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English Grammar for ESL Learners – As a beginning learner of English, you might find that grammar concepts such as indefinite articles, relative pronouns, the passive voice, or gerunds can be confusing. To go forward with your English skills, you need guidance through tricky grammar areas. That’s where Practice Makes Perfect: English Grammar for ESL Learners comes in.
Practice Makes Perfect: English Grammar for ESL Learners offers a complete overview of English grammar using concise, easy-to-understand language. It will help increase your confi dence writing and communicating in English. Thanks to the proven Practice Makes Perfect format, you will polish your English grammar skills in no time at all.
Practice Makes Perfect: English Grammar for ESL Learners helps you:
- Understand the different rules and elements of grammar
- Build your grammar skills with more than 100 engaging exercises
- Broaden your knowledge with sentence rewrites and creative writing prompts
- New! Test your overall comprehension with a review section
Table of Contents
Contents – English Grammar for ESL Learners
Unit 1 Nouns 1
Unit 2 Definite and Indefinite Articles 6
Unit 3 Adjectives 9
Unit 4 Personal Pronouns 12
Unit 5 Verbs 17
Unit 6 Auxiliary Verbs 44
Unit 7 Passive Voice 49
Unit 8 Subjunctive Mood 53
Unit 9 Adverbs 59
Unit 10 Contractions 62
Unit 11 Plurals 65
Unit 12 Punctuation 68
Unit 13 Infinitives and Gerunds 75
Unit 14 Relative Pronouns 77
Unit 15 Reflexive Pronouns 83
Unit 16 Possession 86
Unit 17 Possessive Pronouns 88
Unit 18 Prepositions 92
Unit 19 Capitalization 95
Unit 20 Comparative and Superlative Forms 99
Unit 21 Conjunctions 106
Unit 22 Interrogatives 110
Unit 23 Negation 115
Unit 24 Numbers 120
Unit 25 Some Important Contrasts 125
Appendix: Common Irregular Verbs 133
Answer Key 135
Introduction – English Grammar for ESL Learners
Many people consider learning grammar a chore. And at times, it can be. But understanding the grammar of any language is essential for becoming a skilled and accurate user of that language. English is certainly no exception. The rules of grammar for a language learner are like the rules of the road for a driver. In order to be able to drive properly and maneuver with other drivers, you have to know the rules that everyone goes by.
Naturally, some people break the rules and make driving difficult for other drivers. This is true of language, too. If you follow the rules of grammar, you can express yourself clearly. But if you fail to observe those rules, people may find it difficult to understand you or they may even misunderstand you entirely. So it’s really very important to understand and use correct grammar. But what is grammar? Funk and Wagnalls’s New College Standard Dictionary describes grammar as “a type of science that explains the various principles of oral or written usage of a particular language.”
It is also said to be “the developed art of speaking or writing accurately in a particular language.” Whether science or art, grammar is made up of the descriptions that tell you how to use a language correctly. For example: Description: Begin a sentence with do to change a statement to a question. Usage: Statement = “You understand the problem.” Question = “Do you understand the problem?”
Or: Description: Use he as the subject of a sentence; use him as the direct object. Usage: Subject = “He is a good friend of mine.” Direct Object = “I visit him very often.” There are many such grammatical descriptions, and each one is a building block in the structure of your knowledge of how to form and use English correctly. The greater the number of building blocks that you master, the greater your accuracy with the spoken and written language will be. English Grammar for ESL Learners
Standard grammar is composed of the traditional rules for English. It is what grammarians and English professors want everyone to use when they speak and write. But a language evolves over time, and the traditional rules sometimes seem out of step with what is going on in the Englishspeaking world. The more current or popular usages can be called casual language. That’s what people really say in their everyday lives and is often in direct contradiction with standard grammar. As an illustration, in standard grammar you should use who as the subject of a sentence and use whom when it is used as an object. But that’s not always the case in casual language. For example: Standard grammar: “Whom did you visit in New York?” Casual language: “Who did you visit in New York?” English Grammar for ESL Learners
Although the first example is considered better grammatically, the second example sentence is the most commonly used. Another kind of example involves the verb to dive. Its past tense is either regular (dived) or irregular (dove). What is the difference? Essentially, none. Both forms are used correctly as the past tense. But English is evolving. Things are changing. And the English-speaking world is deciding whether it wants the past tense of the verb to dive to be regular or irregular. It may take quite a while longer to learn what that decision will be. So for the time being you’ll continue to hear both dived and dove in the past tense.English Grammar for ESL Learners
There is a similar case with the verb to prove. Nowadays, many people use proved as the participle in a perfect tense: “He has proved” or “We had not proved.” But there are others who still use the archaic form (proven), which today is generally accepted as an adjective, in place of proved: “He has proven” or “We had not proven.” The point here is that grammar rules will guide you toward speaking and writing better English. But many rules of grammar are broken by certain casual or popular usages and still others become unclear because the language is in a state of transition. Where these deviations occur, they will be discussed in this book, because if English learners only know that who should be used as a subject of a sentence, they will be confused by what occurs in casual language: “Who did you visit in New York?” However, just knowing the rules of grammar is not enough. This book will also provide you with abundant practice in using English grammar.
The more you practice, the more you become proficient in how you use English and to what extent you understand it. There are various kinds of exercises to allow you to manipulate the language from different angles. The Answer Key at the end of the book gives you not only the right answers but also suggestions as to how an exercise should be completed. English grammar isn’t necessarily a chore. Indeed, it can be your key to unlocking a very rich treasure.
About the Author
Ed Swick has written several ESL titles, including Practice Makes Perfect: English Pronouns and Prepositions, Practice Makes Perfect: English Problem Solver, and Writing Better English.