Approaching English Grammar Analytically

Approaching english 200

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  • Title: Approaching English Grammar Analytically: A Student Guide
  • Author(s): Eric Drewry
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Learner
  • Year: 2014
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-61229-542-8
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-61229-543-5
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Drewry, Eric. 2014. Approaching English Grammar Analytically: A Student Guide. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-61229-543-5/CGP.
  • Extent: 311 pages


This text presents English grammar from a descriptive and cognitive viewpoint. It contains a depth and breadth appropriate for a one-semester, undergraduate university course for upperclassmen preparing to become English teachers in grades K through 12. It does not assume the students have any background in syntax, although an interest in the structure of the English sentence will supply very helpful motivation. Similarly, the book is also appropriate for professional skills enhancement for teachers who are already in the classroom. The content is not a series of high school lessons. Instead, the book provides an analytical approach that allows a teacher to explain grammar clearly for students in grades K through 12. It is useful for language arts teachers, especially if they are working with pupils whose home dialect is non-standard English (or non-English, in some instances) by helping the teacher to analyze the students’ cognitive grammar. Using sentence examples as data, this approach explains and analyzes lexical categories, types of phrases, and types of clauses with a minimum of syntactic theory. For example, the discussions in chapters 7 and 8 cover a variety of sentence transformations by moving or deleting elements of a sentence. These discussions proceed without using terminology from any of the newer syntactic theories. All of the theory is explained using data that any native speaker would be comfortable with. At the same time, enough theoretical apparatus is built up so that students and learners of all ages can see how English grammar shows very consistent structure, while also allowing a great deal of stylistic flexibility.