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Customer Review

9 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Big, fat and useless, 7 May 2008
This review is from: Practical English Usage (2nd Edition) (Paperback)
This is regarded as a classic text, but in the eight years that I have owned it I can't say that I have ever found the answer to a single grammar or usage problem in this book. During a stint in Japan as an ELT teacher I did use the section on taboo words as the basis for an Upper Intermediate/Advanced lesson, but this can hardly be said to justify the cover price - or the weight and space it took up in my suitcase!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Aug 2008 10:02:27 BDT
Dierk Haasis says:
Not quite sure what you expected to find in the book. I have worked with the first edition and the second [seriously considering the third right now] and they quickly gave good answers to many problems of everyday usage. Whenever the grammatical question at hand was deeper, I had to turn to a much more comprehensive grammar like The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. But that is a massive tome systematically studying every aspect of English. That is not what Michael Swan is out for, his Practical English Usage is just that, a reference on everyday grammatical questions, down to how to frame private or business letters.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Sep 2008 10:42:35 BDT
Greshon says:
I take your point but the fact remians that I have never found the answer to a single question in this book. Still, I know many people who say it's a good book, and I know it's a bestseller and highly regarded. But why should I go along with the consensus and say the same thing as eveybody else when I have never found the book useful? My single, short, negative comment won't do the book much harm, I'm sure. I also accept the posibility that the problem lies with me and not with the book. How can so many people be wrong?

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2009 19:03:16 GMT
Hi, I think you've made a mistake buying this book. I find it quite useful since English is my second language. Obviously if you're familiar with all the bits and pieces addressed in the book, no wonder you find it useless.
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