proficiency course in english, a - frank vivian bywater.pdf

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A Proficiency Course in English
Co ntents
I. The constructions with basic verbs A - C
2. Patten ofverb tenses (excluding conditionals)
3. Notes on the uses of basic tenses
4. The constructions with basic verbs D - G
5. Conditionals
6. The constructions with basic verbs H - I
7. Points to remember about using the passive in English
8. The constructions with basic verbs K - N
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9. Thesubjunctive
10. The constructions with basic verbs O-S
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11. Inversion
12. The constructions with basic verbs T - Z
13. The pleonastic 'it' (the extra 'it')
14. Thegerund
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15. The ininitive
© F. V. Bywater 1982
16. Compound or phrasal verbs B
First published by Hodder and Stoughton Ltd. 1982
ISBN 0 340 286288. Reprinted eighteen times.
17. 'So' and prepositions at the end of sentences
18. Interrogative sentences
This edition published by Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd 1990
ISBN 0 17556193 I
NPN 9 8 7 65
19. Relative pronouns
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copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with
the provisions of the Copyright, Design and Patents At 1988, or under
the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the
Copyright Licensing Agency, 0 Tottenham ourt Road, London, WIP
20. Compound verbs C- D
2 1. Uncountable nouns
2 2. The uses of 'some' , 'other', 'any', 'none', 'neither', 'one'
and 'ones'
Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication
may be liable to criminal prosecution nd civil claims for damages.
24. CoJlective nouns
Printed in Hong Kong
25. Compound verbs F - H
26. Som e poins t o n ote about th e use of aux iliary verbs
In trod uc tion
27. Indirect speech
15 9
28. Compound verbs K - M
This book has a very speciic purpose. Between the Cambridge First
Certiicate and Cambridge Proiciency Examinations, students have to
build up a far greater knowledge of idi0tatic English and they have to
learn to eliminate grammatical and stylistic mistakes. This involves a
svstematic revision of all the most important aspects of grammar and
construction, and this book is designed to help in this task. In compil­
ing it, I have had only one criterion: I have considered what, in the light
of some years' experience of teaching English to foreign students,
seem to be the things that advanced students still have difficulty with,
and I have given most of my attention to these things. The Cambridge
Examiners themselves have pointed out the vast number of mistakes
with constructions after verbs (which I have called government of
verbs) and so I have dealt with these in considerable detail, partly by
giving lists for reference of the commonest expressions followed by a
particular construction and, above all, by setting a large number of
exercises to give students practice in using these constructions.
Apart from the government of verbs the following seem to me the
most usual sources of mistakes: uncountable nouns, phrasal verbs
(which I have usually called compound verbs), tenses, articles and
word order. These are therefore the things that have been gone into
most fully.
This book, however, is not meant to be a comprehensive grammar
book, and on many other aspects of grammar-such as the Passive,
Relative Pronouns, Indirect Speech and Auxiliary Verb--it assumes
that the students have already studied the subject and merely draws
attention to some salient points that may have been overlooked or not
properly grasped.
I may, with some justiication, be accused of over-simpliication in
grammatical expositions. This is at least partly deliberate. As I have no
wish to bog the student down in a mass of minor intricacies, everything
not essential has been omitted. My aim throughout has been to present
the grammar simply enough for the student to be able to get a clear,
overall picture of it. Where teachers think the over-simpliication too
scandalous, there is nothing to stop them illing in further details.
Everyone has his hobby-horse and no book completely suits anyone
excep t its writer. Books are aids to teachers, not tyrants over them.
Allowing for such illing-in, however, I do intend the book to be work­
ed through systematically.
Here, perhaps, a little advice about how to use it in class may not
com e amiss. It is obviously impossible for the teacher to read through
the grammar sections with the pupils in class: nothing could be more
slee p-inducing. It is suggested, therefore, that the teacher (with his
bo ok open) should do his best to elicit the information required by
29. The use of the articles in English
30. The Saxon genitive (th e's) and the u se of nouns as adjective s
3l. Com pound v erbs P-S
32 . Word order
33. Compound verbs S-T
34. Sentence construction
35. Miscellaneous compound verbs
36. K ey
questioning the pupils (with their books closed). Thus, for example, in
section I the teacher would point out the irst principle mentioned and
then ask members of the class to give some examples of it. Then he
would ask one student to make up a sentence using 'advise'. Another
student would be asked to make up another one using a different con­
struction, then a third student, and so on. Subsequently, the grammar
of the section n e given to read for homework as a preface to the
students' writing the exercise(s) op it. Similarly in sections 2 and 3
quesions will be put about the use of the Present Simple and Con­
tinuous, Prsent Perfect and Simple Pastetc. so that, as far as possible,
the infonation contained in those sections can be gleaned rom the
pupils themselves. Afterwards the teacher can ill in this method of
class participation and it can be applied to ll sections, except 14 (on
the gerund) and 15 (on the ininitive), where the lists are most obvious­
ly for reference. Here the tea:her will probably limit himself to making
sure tbat the students understand the meaning of the less common
words. hroughout the book, this may be necessary, as the vocabulary
used is quite extensive and in no way specially selected as simple. In
short, the grammar sections will be mainly useful for reference ater
the essehtial contents have been taught in the way suggested. This
method will ensure that the teacher s teaching, not merely acting as a
kind of 'medium' to transmit messages rom me-a disembodied spirit
to all except my own pupils-to the class.
Because the book is meant to be worked through systematically I .
have not grouped all the grammar and exercises on a particular subject
together. It looks neat, but is, for practical purposes, absurd to have a
whole lot of exercises on one point together and then never another
mention of the point. Even the grammar on the government of verbs,
tenses and phrasal verbs has been split up into a number of sections in
an attempt to avoid mental indigestion. All the exercises on grammar
follow the expositions and so are prepared beforehand, but revision
exercises are found throughout the book. Exercises on vocabulary and
coprehension, however, are inserted and have not been prepared
beforehand. I do not see how they can be prepared without giving
away all the answers.
A number of the points dealt with in this book do not seem to have
been tackled in other books that I have seen for foreign students. I
have therefore had little precedent to guide me and have indeed been
driven to writing this by the very real gaps that I have. noticed in gram­
mar books for advanced students. I hope, therefore, that the short­
comings here will not be as severely censured as they would be if I were
covering only well-known ground.
Finally, a word on grammar rules. There is no justice in this life and
all examiners are on the look-out for lapses of grammar. Whe'n Dick­
ens wrote: 'The clerk's ire was so very much smaller that it looked like
one coal', he, in common with every Englishman who has not taught
English to foreigners, had never heard of an uncountable noun. The
unfortunate foreigner writing the same sentence would have marks
deducted for not knowing his grammar. Grammar rules, therefore,
se rve only to help the student to play safe. They are empirical, not
absolute. Only a vast amount of reading of English literature will give
the student a 'feel for the language' that will enable him to snap his
fingers at the rules. If he has already reached that stage, this book has
nothing to teach him. If not, I hope it may help him to reach it.
F. V. Bywater
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