Actual English: English Grammar as Native Speakers...
Actual English: English Grammar as Native Speakers Really Use It
Actual English: English Grammar as Native Speakers...
I have long believed that learning another language is hindered by the grammar books, whose look and layout make the task seem impossibly difficult. English is my native language and I am a professional writer. Nevertheless, even I sometimes shudder at the sight of an English grammar book.I recently read one such book for French speakers that declared: In English, more than other languages, it is often difficult to determine to which part of speech certain words belong. Often a word can be an adverb, a proposition, or a conjunction. These two sentences eloquently exemplify what I believe is wrong with the majority of English grammar books. They are written by grammarians for grammarians, rather than for learners. The fact that “before” can be an adverb, a conjunction, or a preposition is of little consequence. The important thing is for learners to know the word, and when and how to use it, not what part of speech it represents in any particular circumstance.Another thing grammar books do is to enunciate a rule, then list 5-10 exceptions that must be memorized. English, like French, has its share of exceptions. However, looked at properly, many of these so-called exceptions do follow the rule, or come closer to following it than their formal grammatical description might suggest. Exceptions are a principal factor that makes learning a language difficult. Separating false exceptions from real ones therefore should make the task considerably easier.In this work I have kept grammatical terminology to a minimum, and in fact have changed it where I believe conventional terminology would hinder understanding rather than helping it. I have also reduced the number of exceptions to each rule by looking at the language through the eyes of the native anglophones who actually speak it, rather than through the eyes of grammarians who study and dissect it.Objectively, English is the easiest of all the major world languages to learn (German, French, Italian, Spanish, etc.) because its grammar is fundamentally simpler. This fact is occasionally mentioned in grammar books; however, it is never really exploited. The purpose of this book is to help non-native speakers better understand how native anglohones view and use their language, with emphasis on its simplicities and regularities rather than its complexities and exceptions. As an extra aid, false exceptions are always clearly indicated.In short, the purpose of Actual English is to help you think in English, i.e. help you better understand how native anglophones think about their language when they are actually speaking it.

Book Details


  • Educational
  • Nonfiction

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
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