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Practical English Usage, 4th edition: Paperback: Michael Swan's guide to problems in English Paperback – 22 Dec 2016

4.6 out of 5 stars 164 customer reviews

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  • Practical English Usage, 4th edition: Paperback: Michael Swan's guide to problems in English
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Product details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 4 edition (22 Dec. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0194202437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0194202435
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.7 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

The entries in Practical English Usage are not only informed by Swan's authoritative knowledge of English grammar, but by a sure sense of which aspects of the grammar are likely to be problematic, and how these can be most effectively explained. (Henry Widdowson, Emeritus Professor of Education, University of London)


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my time as a TEFL teacher this book came in useful on numerous occassions. TEFL textbooks have notoriously shoddy guides to grammar, which are often detrimental rather than helpful for student and teacher. Swan doesn't have any practice exercises, but everything is laid out plain and simple, from the most straighforward grammar points to the complexities of cleft sentences.
As a teacher, especially in my first year, I would have sunk without a trace if it hadn't been for this book. You simply cannot do without it as a TEFL teacher, or as a serious English language student. There's not much more to say about it than that!
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Format: Paperback
I've found this book very useful and easy to use for grammatical queries. You know how it is when you're not just quite sure about something, e.g. hypen usage - well this book is great to have at hand.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The authority on English grammar and indispensable for any English language teacher, this book is a must. References are NOT of page numbers but paragraph sections and so the format, at first, can be off-putting. But once a person gets the hang of it, it is the best guide for English grammar I know of. The way it is organised - alphabetically - makes it easy to find what you want using the index; and the examples are concise but effective enough to get the message across. Included are supplementary pages of common mistakes made by basic, intermediate, advanced and very advanced students of English and what is correct, which I have not seen in any other textbooks. Has really opened up a new world for me with the English language, and shown me why I say certain things the way I do and what mistakes I am making. Well worth the price.
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Format: Paperback
I am a native English speaker and have obtained a grade A from a CELTA and DELTA course. As part of my preparation, I had a list of recommended books to read on grammar. Most new ESL teachers usually are not an complete expert with English to begin with. So to fine tune their grammar, some suggested books are given to aid to help improve their teaching; this was one of books recommended.

This is a hard book to digest and not meant to be used as an aid to refresh your grammar. It is a very comprehensive and text heavy textbook. It's mostly a language reference book for terms you may not have covered in class.

The book is very large, about 690 pages long so by default this is a reference book. If you're thinking of taking one on your travels, this is not recommended for practical reasons.

The way the book is structured is rather broken up and it tries to cram things together before simplifying them first. It jumps around a bit and can be quite confusing.
For example:

Contents Overview
--------------------
verbs, tense and aspect
future 211 - 221
present tenses 461 - 466
past simple and progressive 421 - 422
perfect verb forms 427
present perfect 423-425
progressive (continuous) verb forms 470-472
...
etc.

Particularly for verb tenses or complex items, it would have been good if there were some diagrams or illustrations (though there a few tree diagrams to illustrate what each word is in a sentence structure later on). I know many students would benefit from this.

I have read a few grammar books now and I find the best ones to prepare you for a CELTA or TESOL course are those ones which can not only illustrate an answer but also apply it to real spoken English.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very useful book for a non-native English speaker who wants to be proficient in this language. It is very well structured (all the entries are in alphabetical order) so you can find easily anything you are interested in. Explanations are given along with a lot of examples that make everything clear.
I warmly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I lost this book whilst travelling but found that there is no substitute. Swan really is the master of grammar and his presentation is superb.
It does need a good understanding of grammatical knowledge so not recommended for the elementary student.
would suit trainee TEFL teachers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is really helpful for native english speakers wen doing advanced esl course such as the celta or delta. Many of us take grammar for granted as we are not exposed to all types while in schools compare to foreign speaking nationals. A great book to help with English grammar.

Great for Grammar and studying for ur celta or delta
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Format: Paperback
When I started studying English at the university, in 1999, I was required to buy this book for one of my classes. At first, I found it a bit overwhelming, partly because of its size and partly because it took me a little while to figure out how to use it. But once I got the hang of it, this book has been my most valued reference work, along with Oxford's ALD.
Since I have the second edition, I'm considering whether I should buy the revised third edition. If anyone can tell me, how much the two editions differ from each other, I would be much obliged :-).
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