Oxfort grammar

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Oxford University Press Walton Street, Oxford 0X2 6DP Oxford New York Auckland Bangkok Buenos Aires Cape Town Chennai Dar es Salaam Delhi Hong Kong Istanbul Karachi Kolkata Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Mumbai Nairobi São Paulo Shanghai Singapore Taipei Tokyo Toronto with an associated company in Berlin

are trade marks of Oxford University Press ISBN 019 431351 4 (paperback) ISBN 0 19 431334 4 (hardback) © Oxford University Press 1994 First published 1994 Seventh impression 2002

No unauthorized photocopying All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior writtenpermission of Oxford University Press. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. Illustratedby Heather Clarke

Typeset in Utopia by Tradespools Ltd, Frome, Somerset Printed in Hong Kong



Key to symbols Sentence and text 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 English grammar The simple sentence Statements, questions, imperatives and exclamations Questions and answers Leaving out and replacing words Information and emphasis Spoken English and writtenEnglish Verb forms 8 9 10 11 12 13 The verb phrase Verb tenses and aspects The future Be, have and do Modal verbs The passive Infinitive, gerund and participles 14 The infinitive 15 The gerund 16 The noun phrase 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Nouns and noun phrases Agreement The articles: a/an and the Possessives and demonstratives Quantifiers Pronouns Numbers and measurements Adjectives, adverbs andprepositions 24 25 26 27 28 Adjectives Adverbials Comparison Prepositions Phrasal verbs and patterns with prepositions Main clauses and sub clauses 29 Sentences with more than one clause 30 And, or, but, so etc


1 6 15 25 42 52 64

75 82 95 104 113 130


144 159 167

175 191 198 213 219 233 245

251 260 278 286 302

317 323

31 32 33 34 35

Adverbial clausesConditional clauses Noun clauses Direct and indirect speech Relative clauses Word forms

327 333 341 346 356

36 37 38 39

Word-building Word endings: pronunciation and spelling Irregular noun plurals Irregular verb forms Appendix

367 376 380 382

40 American English Glossary Index

389 397 404


The Oxford Guide to English Grammar is a systematic account of grammaticalforms and the way they are used in standard British English today. The emphasis is on meanings and how they govern the choice of grammatical pattern. The book is thorough in its coverage but pays most attention to points that are of importance to intermediate and advanced learners of English, and to their teachers. It will be found equally suitable for quick reference to details and for the moreleisured study of broad grammar topics. A useful feature of the book is the inclusion of example texts and conversations, many of them authentic, to show how grammar is used in connected writing and in speech. Language changes all the time. Even though grammar changes more slowly than vocabulary, it is not a set of unalterable rules. There are sometimes disagreements about what is correct Englishand what is incorrect. 'Incorrect' grammar is often used in informal speech. Does that make it acceptable? Where there is a difference between common usage and opinions about correctness, I have pointed this out. This information is important for learners. In some situations it may be safer for them to use the form which is traditionally seen as correct. The use of a correct form in an unsuitable...
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