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English Grammar Today with CD-ROM: An A-Z of Spoken and Written Grammar (Book & CD Rom) Paperback – 7 Apr 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 654 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Pap/Cdr/Bk edition (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521731755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521731751
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 666,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Book Description

English Grammar Today is an indispensable reference guide to contemporary English grammar and usage. With extensive corpus research at its core, it provides over 500 entries organised into an easy-to-use A–Z structure. Authentic examples of written and spoken English place the grammar in context and the clear explanations make it ideal for intermediate learners of English at CEF levels B1-B2, including those preparing for IELTS or Cambridge English exams such as Preliminary and First. The book comes with a free CD-ROM that provides the book content and nearly 200 additional entries, plus audio recordings of all the examples and dialogues.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( 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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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a substantial book at nearly 650 pages in length. It contains numerous sections, listed alphabetically, followed by a glossary, an index (for those of us who like to search the old-fashioned way) and a searchable CD-ROM containing the entire book and audio files matching many of the given examples.

Written specifically for students learning English as a second language, the book aims to match itself to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF) levels B1 (limited expression in familiar situations & general information processing) and B2 (competency across a range of topics & goals). It would certainly seem to fulfil the B2 requirement, but the layout and organisation of the book may prove more difficult for students below this level.

The main reason for this is the A-Z layout: whilst being a very sensible method of organising so much information, unless you actually know the term you're looking for, you'll have to flick through the book in the hopes of stumbling across it (or start at the beginning and hope it crops up in one of the early entries). For students being taught formally who already have a decent grasp of the language, this shouldn't be so much of a problem, but for someone at a lower level or trying to teach / re-teach themselves the rules of English grammar, it makes it quite tricky to use. Whilst the CD-ROM addresses this to some extent, it can still be hard to find exactly what you're looking for.

Despite its comprehensive nature, there are also some interesting omissions. Antonyms are mentioned, but synonyms and homonyms are not (something that I personally would have thought to be important for all-round competency).
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By Scampo TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( 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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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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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By Neutral VINE VOICE on 22 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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".
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