Answer to English Grammar Question 657

I was a lazy person in High School but now at 54 I have developed a love for reading. I have read some works that have left me puzzled so I started reading a book How to Read A Book (the classic guide to intellegent reading) By Mortimer Adler And Charles Van Doren. I realize I need help with english grammer cause over the years I feel I have forgotten all the rules. Where should I go for help. Not able to attend any schools cause my job keeps me on the road all the time. Any sugestions for some books to help me get back into understanding grammer. The book I referred to said I needed to determine the author's message while reading and that means being able to find the authors propositions, arguments,and come to term with his writing to be able to understand what he/she is saying.

From member: Larry in USA


Answer

Hi, Larry. Although knowing about the nuts and bolts of the language (and that's what grammar is!) will certainly make it easier for you to grasp meaning a little more clearly, especially subtle meaning, I'm not sure that it would do a lot to help you untangle 'the authors propositions, arguments, and come to terms with his/her writing.' Improving your vocabulary, your general knowledge of language and how it is structured when written and what devices author's use to achieve their effects will help you a lot more than splitting their sentences up into the various parts of speech. A good dictionary and a style guide such as Strunk and White's 'Elements of Style' will get you on your way with understanding the vocabulary and style of literature. An enquiring and open mind will get you even further and it seems that you've got that sorted out! Any good bookshop will be able to supply you with what you need for your 'reference shelf' - browse some of the books on English language and literature and try and find one that appears to be written by someone who enjoys language rather than by someone who is treating it as a dissection job being done on a laboratory rat!



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