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McCarthy's Field Guide to Grammar: Natural English Usage and Style

Michael McCarthy

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Usage & grammar guides

This up-to-date A-Z grammar field guide, written in a clear, non-technical style by a globally successful author, will transform your ability to give the best impression through your use of language, while being entertained and enlightened along the way.

You ain't gonna like it: bad grammar's not so bad. - The Times

Remember all those grammar rules from school? No? Most of us don't. Mike McCarthy, renowned corpus linguist and co-author of the 900-page Cambridge Grammar of English answers the awkward questions that regularly bother us about English grammar. In this helpful A-Z field guide, McCarthy tells us what the conventional rules are as well as shows us what people are writing or saying now and gives simple reasons why you might choose one or the other so that you can speak and write with confidence.

Through witty and entertaining examples pulled from 50 years of teaching, 40 years of field notes picked from books, newspapers, letters, radio and TV, etc., and shamelessly eavesdropping on people's conversations in public spaces, and a British and American English computer database, McCarthy has created a book to browse and enjoy, as well as a useful reference to keep on your bookshelf.

Why a Field Guide to grammar?
- A to Z format makes it easy to access and to find what you're looking for
- Presents solutions to a host of common, everyday grammatical problems
- References current events to bring relevance to the grammar (fronted adverbials anyone?)
- Looks at historical usage to illustrate how the English language has evolved, and continues to evolve
- Gives guidance on appropriate usage where more than one way of saying something exists
- Distinguishes between spoken and written grammar where appropriate
- includes advice on vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, punctuation and style
- Compares North American and British grammar, and includes Englishes from around the world
- Charming drawings to illustrate the playfulness in the English language
- Grammar guide backed by data and research

True to the Chambers name, this field guide is as much quirky as it is informative. It is the perfect gift for any language lover, student, teacher, struggling parent or carer supporting their child's schooling, the grammar purist or the grammar descriptivist.

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Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy has won a string of awards for his writing on the environment and the natural world, first as Environment Correspondent of The Times, and later as Environment Editor of the Independent. These have included Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards, the Medal of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for 'outstanding services to conservation', the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology, and the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London. In 2008 McCarthy wrote Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo, a study of Britain's declining summer migrant birds, which was widely praised.

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