English Grammar: The Basics  book cover
1st Edition

English Grammar: The Basics

ISBN 9780367633653
Published May 26, 2021 by Routledge
226 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

English Grammar: The Basics offers a clear, non-jargonistic introduction to English grammar and its place in society. Rather than taking a prescriptive approach, this book helps the reader become aware of the social implications of choices they make to use standard or non-standard (regional/dialect) forms.

Readers will consider:

• what grammar is and how it fits into the structure of language;

• how grammar functions in the school curriculum, the press, broadcasting and social media, as well as how these outlets reflect and reinforce our attitudes towards grammar;

• differences between speech and writing, as well as between formality and informality;

• major different approaches to theorising and describing grammar from important grammarians, including Noam Chomsky and Michael Halliday.

Featuring a glossary of key terms and practical tips and insights from the author's 50+ years of language teaching experience around the world, this book is for anyone who has ever found themselves questioning the ‘rules’ of the English language.

Table of Contents

1 Everyone knows what grammar is … don’t they?

2 From words to sentences

3 The Grammar Toolbox

4 The Grammar Toolbox Continued

5 Theories and thinkers

6 Word of mouth: Grammar in action

7 Grammar policy, grammar politics and grammar police

8 Grammar in the public eye

Glossary of grammar terms



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Michael McCarthy is Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics, University of Nottingham, and Adjunct Professor of Applied Linguistics, University of Limerick. He has (co-)authored and edited 54 books and is co-founder (with Ronald Carter) of the CANCODE spoken English corpus. He has lectured in 46 countries and has been involved in language teaching and applied linguistics for 55 years.