Reviewed in VOICES the flagship journal of IATEFL (The International Association of Teachers of EFL) "A Descriptive Grammar of English by Example should be included on your list of reference material. It reviews language as it is not only written but also spoken, and will cater for learners from upper-intermediate to advanced levels.... (It) unveils the mysteries behind how grammatical features are applied.... and having the English language laid out in such a user-friendly approach is a welcome treat for non-native teachers and learners."
Reviewed in EFL Magazine. "This is a useful reference book to have on hand when planning for and teaching grammar lessons. The clarity of explanations and wealth of examples, alongside helpful visual keys, provide both new and experienced teachers with something easy to dip into, regardless of the language level they are teaching."
Reviewed in TESOLANZ bulletin, New Zealand."All good useful stuff and made very user friendly with clear formatting and colour coding. ... a useful, compact grammar reference, especially for new teachers and those who want to improve their confidence in teaching grammar."
Reviewed in ELTAF Online bulletin, Germany. "This book is ... very extensive without being too deep or analytical. The author seems to have a great understanding of many of the challenges that teachers and learners have, and tries to combat these challenges to make the English language more accessible for all."
"Grammar" is not an exact science, but a system for describing language use, and in this respect "Grammar" is to a large extent what linguists, teachers and students make it out to be. It can appear frighteningly complex when seen through the lens of linguistics - which is how it may seem when approached through one of the classic 1800-page linguistic grammars of English studied at university - or relatively simple.... which in most situations it really is.
As a concise pedagogical reference grammar, A Descriptive Grammar of English is designed to highlight the essential rules and principles of contemporary English grammar, and clearly illustrate them through a multitude of carefully selected, unambiguous and pertinent examples of modern style and usage. It fills a gap on the bookshelf between the heavyweight university grammars of English, with their attention to morphosyntax, and the practice grammars of English which are extensively used in the world of TESOL.
As a reference grammar, it explains and illustrates all the essential principles of contemporary English grammar;
As a teaching grammar it does so in a way that is designed to clarify and demystify the rules, not to complicate them;
And as a concise grammar, it concentrates on the fundamentals of English grammar, cutting through the jargon to explain them with a pragmatism and clarity that will be appreciated not just by students, but by teachers too.
Originally written as a practical reference book for college students, whether native speakers or learners of English as a second or other language, A Descriptive Grammar of English is also a valuable tool for teachers needing clear and simple explanations of English grammar, accompanied by multiple examples with which to illustrate contemporary English usage. Taking standard English as a benchmark, it distinguishes when appropriate between written English and spoken English, and between British and American usage in the rare cases where these differ.
Andrew Rossiter was for many years chair of the department of Applied Languages at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, France. He spent most of his career teaching in universities in France, and has been guest lecturer at universities elsewhere in Europe. This title is the fruit of over thirty years of teaching English, giving the author a broad-ranging insight into the difficulties of the English language and English grammar, as perceived by speakers of other languages as well as by native English speakers.