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What book to buy?
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I find Swan a bit dictionary-like. That's why I prefer Parrott, which can be read as a course, including exercises to ensure understanding.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12354
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear fluffyhamster,

Although I'll concede the first (although even that's not "exclusive" - uninflected words include prepositions,interjections, conjunctions, and non-count nouns) wouldn't you say that the second is a pretty good synonym for "catch-all?"

Regards,
John
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2677
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Cole. Smile I'll need to dig out my Parrott from a storage box and see what sort of hopefully quite immediate wattage he (versus Leech at al, and Swan, Eastwood, etc) sheds on the questions or issues arising from the OP's task. I might've been a bit dismissive of Parrott...we'll see. Wink
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2677
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine (no, know!) that very little fits when one is a newbie, John. (Even the "eventual" CELTA gown and mortarboard. (Dig, dig! Very Happy )). But seriously, to begin to understand grammar analysis, one has to get to grips with previously nice square pegs then fitting into roundish-looking Russian dolls. (The cross-eyed look when you've finished gives you a "dizzying" view of the individual word forms/classes versus phrasal~syntactic functions). When I finally understand it all well enough myself, I'll try to write a genuinely simplifying account. Until then, it's back to the headache tablets, I'm afraid!

For better and more detailed definitions of 'particle', see Chalker & Weiner LOL.


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2677
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP (Augustus): the following, while quite dry and terse, nevertheless provides a pretty good and reasonably authoritative* overview of English syntax:

( http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/~gpullum/SIEG/otherstuff.html > ) http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/grammar/overview.html

NB: There's also a doc version available, within the bracketed link.

It's a bit more than the CELTA requires, though.


*H&P's CambridgeGEL (2002) now seems to be the standard work that linguists working with English allude to (see for example its many mentions on the Language Log website), although in ELT the more traditional-mainstream ComprehensiveGEL (Quirk et al 1985) and related spin-offs (most notably Biber et al's entirely corpus-based and thus very descriptive LGSWE (1999)) still reign supreme as the most detailed reference grammars available; then, the various COBUILD publications are also quite noteworthy.


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
I thought you had. Which was why I was surprised to read your doubts as to whether Cambridge wouldn't know how to spell grammar, sarcasm mode notwithstanding.
With sarcasm mode on, the question was directed more at the OP than at Cambridge. Bear in mind that I have the Murphy book and thought it was strange that the title was not copied correctly. Since "grammar" was misspelled even before that, it seemed obvious to me that it was an OP spelling problem, not a CELTA or Cambridge problem. Personally, I think misspelling such a key word in our business is a bit disconcerting.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffyhamster wrote:
Swan is a recurring recommendation in these forums, and in many respects a fine "quick" reference, but it is definitely not (and cannot ever really take the place of) an actual dedicated course in grammar,
Augustus initially asked for a "good grammer[sic] reference guide", not a course. I've found it to be adequate for my needs, but then again, I had a good background in learning grammar way back in junior high and high school (studying by lantern like Honest Abe many a night...but I digress).

Good to see other recommendations and reasons for them. One size does not fit all.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2677
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, as you yourself imply Glenski, Augustus may be lacking the necessary background in grammar to be able to pick up stuff like Swan and use it effortlessly. (I know I've read at least two complaints on these forums from people who just didn't get on much with Swan. Personally I quite like him, but his isn't the first book I reach for when looking for terminological definitions and analysis as opposed to everyday usage advice, though even for the latter I find e.g. the COBUILD English Usage to be quicker/clearer and usually more comprehensive).

I just wish there were a good (reasonably comprehensive yet not too daunting) mainstreamy reference grammar that included some sort of swift introductory course or material, to make two books in one. Eastwood is about the closest thing I can think of, thanks to the summaries he provides at the beginning of each chapter (though the COBUILD English Grammar is almost there and a close second, yet may look a bit too dense and thus offputting from a superficial browse).

FWIW here is the summary from the beginning of Eastwood's chapter on adjectives, followed by definitions taken from the glossaries in Swan and the COBUILDEG:

Introduction to adjectives (Adjectives are words like short, old, cheap, happy, nice, electric. Most adjectives express quality; they tell us what something is like).

The position of adjectives (An adjective can come before a noun: a cheap shirt. It can also be a complement after be: This shirt is cheap).

Adjectives used in one position only (...)
Adjectives after nouns and pronouns (...)
The order of adjectives (...)
Amusing and amused, interesting and interested (...)
The + adjective (...)

Adjective -
Swan: a word like green, hungry, impossible, which is used when we describe people, things, events etc. Adjectives are used in connection with nouns and pronouns: a green apple; she's hungry.
COBUILD: a word used to tell you more about a thing, such as its appearance, colour, size or other qualities e.g. a pretty blue dress.


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Augustus



Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for all the advice - I've looked up each of the terms and am researching the books. I am only completing application tasks at the moment so will have to see if the college I get a place at will suggest me a book.

I've got more tasks to do yet so hopefully they will get easier soon.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2677
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Came across the following recently, and thought I'd bung it in here.
http://realgrammar.posterous.com/pages/grammar-basics

Although there might be the odd potential quibble point (e.g. are prepositions more lexical than function words?), it seems a solid enough site from the quick browse I've just had.
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