Explaining English Grammar

Explaining English Grammar

A guide to explaining grammar for teachers of English as a second or foreign language.

Format: Paperback
See also: e-book
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Shortlisted for the Ben Warren Prize

This book is designed to help teachers understand English grammar and explain it to their students. Each chapter focuses on a problematic area and offers exercises for students as well as teaching ideas.

  • ISBN: 978-0-19-437172-8
  • Price: $ 39.71

This book is designed to help teachers understand English grammar and explain it to their students. Each chapter focuses on a problematic area and offers exercises for students as well as teaching ideas.

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Key features

  • The author draws on his experience as both a leading applied linguist and a hands-on classroom teacher of English
  • Choice of topics and style of explanations focus on the needs of language teachers
  • Separates each grammar topic covered into three clear categories: form, meaning, and meaning in context.
  • You can read each chapter individually and you don't have to follow the sequence of topics in the book.
  • Can be used as a set book or supplementary book on a teacher training course, or by both new and experienced practising teachers as a self-study text

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This book is designed to help teachers understand English grammar and explain it to their students. Each chapter focuses on a problematic area and offers exercises for students as well as teaching ideas.

Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface

1 Introduction
Overview
Basic Forms
- On terminology
- On being ungrammatical
- On good English
Basic meanings
- 'I am more interesting in English Grammar'
- Why can I say 'I shot the sheriff', but not *'I smiled the sheriff'?
- Linguistic distance
Meanings in context
- Discussion topics and projects
- Teaching ideas
- Further reading

2 Articles
Overview
Basic forms
- An article machine
Basic meanings
- Countability
- Singular or plural?
- Individuation
- Conceptual structure: classifying and identifying
Meanings in context
- Already given: anaphoric and cataphoric (the)
- Clearly given (zero article)
- A note on a new article
- Discussion topics and projects
- Teaching ideas
- Further reading

3 Tense and aspect
Overview
Basic forms
- The basic structure
Basic meanings
- Tense
- Aspect
- Lexical aspect
- Grammatical aspect
Meanings in context
- In a magazine article
- In academic writing
- In narratives
- In a news report
- In spoken discourse
- Discussion topics and projects
- Teaching ideas
- Further reading

4 Modals
Overview
Basic forms
- The simple modals
Basic meanings
- Epistemic modality
- Root modality
- Necessary and possible
Meanings in context
- The potential of can
- The possibility of may
- The necessity of must
- The likelihood of will
- The requirements of should
- Negation and modals
- Discussion topics and projects
- Teaching ideas
- Further reading

5 Conditionals
Overview
Basic forms
- Factual conditionals
- Predictive conditionals
- Hypothetical conditionals
- Counterfactual conditionals
Basic meanings
- What happens if ... ?
- What will happen if ... ?
- What would happen if ... ?
- What would have happened if ... ?
Meanings in context
- Restating
- Contrasting
- Listing alternatives
- Giving examples
- End-weight
- Uncertainty and politeness
- Exceptional and concessive conditionals
- Discussion topics and projects
- Teaching ideas
- Further reading

6 Prepositions and particles
Overview
Basic forms
Prepositions
Basic meanings: prepositions
- Location in space
- Location in time
- Location in metaphor
Particles
Basic meanings: particles
- Up and down
- Off, on, out, and away
Meanings in context
- End-weight
- Discussion topics and projects
- Teaching ideas
- Further reading

7 Indirect objects
Overview
Basic forms
- Types of verbs
- Basic structures: origins and pronunciation
Basic meanings
- Humans, transfer, and having
- Transfer and not having
- Creating, getting, and benefiting
Meanings in context
- End-weight
- Linguistic distance
- Discussion topics and projects
- Teaching ideas
- Further reading

8 Infinitives and gerunds
Overview
Basic forms
Basic meanings
- Group 1: verbs with only finite (that ...) complements
- Group 2: verbs with only to-V non-finite complements
- Group 3: verbs with only V-ing non-finite complements
- Group 4: verbs with both to-V and V-ing complements
Meanings in context
- Noun-like events
- Verb-like actions
- Deny and refuse
- Types of verbs
- Linguistic distance
- Discussion topics and projects
- Teaching ideas
- Further reading

9 Relative clauses
Overview
Basic forms
- Subject relatives
- Object relatives
- After-preposition relatives
- Possessive relatives
- Basic structures
Basic meanings
- Who, which, that
- Where, when, why
Meanings in context
- Introducing new information
- Connecting with given information
- End-weight
- Discussion topics and projects
- Teaching ideas
- Further reading

10 Direct and indirect speech
Overview
Basic forms
Basic meanings
- Direct speech as drama
- Indirect speech as narrative
- Summarized reports
- Reporting verbs
- 'The teachers were saying ...'
Meanings in context
- Free indirect discourse
- Constructed dialogue
- Discussion topics and projects
- Teaching ideas
- Further reading

Glossary
Bibliography
Answers to exercises
Index

Reviews

  • 'A joy to read.'
    - Judges of the Ben Warren Prize 1999

e-Book


Explaining English Grammar is also available in e-book format.