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English Grammar Workbook For Dummies, with Online Practice, 3rd Edition




English Grammar Workbook For Dummies, with Online Practice, 3rd Edition

Geraldine Woods

ISBN: 978-1-119-45543-1 March 2018 336 Pages


Improve your English grammar

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by using proper English language and grammar. The ability to articulate and communicate effectively is a valuable asset in all aspects of life. From writing a research paper to giving a presentation at work or just holding a casual conversation with friends or family, strong verbal and written skills are necessities in everyday communication. 

English Grammar Workbook For Dummies is the perfect solution for sharpening the tools in your grammar kit, with lessons and plenty of practice opportunities to help reinforce learning. Whether you need to brush up on the finer points of punctuation, need help making sense of those pesky parts of speech—or anything in between—this approachable guide makes it fast and easy.


•    Find FREE quizzes for every chapter online

•    Handle pronouns with grace

•    Master plurals and possessives

•    Improve your proofreading skills

Everyone benefits from using proper grammar and speech, and now you can too!

Introduction 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 2

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1: Building A Firm Foundation: Grammar Basics 5

Chapter 1: Tailoring Language to Suit Your Audience and Purpose 7

Climbing the Ladder of Language Formality 8

Matching Message to Situation 10

Answers to “Tailoring Language to Suit Your Audience and Purpose” 13

Chapter 2: Identifying the Major Elements of a Sentence 15

Going to the Heart of the Matter: The Verb 15

Treasure hunt: Finding the verb 16

Choosing the correct verb for negative expressions 17

Questioning with verbs 18

Aiding and abetting: Helping verbs 19

Zeroing in on the Subject 20

When one isn’t enough: Forming noun plurals 21

Adding Meaning: Objects and Complements 23

Answers to Questions about Major Elements of a Sentence 25

Chapter 3: Having It All: Writing Complete Sentences 29

Finding Subjects and Verbs that Match 30

Checking for Complete Thoughts 31

Improving Flow with Properly Joined Sentences 33

Setting the Tone with Endmarks 36

Proper Sentence or Not? That Is the Question 37

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Complete Sentences 39

Answers to Complete Sentence Problems 40

Part 2: Clearing Up Confusing Grammar Points 45

Chapter 4: Finding the Right Verb at the Right Time 47

Using Past, Present, and Future Tense at the Right Times 47

Putting Perfect Tenses in the Spotlight 49

Speaking of the Past and Things That Never Change 51

Romeo Lives! Writing about Literature and Art in Present Tense 53

Hitting Curveballs: Irregular Forms 54

Getting a Handle on Common Irregulars: Be and Have 56

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Verbs 58

Answers to Problems on Verbs and Verb Tenses 59

Chapter 5: Agreement: Choosing Singular or Plural Verbs and Pronouns 67

Meeting Their Match: Pairing Subjects and Verbs 67

Boning up on the basics 68

Taming the tough guys: Difficult subjects 70

Dealing with tricksters 72

Matching Pronouns and Antecedents 73

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Hitching Subjects and Verbs 77

Answers to Subject, Verb, and Pronoun Pairing Problems 78

Chapter 6: Solving Pronoun Case 85

Meeting the Subject at Hand and the Object of My Affection 85

To “Who” or To “Whom”? That Is the Question 87

You Talkin’ to Me, or I? Pronouns as Objects of Prepositions 89

Matching Possessive Pronouns to “-ing” Nouns 90

Missing in Action: Choosing Pronouns for Implied Comparisons 91

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Pronoun Case 92

Answers to Advanced Pronoun Problems 93

Chapter 7: Little Words Packing a Lot of Power: Prepositions and Interjections 99

Pinning Down Prepositions 100

Interjections Are Simple! 102

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Prepositions and Interjections 103

Answers to Questions About Prepositions and Interjections 104

Chapter 8: Writing Good or Well: Adjectives and Adverbs 107

Identifying Adjectives and Adverbs 107

The Right Place at the Right Time: Placing Adjectives and Adverbs 109

How’s It Going? Choosing Between Good/Well and Bad/Badly 111

Mastering the Art of Articles 112

For Better or Worse: Forming Comparisons 113

Visiting the -ER (and the -EST): One- or two-word comparisons 113

Going from bad to worse (and good to better): Irregular comparisons 116

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Descriptors 117

Answers to Adjective and Adverb Problems 118

Part 3: Mastering Mechanics 125

Chapter 9: A Hook That Can Catch You: Apostrophes 127

Showing Who Owns What: Possessives 128

Tightening Up Text: Contractions 129

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Apostrophes 132

Answers to Apostrophe Problems 133

Chapter 10: “Can I Quote You on That?” Quotation Marks 137

Quoting and Paraphrasing: What’s the Difference? 137

Giving Voice to Direct Quotations 139

Punctuating Titles 140

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Quotation Marks 142

Answers to Quotation Problems 143

Chapter 11: Pausing to Consider the Comma 147

Keeping Lists in Order with Commas and Semicolons 148

Directly Addressing the Listener or Reader 150

Punctuating Dates and Addresses 150

Placing Commas in Combined Sentences 152

Inserting Extras with Commas: Introductions and Interruptions 154

Setting Descriptions Apart 155

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Commas 157

Answers to Comma Problems 158

Chapter 12: Handling Dashes, Hyphens, and Colons 165

Dashing Off 165

Helping Yourself to Hyphens 167

Coming to a Stop: Colons 168

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Dashes, Hyphens, and Colons 170

Answers to Problems on Dashes, Hyphens, and Colons 171

Chapter 13: Hitting the Big Time: Capital Letters 175

Paying Respect to People’s Names and Titles 176

Capitalizing the Right Time and Place 177

Working with Business and School Terms 178

Capitalizing Titles of Literary and Media Works 180

Managing Capital Letters in Abbreviations 181

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Capital Letters 182

Answers to Capitalization Problems 183

Chapter 14: Writing for Electronic Media 187

Knowing Your Audience: The Right Writing for the Right Situation 187

Shortening Your Message 190

Powering Up Your Presentation Slides 192

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Electronic Media 195

Answers to Electronic Media Problems 196

Part 4: Going Above and Beyond: The Finer Points of Grammar and Style 199

Chapter 15: Going for the Gold: The Finer Points of Verb Usage 201

Voicing an Opinion: Active and Passive Verbs 201

In the Mood: Selecting the Right Verb for All Sorts of Sentences 203

Indicating facts: Indicative mood 204

Issuing commands: Imperative mood 204

Telling lies: Subjunctive mood 205

Spicing Up Sentences by Adding Interesting Verbs 207

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Voice and Mood 208

Answers to Voice and Mood Problems 210

Chapter 16: Identifying Clauses and Their Effects 215

Locating Clauses 215

Sorting Independent and Subordinate Clauses 217

Making Clauses Work Together 218

Answers to Clause Problems 221

Chapter 17: Adding Style to Sentences 225

Speaking Verbally 225

Identifying verbals 226

Telling time with verbals 227

Playing with Sentence Patterns 228

Introductory elements 228

Combining ideas and changing word order 231

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice Honing Your Sentences 233

Answers to Sentence Improvement Problems 234

Chapter 18: Staying on Track: Parallel Writing 239

Geometry Meets English: Making Sentences Parallel 239

Staying in Gear: Avoiding Unnecessary Shifts 242

Following Special Rules for VIPs: Very Important Pairs 245

Drawing Parallel Comparisons 247

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Parallels 248

Answers to Parallelism Problems 249

Chapter 19: Steering Clear of Confusion: Clarity 255

Putting Descriptive Words in Their Proper Place 255

Inserting single-word descriptions 256

Relocating longer descriptions 257

Dangling descriptions 259

Getting caught in the middle: Vague descriptions 262

Avoiding Illogical Comparisons 263

Completing half-finished comparisons 263

Being smarter than yourself: Illogical comparisons 265

Making Sure Your Pronouns Are Meaningful 267

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice in Writing Clear Sentences 269

Answers to Clarity Problems 270

Chapter 20: Dealing with Grammar Demons 277

Dropping Double Negatives 277

Telling Word-Twins Apart 279

Distinguishing Between Commonly Confused Words 280

Counting and Measuring Grammatically 281

Taming Tricky Verbs 282

Banishing Bogus Expressions 283

Calling All Overachievers: Extra Practice with Tricky Words 287

Answers to Grammar Demon Problems 288

Appendix: Grabbing Grammar Goofs 293

Index 313 Activate the online test!