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Book review
Real English Grammar cover

Real English Grammar: Intermediate to Upper Intermediate  
Hester Lott

(Marshall Cavendish)

Review written by Thomas Simon

Real English Grammar is a relatively new glossy English grammar for learners of intermediate to upper intermediate levels. The book is divided up into the following sections:

- nouns, determiners & pronouns
- verbs present & past
- perfect forms
- future
- imperative, conditional & passive
- special verbs
- modals
- adjectives, adverbs, quantifiers & prepositions
- structure of sentences, clauses & phrases
- appendices

And then each section contains a number of self-contained units, each consisting of four pages; two of explanation & two of practice activities.

Real English Grammar follows the move towards a more discourse-based approach to learning in that it provides a context for the main forms of each unit. These main forms are hopefully noticed, being in bold, & then the explanation begins. These introductory texts are claimed to be 'real English', a term open to a wide interpretation. There is no attempt to guide towards the rules & explanations, understandable with the sheer quantity of items & aspects covered. The dialogues are on the CD, read by native speakers.

The explanations themselves are clear & to the point, & there is a certain amount of assumed metalanguage which, in case terms are unknown, are explained in the first section of the appendices.

There is a variety of activity in the exercises, ranging from the usual gap fill to insertion tasks through to reading comprehension to reinforce meaning. The rubric is clear & concise, pitched well to the level.

The appendices contain helpful reference tables, including a token stab at phonology, & the book comes with a separate answer key & CD.

All in all Real English Grammar is a very good addition to the grammar shelf. It is a very attractive book, shiny pages full of colour illustrations & photos, & general coloured layout. Definitely another essential book for the staffroom & one to recommend to your intermediate students.

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