English Grammar: A University Course, 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

English Grammar

A University Course, 3rd Edition

By Angela Downing


530 pages

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Paperback: 9780415732680
pub: 2014-12-09
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This best-selling comprehensive descriptive grammar forms a complete course, ideal for all students studying English Language, whether on a course or for self-study. Broadly based on Hallidayan systemic-functional grammar but also drawing on cognitive linguistics and discourse analysis, English Grammar is accessible, avoiding overly theoretical or technical explanations.

Divided into 12 self-contained chapters based around language functions, each chapter is divided into units of class-length material. Key features include:

Numerous authentic texts from a wide range of sources, both spoken and written, which exemplify the grammatical description.

Clear chapter and module summaries enable efficient class preparation and student revision.

Extensive exercises with a comprehensive answer key.

This new edition has been thoroughly updated with new texts, a more user-friendly layout, more American English examples and a companion website, providing extra tasks, a glossary and a teachers‘ guide.

This is the essential coursebook and reference work for all native and non-native students of English grammar on English language and linguistics courses.


'Downing's comprehensive yet accessible book builds on traditional descriptions of English to present a functional orientation to grammar as a set of communicative resources. Taking the grammar off the page and into real life, this book illustrates how language operates across a range of different uses and contexts. An invaluable resource for all university studens of English.' Tom Bartlett, Cardiff University, UK

'Offer[s] an excellent basic framework for a really usable course book at the highest level of English language study.' Mike Hannay, Free University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Table of Contents

1.Basic Concepts 2. The Skeleton of the Message: Introduction to Clause Structure 3. The Development of the Message: Complementation of the Verb 4. Interaction between Speaker and Hearer: Linking Speech Acts and Grammar 5. Conceptualising Patterns of Experience: Processes,Participants, Circumstances 6. Organising the Message: Thematic and information structures of the clause 7. Combining Clauses into Sentences 8. Talking about Events: The verbal group 9. Viewpoints on Events: Tense, aspect and modality 10. Talking about People and Things: The nominal group 11. Describing Persons, Things and Circumstances: Adjectival and adverbial groups 12. Spatial, Temporal and other Relationships: The prepositional phrase

About the Author

Angela Downing is Professor Emeritus at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. She was General Editor of Atlantis (Journal of the Spanish Association of English and American Studies) from 2006 to 2012 and has published numerous articles on grammar and discourse.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Grammar & Punctuation