LINGUIST List 7.795

Thu May 30 1996

Sum: Basic grammar texts

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>


  1. "Ward, Kathleen", Sum: Basic Grammar Texts

Message 1: Sum: Basic Grammar Texts

Date: 30 May 1996 12:54:10 -0800
From: "Ward, Kathleen" <>
Subject: Sum: Basic Grammar Texts
Many thanks to all those who responded to my frustrated plea for a
book that would teach my students basic grammatical information:
Jean-Louis Duchet, Kenneth Allen Hyde, Brian McCarthy, Rebecca Larche
Moreton, Mick Perkins, and Geoffrey Sampson. If I omitted anyone, I
apologize deeply.

I realize now that I should have been less frustrated and more
explicit about what I needed. Specifically, the students in question
are all native speakers of English (indeed, senior-year English
majors) at an American university. Most have been required to take
one foreign language or another, at least in secondary school, but
this experience, seemingly, has not communicated any grammatical
information to them. They are taking my course because they want to
teach English in secondary school, so I am loathe to let them get out
of college without some acquaintance with grammar. As one respondent
observed, this is the kind of stuff they should have--but did
not--learn in elementary school.

Anyway, the following books were recommended: 

1) The most recommended book--and it sounds like exactly what I was
looking for--is unfortunately out of print: David Crystal's
_Rediscover Grammar_ (1987). Longman, the publisher, tells me they
know of no plans for a second edition; this is truly a pity because it
won praise for being lively and enjoyable as well as informative!

2) The series _English Grammar for Students of ____ (French, German,
Spanish, Latin, etc.) received positive comment. What I really need
is _English Grammar for Students of English_!

3. Karen Gordon's _The Deluxe Transitive Vampire_ was mentioned as
useful, although it seems intended as a "grammar for writers" book.

4. _Present Tense...Future Perfect_, an Australian text, received a
vote; unfortunately, it seems to be unavailable in the US.

5. _A Basic English Grammar_ by Mackin & Eastwood

6. _Basic English Usage_by Swan, 

7. _Oxford Practice Grammar_ by Eastwood

8. Longman's Elementary Grammar Workbooks

(I think these last four are directed toward an ESL audience but I may
be mistaken)

9. A Modern Course in English Syntax, by Herman Wekker & Liliane

10. Petite syntaxe simple a l'usage des anglicistes, by Claude
Riviere. I'd love to assign this but I would not dare.

At any rate, thanks again to all those who took the trouble to write!

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