9780198612506 / 0198612508

The Oxford English Grammar


Publisher:Oxford University Press, USA



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About the book:

Sidney Greenbaum has long been a prominent name among the modern, academic grammarians, who study and describe the language as it really is written and spoken, rather than making statements about how language ought to be. This vast tome covers the whole field of current English and American English grammar in great detail. It gives all you will ever need to know on how sentences are put together, and has chapters on the differences between spoken and written English, word origins and semantics, word formation, phonetics, punctuation and spelling. Each begins with a summary of its contents, but most of the text is made up of numbered statements of fact followed by generous illustrations. These illustrations are taken from real-life use, many from large electronic collections of books, newspapers and recorded speech. This layout makes the book a good reference tool for both teachers and advanced students of English. Greenbaum claims the book is also written for the general reader. However, unless that reader is sufficiently at home with the subject they could easily be put off by an introductory comment such as: "In this chapter, 'text' refers to both spoken and written language. A written text is a stretch of writing, while a spoken text--here called a discourse--is a stretch of speech" or statements such as "Monotransitive prepositional verbs superficially resemble transitive phrasal verbs when the particle of the phrasal verb precedes the object, but only the particle of a phrasal verb can also follow the object." They would be better off starting with a more general introduction to the subject such as Frank Palmer's Grammar. --Julia Cresswell

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