Official Review: English Grammar by Victor N. Okada

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kandscreeley
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Official Review: English Grammar by Victor N. Okada

Post by kandscreeley » 25 Nov 2019, 20:25

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "English Grammar" by Victor N. Okada.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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It has been quite a while since I studied grammar in school. I don't know about you, but I remember mapping out sentences and learning the different parts of speech. Though I don't write much professionally, I thought a grammar refresher would be in order so as to make my reviews better. Thus, I picked up English Grammar: The Essential Facts by Victor Okada.

Mr. Okada is a Professor of English, Emeritus, at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; as such, he knows the subject of grammar well, and it shows in this book. The reader is taught everything from verb tenses to absolute phrases to punctuation. He even covers common pitfalls like whether to use lie or lay and if who or whom is more appropriate.

At the end of each chapter, there are exercises for the reader to complete that solidify the content learned. In the e-book version, you can click on the numbers before each example in the exercise to discover the correct answer. It was convenient that I didn't have to flip pages to see if I was correct. All the important terms are in bold, making the reader pay extra attention. A glossary, located at the end of the book, then defines these terms further.

What appealed most to me was the chapter on sentence style. The author discusses ways to vary sentence structure, including starting or ending with dependent clauses as well as embedding phrases in the middle of the sentence. As a writer, even if it is only reviews, this was extremely helpful.

Included in the book are examples of various professional writings meant to drive home the author's points. In proving that accomplished writers alter the length of their sentences, Mr. Okada uses a passage from author Joan Didion. These examples helped greatly in my understanding of the various concepts.

Being that this is a book about grammar, one would hope it was professionally edited. Mr. Okada does not disappoint. I found only one minor formatting error, specifically a phrase not italicized when similar phrases were. There were no true grammatical issues, for which I applaud the author.

This book would be helpful to a number of groups, all of which are detailed by the author in the preface. It's meant for those that need a grammar review. It would also be helpful to any who speak English as a second language (however, they would need to be more advanced speakers to grasp the difficult concepts discussed herein). Lastly, it would work well for teachers or students. For those audiences, I see no issues and give English Grammar: The Essential Facts a perfect 4 out of 4 stars.

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English Grammar
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Post by Magnify3 » 27 Nov 2019, 09:34

I wouldn't mind reading that grammar book as well...Yes, I too could do with some help. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Post by spencermack » 27 Nov 2019, 09:44

I know I could use this! Awesome review, I will have to pick this up!
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Post by kandscreeley » 27 Nov 2019, 11:42

Magnify3 wrote:
27 Nov 2019, 09:34
I wouldn't mind reading that grammar book as well...Yes, I too could do with some help. Thanks for the recommendation!
It was enlightening and educational. I can't say I'll do everything perfectly from now on, but every bit helps.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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Post by kandscreeley » 27 Nov 2019, 11:43

spencermack wrote:
27 Nov 2019, 09:44
I know I could use this! Awesome review, I will have to pick this up!
I hope you are able to read it! Enjoy.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by Cecilia_L » 27 Nov 2019, 13:31

Sounds like an informative resource. I'm curious if the author addresses any of the stylistic practices that are sometimes points of contention here at OBC when it comes to editing and reviewing, such as comma and hyphen usage, etc.

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Post by MsH2k » 27 Nov 2019, 18:53

This sounds like a book I would find useful. I particularly like the part about varying sentence length. It is part of my grammar checker report, but I never think about how to actually vary the length of my sentences. Thank you for your review!

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Post by kandscreeley » 27 Nov 2019, 19:41

Cecilia_L wrote:
27 Nov 2019, 13:31
Sounds like an informative resource. I'm curious if the author addresses any of the stylistic practices that are sometimes points of contention here at OBC when it comes to editing and reviewing, such as comma and hyphen usage, etc.
He addresses some of it. I wouldn't say it's a comprehensive punctuation guide, though. He does advise that you put a comma after every opening phrase no matter how short, which is something I've started.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by Letora » 27 Nov 2019, 19:41

I never learned basic grammar in school. In college? Sure, but the textbook we used left me confused. I should give this one a try. I love writing, but grammar takes me a long time to get right. Great review!
"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope." - Dr. Seuss

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Post by kandscreeley » 27 Nov 2019, 19:42

MsH2k wrote:
27 Nov 2019, 18:53
This sounds like a book I would find useful. I particularly like the part about varying sentence length. It is part of my grammar checker report, but I never think about how to actually vary the length of my sentences. Thank you for your review!
Yes, the demonstrations on the varying sentence length would blow your mind. It really makes a difference. Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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Post by kandscreeley » 27 Nov 2019, 19:43

Letora wrote:
27 Nov 2019, 19:41
I never learned basic grammar in school. In college? Sure, but the textbook we used left me confused. I should give this one a try. I love writing, but grammar takes me a long time to get right. Great review!
He does make it understandable. You might try this! Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by Wyland » 28 Nov 2019, 06:09

This a book I'll definitely want to read so as to improve on my grammar. Thanks for the wonderful review.

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Post by La Cabra » 28 Nov 2019, 07:52

Glad to see you liked the book. The quick links feature in the e-book to reveal answers is a small but very neat feature I can really appreciate as I really do struggle with flipping back and forth in a book, haha. What you said about the section on sentences reminds me that I really do need to read up on the subject, my sentences can be quite long and messy (as you can see!). Thanks for the recommendation!

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Post by kandscreeley » 28 Nov 2019, 10:34

Wyland wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 06:09
This a book I'll definitely want to read so as to improve on my grammar. Thanks for the wonderful review.
I hope you find it as educational as I did. Thanks!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by kandscreeley » 28 Nov 2019, 10:35

La Cabra wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 07:52
Glad to see you liked the book. The quick links feature in the e-book to reveal answers is a small but very neat feature I can really appreciate as I really do struggle with flipping back and forth in a book, haha. What you said about the section on sentences reminds me that I really do need to read up on the subject, my sentences can be quite long and messy (as you can see!). Thanks for the recommendation!
So many authors wouldn't think about making the answers easily accessible. It's the small touches that make the book great. Thanks!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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