The Grammar Bible
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  • The Grammar Bible
  • Michael Strumpf and Auriel Douglas
  • Published by: Holt Paperbacks
  • Level: Intermediate
  • First Published in: 2004

The Grammar Bible is a useful guide that offers answers to some of the most common grammar questions. In this book students will be given examples and rules to help them go over topics like prepositions, pronouns, adjective word order, the subjunctive mood and much more! A perfect book for both teachers and students.

REVIEW BY Katie Collum Book EXPERT
Review posted: 28/10/2013
Have you used this book?

I’ll admit that when I first started working as an ESL instructor I wasn’t exactly a grammar guru. As most people will attest, teaching a language which is your native one doesn’t necessarily mean you automatically know all the down and dirty secrets of nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Even people with an excellent grasp on a language can find themselves struggling at some point with sentence structure or alarmingly complicated questions from their students involving proper punctuation. So it’s always a great idea to have a go-to book for all those difficult grammar queries.

I’d like to suggest one that I’ve found particularly useful in a couple ways. The name of this book is The Grammar Bible and, as its name implies, it is one of the must-haves for ESL work. I think that this book also can serve as a double-edged sword (in a good way); meaning that if you are an advanced student looking to really clean up your grasp on English, this book will be just as useful to you as it would be to an English teacher needing a reference grammar guide.

There are a lot of great things about The Grammar Bible but what really has captured my focus here is how thorough this book is. Each chapter will focus on a single grammar concept: for example, chapter one is all about nouns, their different uses, and the proper ways to place them in a sentence. The chapter opens with the definition of what a noun is outlined at the very top of the page, and then proceeds to go into depth about the varied types of nouns and their uses – giving excellent examples along the way. Each chapter follows a similar structure but with different concepts: moving from verbs and adjectives to sentence structure and punctuation.

The Grammar Bible serves both as a dictionary for the varied grammar terms and a reference point for when you simply can’t remember on what page irregular verbs were discussed. This way, you’re not stuck leafing through the book with a faint hope of finding exactly what you need; instead you have an efficient means of doing so.

"...if you are an advanced student looking to really clean up your grasp on English, this book will be just as useful to you as it would be to an English teacher needing a reference grammar guide."

However, it is necessary to be warned. If you are approaching this book as a student, only do so if you are advanced enough to understand how the concepts are explained in the book. It will be of little use unless you have a pretty stable foundation and grasp of English. As for teachers, this is a great supplementary instrument, but by no means should serve as a chief text book. This book is so thorough that it becomes a bit dense and (dare I say) boring. Your students may find it intimidating and daunting if they are forced to tackle it as the primary classroom text.

Something else I found to be a bit negative about The Grammar Bible is that it doesn’t really provide hands on exercises for the student to get involved in. I admit that I’m quite partial to the workbook style of learning, and I would have loved to see some fill-in-the-blanks or other similar exercises for teachers to be able to use in the classroom or for students to be able to study and complete on their own at home. Unfortunately, this book is more along the lines of a textbook you read and take notes on in a separate notebook – not one you can mark up and fill in.

Overall, I find The Grammar Bible to be a great learning tool for both students and teachers. It’s easy to apply this book in the classroom when you are trying to teach grammar and, as a student, it is quite useful in helping you to get a head start on firmly grasping the important arrangements of the English language. Just remember to use other textbooks as well in order to provide a well-rounded learning experience and be sure to keep The Grammar Bible handy for those other cases when you want to know the nitty-gritty about pronouns and adjectives!



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