26 September 2023

The Briefest English Grammar and Punctuation Guide Ever!

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

By Ruth Colman, NewSouth Books, $19.99.

Understanding English grammar can be difficult, at times, because we need to learn structure, pronunciation, definitions and rules.

Grammar and punctuation cover many of the rules of language that will help when it comes to writing. While grammar refers to the ways we put words together in sentences to form a meaning, punctuation refers to all the symbols that enhance sentences and add clarity.

It’s the fundamental composition of language, describing what words should go where, and why, but invariably, many still get it wrong. One of the basic grammar rules describes the building blocks of a sentence: every sentence needs a noun and a verb. Without both, it’s just a jumble of words making it difficult to extract a message.

The Briefest English Grammar and Punctuation Guide Ever! clearly and simply explains how language works, and makes understanding punctuation undemanding.

Ruth Colman helps you sort out your verbs from your nouns and your adjectives from your adverbs. Do you know the difference between a regular and an irregular verb? Have you ever been unsure where an apostrophe should go? She strips out all the jargon to make understanding straightforward.

This concise and practical guide teaches you all the basics of using the English language. It covers clauses and phrases, words and their functions, prepositions, conjunctions, articles, exclamations and more. It explains the difference between hyphens and dashes, the use of capital letters, where to put the apostrophe and how to write a conversation.

Having taught English at secondary schools in Australia and southeast Asia, Ruth is well-placed to deliver this friendly guide. It has excellent examples and easy-to-follow rules.

The Briefest English Grammar and Punctuation Guide Ever! … what is the purpose of this book? If the answer is correct, you could win a copy of this book. Entries should be sent to [email protected] by Monday, 6 March 2023. Names of the winners will be published in Frank Cassidy’s PS-sssst…! column on 7 March 2023.

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