English Language & LINGUISTI Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer

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  Grammar   If you are uncertain about grammatical aspects of English, you may wish to consult a grammar. A very good and reliable place to turn to online is the Internet Grammar of English, which was written and designed by the Survey of English Usage. There is also an app for Apple devices. 
  Valency   If you are uncertain whether you may use a specific English word in a particular sentence structure, you now have the opportunity to check in the Erlangen Valency Patternbank, which lists all the valency patterns that were identified for the 511 verbs, 544 adjectives and 274 nouns contained in Herbst et al.'s Valency Dictionary of English.
Thus you will learn that the adjective alert can indeed be used in the pattern adjective + in_V-ing

The patterns at www.lexchecker.org are less clear than those in the Valency Patternbank, but this is counterbalanced by the fact that you get a large number of examples from the British National Corpus.

  Mnemonics   You always mix up since and for because you cannot remember which of the two refers to a point in time and which one to a period? Then these mnemonics are for you. 

In case you should already know the rules, the mnemonics are still fun to read. One day, you might even be able to use them to help your future pupils remember grammar rules more easily.

I have gathered most of these mnemonics from my students. 
If you would like to let me know about others, please tell me about them, and I will add them to the list. 

  Grammar Rock   The so-called Grammar Rock songs are real classics - and the cutest bit of grammar I have ever seen! But caution: you may not be able to get the tunes out of your mind again... 
Unpack your adjectives
Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, get your adverbs here
Conjunction junction
Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla (Pronouns)
A noun is a person, place, or thing
Busy prepositions
Verb: That's What's a'Happenin'!
The Tale of Mr. Morton (Subject, predicate)
      If you would like to sing along, you can find the lyrics here. For songs on other subjects, take a look at the Schoolhouse Rock songs.

Recommended reading



Foley, Mark and Diane Hall (2003): Longman Advanced Learners' Grammar. A Self-Study Reference & Practice Book with Answers. Edinburgh: Pearson.
[Provides you with explanation sections, exercises and answers.]
Hewings, Martin (2005): Advanced Grammar in Use. A Self-Study Reference and Practice book for Advanced Students of English (With Answers). 2nd ed. Cambridge: CUP.
[Each double page consists of a one-page overview of a particular grammatical phenomenon + one page of corresponding exercises with solutions in the appendix.]
Quirk, Randolph et al. (1985): A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. London: Longman.
[Comprehensive indeed. This large volume provides a well-researched linguistic background to English grammar.]
Sammon, Geoff (2002): Exploring English Grammar. Berlin: Cornelsen.
[If you like Cornelsen's Studium Kompakt series, you may also like this book, which has the immense advantage of being written explicitly for German learners of English.]
Swan, Michael (2005): Practical English Usage. 3rd ed. Oxford: OUP.
[Not the "typical" grammar book, it is similar to dictionaries in having entries for many individual phenomena. An indispensable reference in cases of doubt.]
Ungerer, Friedrich et al. (1984): A Grammar of Present-Day English. Stuttgart: Klett.
[The well-structured classic for German learners of English.] 

Other useful books for improving your grammar skills and knowledge

Addison, Tony and Chris Perkins (1997): Practice with Prepositions. A Practice and Reference Book for German-Speaking Learners of English. Southampton: Englang.
[Very useful exercise book if you find it hard to use the correct English prepositions.]
Herbst, Thomas, Rita Stoll and Rudolf Westermayr (1991): Terminologie der Sprachbeschreibung: Ein Lernwörterbuch für das Anglistikstudium. Ismaning: Hueber.
[Gives you a brief and readable overview of the central grammatical aspects.]
SEALING 2: Syntaxanalyse im Examen. Script. University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.
[This script, which you can buy in the Anglistik secretary's office C 5A5, will help you understand the structure of English sentences.]