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English Grammar For Dummies, UK Edition

Lesley J. Ward, Geraldine Woods

ISBN: 978-0-470-68704-8 October 2009 384 Pages


If you're confused by commas, perplexed by pronouns, and plain terrified by tenses, English Grammar For Dummies will put your fears to rest. Packed with expert guidance, it covers everything from sentence basics to rules even your English teacher didn't know - if you want to brush up on your grammar, this is the only guide you'll ever need.

Discover how to: avoid common grammatical errors; get to grips with apostrophes; structure sentences correctly; use verbs and find the right tense; and decide when to use slang or formal English.


Introduction 1

Part I: The Parts of Speech and Parts of the Sentence 7

Chapter 1: I Already Know How to Talk. Why Should I Study Grammar? 9

Chapter 2: Verbs: The Heart of the Sentence 17

Chapter 3: Relax! Understanding Verb Tense 33

Chapter 4: Who’s Doing What? Finding the Subject 51

Chapter 5: Having It All: The Complete Sentence 63

Chapter 6: Handling Complements 73

Part II: Avoiding Common Errors 83

Chapter 7: Getting Hitched: Marrying Sentences 85

Chapter 8: Do You Feel Bad or Badly? The Lowdown on Adjectives and Adverbs 99

Chapter 9: Prepositions, Interjections and Articles 115

Chapter 10: Everyone Brought Their Homework: Pronouns 125

Chapter 11: Just Nod Your Head: About Agreement 137

Part III: No Garage, but Plenty of Mechanics 153

Chapter 12: Apostrophes 155

Chapter 13: Quotations: More Rules than Revenue & Customs 171

Chapter 14: The Pause That Refreshes: Commas 193

Chapter 15: Adding Information: Semicolons, Dashes and Colons 203

Chapter 16: CAPITAL LETTERS 215

Part IV: Polishing without Wax – The Finer Points of Grammar 229

Chapter 17: Pronouns and Their Cases 231

Chapter 18: Fine-Tuning Verbs 243

Chapter 19: Saying What You Want to Say: Descriptive Words and Phrases 259

Chapter 20: Good, Better, Best: Comparisons 265

Chapter 21: Keeping Your Balance 279

Part V: Rules Even Your Great-Aunt’s Grammar Teacher Didn’t Know 289

Chapter 22: The Last Word on Verbs 291

Chapter 23: The Last Word on Pronouns 301

Chapter 24: The Last Word on Sentence Structure 313

Chapter 25: The Last Word on Punctuation 327

Part VI: The Part of Tens 341

Chapter 26: Ten Ways Two to Improve Your Proofreading 343

Chapter 27: Ten Ways to Learn Better Grammar 347

Index 351