Wednesday, January 11, 2012

English always proves strangely elusive. Only those who love it dearly and eagerly may have a chance to get hold of it.

Grammar, of course, helps understand a sentence and write a correct statement, but it must be learned step by step. Though it sets up rules for us to follow, it also leads us to break them.  For instance, when a noun is placed before a verb, it is the subject. However, the following sentence goes the other way round.

      There is a book.  (Here, the subject “book” is put after the verb.)

  More examples:

      I walked ten miles yesterday. (“Ten miles” is used as an adverb phrase.)
      He should have arrived by now. (The adverb “now” is used as a noun.)

In fact, many exceptions and fixed expressions don’t conform to the rules of grammar. 
They are idiomatic English, which is learned as a whole unit.

  E.g. For want of common sense, John did not substitute margarine for
      butter, which he enjoyed at the expense of his good health.

“For want of” (= lacking of) and “at the expense of” (= with damage to) are fixed
phrases.  “Common sense” and “good health” are collocations (suitable combination of
words). “Substitute A for B” is a verb pattern, and “enjoyed” matches “which” (= butter).  All these are idiomatic English.

We see that good English comes from a good knowledge of the functions of words,
phrases, and clauses, together with the skillful use of idiomatic expressions.

  Verb Pattern
substitute A for B
which (=butter) he enjoyed

The contents of this book, when taken at a glance, may look fundamental to some. Yet, much precious knowledge has been included in each lesson, which not only explains how real English works but consolidates readers' understanding of the language. Learners of all levels will hence gain complete confidence in writing correct English after reading this book.

The book is now available at the following sites:




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