar could benefit from reading a junior school textbook before delving into this tome. As an introduction to definitions and usages it is certainly good value. The comparison of English and American usage is useful as both countries are divided by a common language. I remember being asked by an American why I loved meat. She had taken the word "dear" to mean "love" whereas I had meant "expensive". The same applied when I told the children to walk on the pavement!!!!

This publication will serve as a standard reference book for a long time although for native speakers it is likely to be used sparingly and specifically. They are more likely to rely on their understanding of the verbal language than its grammatical presentation. As it is aimed at those learning English as a second language this should not present a problem. I get the impression some reviewers would have preferred"English for Dummies" rather than this excellent volume for those learning English as a second language. "English for Dummies" is more suited to native speakers, especially those who have never heard of Fowler, Gowers or read third leaders in the Times. Five Stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book for anyone wating to use clear, correct English, 16 Feb 2012
By 
Elizabeth S. Wells (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: English Grammar Today with CD-ROM: An A-Z of Spoken and Written Grammar (Book & CD Rom) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have had Fowler's Modern English Usage on my shelf for years and struggled with it. This book is like a breath of fresh air. Exhaustive in its coverage, this book is aimed primarily at people learning English as a foreign language, but also extremely useful to those of whose mother tongue is English.

As a writer, I have been able to access explanations of what I have understood instinctively, as a native speaker and, importantly, to correct what has become fudged. It is a brilliant book for anyone wanting to write, understand and speak good English.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I'd hoped, 29 Jan 2012
By 
SJSmith (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: English Grammar Today with CD-ROM: An A-Z of Spoken and Written Grammar (Book & CD Rom) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This was a surprise read because even as a teacher of English to students who are aged 11-16, I found some of it slightly challenging to understand in places. I had hoped to have this a reference in my classroom, instead I know I'll have to use it to refer to rather than share as such. If I had to pass or teach a language course then I'd find a much better use for this. I haven't yet found a use for the CD Rom but it I have that installed for use at work (should I require it). It is a comprehensive gathering of information and extremely useful. I sadly didn't receive teaching in the specifics of how we construct our sentences verablly and in writing but I imagine adults of an older generation would know instantly what some of the terms referred to as they would have been taught it (how I wish I had!). What this means therefore is that I find it difficult at times to locate the explantation of what I'm looking for because I don't know the terminology.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for TEFL/CELTA teaching students, 19 Jan 2012
By 
L. Hennessy (Twickenham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: English Grammar Today with CD-ROM: An A-Z of Spoken and Written Grammar (Book & CD Rom) (Paperback)
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I'm studying to teach English as a foreign language, and one of the things that I've become uncomfortably aware of is that we native English speakers are taught virtually no grammar at school. This has resulted in people like me (who read a lot, write fairly well etc. but have extremely sketchy technical knowledge about the form and structure of their first language) needing books like this.

What elevates this one slightly from the others of its kind is the presence of a CD rom version (with extra entries and audio examples), which is very easy to use. Also the organisation; a twin indexing system is used in the paper version which is very good - it might be a standard way of doing things, but I was impressed with the way that I was able to find out exactly what I needed to know very quickly. The glossary is there to give you instant short answers too. I even find myself browsing through this publication from time to time purely for pleasure! (Grammar has never been a pet subject of mine).

This will become an invaluable reference book if you're not too sure about your grammar.

I have yet to receive the English Grammar Today Workbook, but from the way the information is presented in this book, it will complement it very well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference book with media, 15 Jan 2012
By 
P. Stokes "Historian71" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: English Grammar Today with CD-ROM: An A-Z of Spoken and Written Grammar (Book & CD Rom) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although perhaps not relevant at the moment this is an ideal addition to the dictionaries and thesaurus on hand for not only myself to refer to but also my twin sons (age 10 so a little young to delve too deeply but still...) By the time they do require it I would imagine that the CD-ROM will be their choice whereas old people such as myself much prefer a good old-fashioned book!
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3.0 out of 5 stars For Reference only, 14 Jan 2012
By 
Biff - See all my reviews
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This review is from: English Grammar Today with CD-ROM: An A-Z of Spoken and Written Grammar (Book & CD Rom) (Paperback)
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As a reference book this is fine - you can dip into it and find what you are looking for.

It is not however a generalised work book or course that can be worked through - the key is in the sub title "An A - Z....." As such I found it rather disappointing and of limited use.
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3.0 out of 5 stars a good on the desk primer, 16 Dec 2011
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This review is from: English Grammar Today with CD-ROM: An A-Z of Spoken and Written Grammar (Book & CD Rom) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I ordered this as the office pedant and arbiter of grammatical elegance. it's been added to a pile of frequently consulted style guides and indices of modern writing styles and it's yet another thorough source to settle grammatical arguments. It's more of a teaching/teach yourself book and more basic in its instruction ( or rather for the less fluent writer) than most of our pile but useful nonetheless. Our office Canadians and Americans were particularly enthusuastic and the section on British vs US English inspired heated nationalistic argument (and amazement on both sides). TH CD rom is seachable which makes it useful and it's handy to have it on your desk top for quick checking and for people who are increasingly more comfortable searching on screen than thumbing through the book.

I'd still couple this with some contemporary style guides (the economist, the times or Simon heffer's brilliant "Strictly Engish") but this is the all round primer.
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