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The Great Grammar Book - a Review
Marsha Sramek is the author of The Great Grammar Book: Mastering Grammar Usage and the Essentials of Composition. This book has proven to be an extremely valuable aid to me, not only in my writing, but also in my editing and proofreading. So I could give an honest of review of this book, I read every chapter and did all of the exercises. I found her teaching to be clear, simple, and easy to understand. Plenty of examples are given after each explanation to ensure you have a clear understanding of what you just read. The exercises are not so long that they become tedious, but are the right length to ensure you can apply what you were just taught. The sentences in each exercise are entertaining and guaranteed to keep your attention.
I wish this book had been around when I was going to school. My understanding of grammar would have been so much better. I really wish this book had been around during the years when I homeschooled my children. This book teaches about grammar that you will need out in the real world. Say good-bye to diagramming sentences. Say adios to direct and indirect objects. So what exactly is taught in this book?
Chapter 1 covers agreement of subject and verb. It starts out really simple and teaches one how identify subjects and verbs, as well as prepositional phrases, in sentences. What if your sentence is turned around? What if there is an intervening phrase in your sentence? What if your sentence has time, money, weights, fractions, or titles? Does your verb need to be singular or plural if the subject is an indefinite pronoun? All of these questions, plus many more, are answered.
Chapter 2 covers the common errors that each one of us is probably guilty of making at one time or another. How many of you have trouble with homonyms and possessives?
Chapter 3 teaches about pronouns. I've seen a lot of people make the mistake of not making their pronouns agree in number with their antecedents. That mistake is covered in this chapter.
Chapter 4 teaches about capital letters. It teaches when to use them and when not to use them.
Chapter 5 teaches how to use apostrophes correctly. You learn how to use them for possessives, left out letter or numbers,and you learn when not use to use one.
Chapter 6 teaches about complete sentences, sentence fragments, and run-on sentences.
Chapter 7 teaches about punctuation. It covers quotation marks, italics/underlining, the question mark, parentheses, the colon, the dash, the hyphen, and the ellipsis.
Chapter 8 teaches about commas, one of the most misused and misunderstood punctuation marks.
Chapter 9 teaches on irregular verbs. This chapter covered some verbs that I've always had some serious issues with. The verbs lie and lay have given me nightmares for years. When I was going through school, I didn't understand them. When I was schooling my own children, I didn't understand them. When I was teaching at a local private school, I still didn't understand them. I'm just glad that there were answer keys available for me to use. Her explanation cleared it right up for me. Where has this book been all my life?
Chapter 10 was my favorite chapter. Homonyms and misused words are favorites of mine to write articles on and this chapter covers those. How to correctly write abbreviations and numbers is also taught.
Chapter 11 is on double negatives, a pet peeve of mine.
Chapter 12 covers successful writing strategies. You are shown how to do such things as eliminate wordiness and unnecessary words and phrases and how to combine two so-so sentences into one strong sentence.
This book is awesome! Anyone who needs to have a better understanding of grammar would definitely benefit from it. I keep this book within easy reach on my desk so I can refer to it whenever I need.
I was sent a copy of this wonderful grammar book free of charge by the publisher. If you would like to obtain your own copy, I have provided an Amazon link for you below.
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