Review McCarthy’s field guide to grammar (a review)

A popular guest editor of Training, Language and Culture and author of the best-selling Cambridge Grammar of English, Linguist and Professor Michael McCarthy is an excellent guide to many of the issues researchers and writers have to face when using the English language and especially when preparing academic papers. The Field Guide to Grammar addresses a number of grammatical features which regularly confuse learners and language users. Items are presented in alphabetical order from A to Z and with an index at the end for ease of reference. The author also includes a glossary of basic grammar terminology, including what we mean by word classes, phrases, clauses, cases, transitive and intransitive verbs, active and passive voice, main and subordinate clauses and sentences. So, a guide of real value to teachers of English, not just for researchers and writers. And indeed, so is one of the items McCarthy discusses in the book. Used as a way of introducing a conclusion or summing up, especially in spoken presentations and interviews, it is the equivalent of well and can also be used to introduce a new topic as in ‘So, let’s explore what the book contains’.

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