Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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p. vii

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Preface

Steve Hart

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pp. viii-ix

John Dewey realized that just as much can be learnt from doing things badly as from doing things well—and this certainly applies to writing in English. English is not an easy language to master, especially if it is being learnt as a second or third language. But improving written English skills can be achieved if instruction is...

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About the Author

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p. x

Steve Hart has been editing and proofreading for international academics and graduate students since 2005. He has co-authored undergraduate English textbooks and written two practical grammar guides for university students. He is currently an academic English coordinator and dissertation supervisor at a higher

Part A: Classes . . . to recognize

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1. Countable and Uncountable Nouns

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pp. 3-12

This chapter analyses the differences between countable and uncountable nouns and explains why some nouns can be both countable and uncountable. It also explores problematic plural noun endings along with errors that are typically made in this area...

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2. Articles

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pp. 13-23

This chapter presents the different types of article occurring in English and introduces the concept of definiteness to understand which article should be used for which situation. The chapter reveals the most common mistakes and how they can be rectified. It also explores the relationship between articles and generic reference...

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3. Pronouns and Quantifiers

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pp. 24-35

This chapter begins by explaining how a writer should approach gender reference. It then looks at plural and possessive pronouns and how they can be effectively employed. Quantity phrases are explored by identifying those that should be used with singular nouns and verbs and those with plural. ‘Of’ phrases are introduced...

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4. Subject and Verb

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pp. 36-41

This chapter explains the subject-verb agreement rule for sentences. It gives situations in which it is difficult to recognize the subject in a sentence and then moves on to problems relating to collective nouns. The chapter also explores how the structure of questions is different from that of statements...

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5. Verbs and Tenses

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pp. 42-58

The chapter begins with an examination of the forms of the verb ‘to be’. Verbals are introduced and categorized by their various forms and uses. The relationship between participles and irregular verbs is then assessed. When to employ the different tenses precedes a discussion about the active and the passive voices...

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6. Modals

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pp. 59-67

This chapter introduces modal verbs, reveals the specific rules to follow and demonstrates how modals influence other verb forms. The chapter also addresses the problems encountered when using the verb ‘to do’ and this verb’s relationship with questions...

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7. Prepositions and Particles

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pp. 68-79

This chapter provides lists of the most commonly confused phrases containing prepositions, with the main issue being wrong choice of preposition/particle. These mistakes can only be eliminated through exposure. The chapter also explores how phrasal verbs are formed and why they should be replaced with...

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8. Adjectives and Adverbs

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pp. 80-91

This chapter covers adjectives and adverbs and explores how both are used in English. It addresses adjectives that compare things and how some terms must employ different means to form a comparison. Conjunctive adverbs are introduced and assessed along with some commonly misused sentence starters and...

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9. Possession and Compounds

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pp. 92-97

This chapter looks at how to express possession correctly in a sentence and the instances where possession does not occur. The chapter presents the different structures related to possession, including the ‘of’ phrase and generic compound. It also clarifies the placement of the plural term in certain phrases...

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10. Clauses and Other Structures

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pp. 98-108

The chapter begins by presenting the two main types of clause and how they function in a sentence. It then introduces certain phrases that can begin and link clauses, including the troublesome term ‘that’. The chapter explains a few irregular sentence constructions before finishing with some guidance on forming lists...

Part B: Choices . . . to remember

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11. Noun-Adjective-Verb Confusion

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pp. 111-120

This chapter explores how related noun and adjective forms are misused, focusing initially on the typical endings or suffixes of these forms. Then the chapter addresses noun and verb confusion with a list that reveals the terms that prove particularly problematic to distinguish...

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12. Selecting the Correct Word

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pp. 121-135

This chapter presents words that are commonly confused, including forms of the same root word. It also explores prefixes by first defining them and then explaining how the sentence structure can change when negative ones are applied...

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13. Selecting the Correct Style

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pp. 136-144

This chapter examines language that is inappropriate for academic writing and reveals the individual terms that should be avoided. It explores adjective choice and how writing can be improved by removing unnecessary phrases from sentences, to improve clarity and understanding. It ends with a discussion on the...

Part C: Components . . . to review

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14. Regions and Countries

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pp. 147-152

This chapter offers instruction on how to refer to countries and regions and how to recognize the differences between the noun and the adjective forms. It also addresses generic and specific sentences, the order of adjectives in a sentence with a country reference, and the capitalization of these terms...

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15. Dates and Time Expressions

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pp. 153-160

This chapter focuses on using dates and selecting appropriate time phrases for particular situations. It covers general formatting, prepositional selection, and the relevant tense to use. It also explains how certain expressions can date events in sequence...

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16. Numbers and Percentages

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pp. 161-168

This chapter focuses on numbers and percentages and covers the issues of format, use, and suitability of terms. It also addresses the differences between cardinal and ordinal numbers and how to express fractions correctly...

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17. Figures and Tables

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pp. 169-174

This chapter focuses on the terms to use when referring to figures and tables. It covers the areas of article use, tense, prepositions, and verb choice...

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18. Spelling and Typos

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pp. 175-180

This chapter presents spelling errors that are caused by confusing certain terms, picking up bad habits, and simply mistyping...

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19. Punctuation

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pp. 181-189

This chapter investigates the role certain punctuation marks play in writing. It focuses on comma placement, semicolon use, the three types of dash, and when to employ capital letters...

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20. Referencing

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pp. 190-197

This chapter reveals the typical errors made when referencing other people’s work in the main text and in the bibliography. The topics covered include formatting, names of authors, subject-verb problems, and handling quotes...

Appendix: Irregular Verbs

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pp. 198-200

Answers

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pp. 201-209

Index

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pp. 210-218