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The definitive English grammar book?

(13 Posts)
tellmethefuture Sat 08-Oct-11 10:56:36

I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right forum. This is directed at anyone who's done third-level study of English or anyone lecturing in English, or indeed anyone working as an editor, copy editor, proofreader etc.
What would be considered the definitive English grammar book (including grammar, punctuation style issues etc.)?

sleepingbunny Sat 08-Oct-11 19:52:47

You can buy the Telegraph style guide ? Maybe only definitive if you work for the Telegraph, though?

nobodysbaby Mon 10-Oct-11 20:54:28

I'd go for David Crystal's Rediscover Grammar.

animula Mon 10-Oct-11 23:22:02

We were told to use this when I was at university - but that was some long time ago.

For style issues most people use one of the main style guides - Chicago or MHRA - which are available on-line, don't they?

Sorry, I'm really just bumping this for you because I think there must be someone on here who can answer this definitively!

Jux Mon 10-Oct-11 23:25:40

We were always told to use Fowler's.

tellmethefuture Mon 10-Oct-11 23:31:28

Thanks for the suggestions. I have the MHRA one. Amazon recommends the 'Rediscover Grammar' book alright. animula can't get on that site right now through your link but I'll try later.

I'm after what a Professor of English might use (as opposed to an A Level student or someone learning English as a second language), but probably a Prof of English would have all of the above and more!

animula Mon 10-Oct-11 23:37:58

The one I linked to was Quirk and Greenbaum "A University Grammar of English".

I'm curious now - what are you researching this for? smile

animula Mon 10-Oct-11 23:45:00

Jux' recommendation has its own Wikipedia entry. I think that must surely be the way to go. smile

senua Tue 11-Oct-11 08:23:20

Try asking the Pedants.

Jux Tue 11-Oct-11 09:31:12

I'm a little bit of a pedant myself <preens> but I try not to go there.....

wellwisher Tue 11-Oct-11 09:50:31

I use Fowler's Modern English Usage. I also like William Strunk's Elements of Style.

tellmethefuture Tue 11-Oct-11 10:08:43

Fowler's I actually have and use. I'm wondering about it now though because I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that it's no longer the go-to grammar reference..... or did I imagine that?!

wellwisher I actually ordered the Strunk one because it sounded useful.

animula I'm kind of blush now because it sounds like I'm doing a thesis on the subject! It's just, I've done some editing work in the past, 'on the side' if you like, and now I want to sort of break into it in a bigger way because I want to work my own hours. So I really wanted to make sure I have the 'tools of the trade' or if I need to get more than what I have etc.

Thanks for the suggestions. Any other ideas/suggestions welcome!

eandemum Sun 16-Oct-11 22:29:53

I always used to use Raymond Murphy's Use of English - when I was EFL teaching.
There are 3 levels - the intermediate one is great!
Very clear, good examples and exercises (and answers in the back!)
Was good as we never learnt grammar/puntuation at school.

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