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A practical set of guidelines for answers to common, everyday grammatical problems, suitable for both students and teachers of English.
Most of us only vaguely remember what we were taught at school and are put off by long, pedantic grammar manuals. This book is written in a concise, chatty, humorous and informal style. The A to Z format makes it easy to access and to find what you're looking for. It tells you in simple, plain language the difference between things that look similar (for ... [more]example, 'alternate' versus 'alternative', 'made of' versus 'made from', 'its' versus 'it's'). It explains how to avoid going wrong with issues such as agreement between subjects and verbs or the choice of pronouns after prepositions. It presents solutions to a host of common, everyday grammatical problems and gives guidance on appropriate usage where more than one way of saying something exists. The entries also include advice on vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, punctuation and style.
The example sentences are clear, transparent illustrations of the grammatical conventions, based on the author's 35 years' experience working with corpora and extensive, detailed field-notes covering decades, gleaned from literature, correspondence, the media and ordinary conversation. The book tells you what the traditional rules are as well as what people are writing or saying now, and gives reasons why you might choose one or the other. Speaking is not the same as writing, and what can often pass unnoticed in speech may stick out like a grammatical sore thumb in formal writing. This book helps you to navigate the maze of grammatical alternatives and to make the right choice for the right occasion. [less]