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Practical English Usage: Practical English Usage Paperback – Apr 1 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (April 1 1995)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 019431197X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0194311977
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.6 x 4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 962 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #280,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Hooper on May 15 2004
Format: Paperback
As an English teacher, I can't live without this book. For many English speakers, it is difficult to explain some of the more esoteric points of grammar. In my experience, I've found that most grammar books are too basic, are filled with lots of unnecessary grammar exercises, or are difficult to use. This book, however, is easy to use and is created for the English teaching professional rather than for the English student. It's a breeze to check up on difficult points. All of the grammar points are listed in alphabetical order in an encyclopedic manner. In my teaching career, I've been asked many difficult questions that were difficult for me to answer. Every time, Swan's Practical English Usage came to my rescue. Every English teacher should have a copy of this one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By seydlitz89 on Feb. 28 2001
Format: Paperback
As a teacher of English as a Foreign Language I use Michael Swan's book often. It is organized alphabetically by topic and provides clear explanations to various types of usage. Need to find out about the use of the subjunctive form in English or whether it is permitted to use they/them/their to refer to a single indefinite person? This reference can answer those as well as many other elementary or advanced questions that may come up. The only source of confusion I have found was his partial omitting the terms 0,1,2,3 and Mixed Conditional tenses, grouping these all instead under "if". Many students learn the conditional tenses using the 0-M system and find it quite handy and useful in learning the various structures and meanings. The author mentions types 1-3 on pages 245-6, and then goes on to insist quite correctly that there are many different structures for "if". However, he fails to mention the "0" and "M" conditionals, which would account for most of the rest (including conditional sentences that do not use "if"). In all this could be a rather minor irritant to at least some users of this book.
To repeat my view, this is an excellent reference and one I recommend to my advanced students.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deák Csaba on Jan. 30 2000
Format: Paperback
I have used this book a lot while studying English and I think IT IS WORTH BUYING for everybody who regularly uses English language and wants to speak and write correctly.
Practical English Usage contains hundreds of entries on English grammar, from elementary to advanced topics and some entries on other issues (pronunciation, usage of problematic words, style etc.). The entries are well selected with and well indexed, so I found answers for the vast majority of questions I have ever tried to look up.
Keep in mind, however, that the book can be used primarily as a REFERENCE. It is NOT structured for systematic, regular study and it is too dry for that purpose.
If you want to learn English grammar, I recommend that you get this book, together with Basic English Grammar by Eastwood and Mackin (with the exercises). Use Eastwood and Mackin's book for systematic study and complement it with Swan's book whenever you have any specific question. These books together cover ALL you'll ever need on English grammar (except if you need to be a professional in the field - such as a translator, university professor etc.).
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Format: Paperback
This grammar book has the size of a dictionary, and the entries are in alphabetical order for quick reference. It is "intended for intermediate and advanced students, and for teachers of English," as it is stated in the introduction. I particularly enjoy the bright white of the paper and the use of a brown-red for the entries, whereas their explanations are in black, in bold type and cursive. There are also ten very interesting pages about "newspaper headlines" and useful information on "stress, rhythm and intonation," as well as "weak and strong forms."
I have a degree in foreign languages and literatures and have taught English for the last ten years. I think everyone who studies the English language should have this book on their shelves, next to their dictionaries, for whatever your grammar doubt is, you'll quickly find a solution to your problem.
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Format: Paperback
This book is very, very good. It is well structured, written in a simple, effective style and it is authoritative. It deals with questions like "should I use 'may' or 'might' in a particular context" and "when should I use 'that' and when 'which'".
I cannot recommend this book highly enough to those people who are interested in having a reference book to answer such questions.
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Format: Paperback
This "Practical English Usage" deserves gratitude for the invaluable guidance it has given to millions of learners. It is a useful resource whose step-by-step method of teaching facilitates comprehension.
Michael Swan did a good job in authoring this practical guide. However, this edition which first appeared in 1995, needs to be reviewed and updated. But that apart, it remains a useful and dependable learning guide.
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