Introducing Functional Grammar: 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Introducing Functional Grammar

3rd Edition

By Geoff Thompson


316 pages

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Introducing Functional Grammar, third edition, provides a user-friendly overview of the theoretical and practical aspects of the systemic functional grammar (SFG) model.

No prior knowledge of formal linguistics is required as the book provides:

  • An opening chapter on the purpose of linguistic analysis, which outlines the differences between the two major approaches to grammar - functional and formal.
  • An overview of the SFG model - what it is and how it works.
  • Advice and practice on identifying elements of language structure such as clauses and clause constituents.
  • Numerous examples of text analysis using the categories introduced, and discussion about what the analysis shows.
  • Exercises to test comprehension, along with answers for guidance.

The third edition is updated throughout, and is based closely on the fourth edition of Halliday and Matthiessen's Introduction to Functional Grammar. A glossary of terms, more exercises and an additional chapter are available on the product page at:

Introducing Functional Grammar remains the essential entry guide to Hallidayan functional grammar, for undergraduate and postgraduate students of language and linguistics.


This… is a more detailed and user-friendly introduction

to an approach to grammar through meaning and function. Functional

grammar is presented here in a context that enables a broader

socio-cultural orientation to be shown of how language works. Thompson

does this with clarity and the engagement of his readers in the course

of ten chapters … The book also provides a detailed index,

suggestions for answers to exercises, a comprehensive list of

references, as well as five pages of further reading, related to each

chapter. This is especially helpful for beginners and researchers, not

to mention teachers … [It] serves as a most worthwhile introduction

to systemic functional grammar and should be on the bookshelf of those

working in the TESOL field.

Margaret Bade, NZSAL

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The purposes of linguistic analysis
Chapter 2: Recognizing clauses and clause constituents
Chapter 3: An overview of functional grammar
Chapter 4: Interacting: the interpersonal metafunction
Chapter 5: Representing the world: the experiential metafunction
Chapter 6: Organizing the message: the textual metafunction - theme
Chapter 7: Organizing the message: the textual metafunction - cohesion
Chapter 8: Clauses in combination
Chapter 9: Grammatical metaphor
Chapter 10: Implications and applications of functional grammar
Answers to exercises
Further reading

About the Author

Geoff Thompson is Honorary Senior Fellow at the School of English, University of Liverpool.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: