1st Edition

English Grammar: The Basics

By Michael McCarthy Copyright 2021
    226 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    226 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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




    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.