OWL Magazine Korea

Cambridge “Grammar in Use”

From the perspective of foreigners, English is an area that must be constantly studied. Humans are creatures of forgetfulness, so if we don’t use English in our daily lives, it tends to disappear from our memory quickly. Especially, in our country, where English is not used in daily life, more effort is needed to maintain a sense of English proficiency.

Although English is not used daily in South Korea, studying it consistently is necessary. It is part of the school curriculum and is also needed to study at university. It is necessary for employment after graduation and for promotion, so English is an area that needs constant study.

“English Grammar Books Published in the UK”

In the past, when it came to “English grammar” textbooks, most of them dealt with Japanese-style English grammar such as “Seimon Comprehensive English”. However, now that era has passed, and you can find textbooks on English grammar published directly for people from third world countries by English-speaking countries.

The book titled “Grammar in Use” is a publication from Cambridge University in the UK, as mentioned above, to help people from non-English-speaking countries learn English.

Since it is a textbook created directly in the UK, the birthplace of English, for foreigners, the advantage is that you can learn more accurate and practical English. Unlike traditional English grammar books organized by topics such as tense and parts of speech, it is impressive that it prioritizes introducing areas considered important.

Therefore, while on one hand, the organization may seem relatively chaotic, if you review the textbook several times and understand and organize the content introduced in the textbook, it will be organized in its own way.

“Tense: A Mix of 12 Tenses and 2 Tenses”

The textbook also covers “tense”. Generally, it applies the 12-tense theory taught in schools, and in most cases, it adopts the “12-tense” to help learners understand. The 12-tense theory defines English tenses in 12 categories, combining the “past, present, future” tenses into “present, progressive, perfect, perfect progressive” tenses.

With this combination, it refers to grammar explained with 12 tenses as follows:

  • Basic Past Tense / Basic Present Tense / Basic Future Tense
  • Past Progressive Tense / Present Progressive Tense / Future Progressive Tense
  • Past Perfect Tense / Present Perfect Tense / Future Perfect Tense
  • Past Perfect Progressive Tense / Present Perfect Progressive Tense / Future Perfect Progressive Tense

“A Textbook Divided into 3 Difficulty Levels”

As it is a grammar textbook for learning, the textbook is divided into levels. There are a total of 5 textbooks, mainly divided into US and UK versions. In the case of the US version, there are “Basic” and “Intermediate” versions, but in the case of the UK version, it is divided into three levels of “Basic, Intermediate, Advanced”.

However, in the case of the “Advanced” version, it is not a special content, but rather a book that seems to summarize the content learned in the “Intermediate” version again, so if you have diligently studied the “Basic, Intermediate” textbooks, it’s okay not to study it.

Basically, there is not much difference between the US version and the UK version. If the UK version is more colorful, the US version has a slightly duller color. The content is almost the same, but in some cases, there are differences between “British English” and “American English”.

The only noticeable difference is in the “Subjunctive” part related to advice between the UK and US versions.

“A Grammar Book Starting from the Very Basics”

Existing English grammar textbooks we have seen often omit the parts corresponding to the “complete” basics. Therefore, from the perspective of those who are studying English grammar for the first time, there were often difficult parts to understand.

However, this book starts from the very basics of “English grammar”. Therefore, at the beginning, you may feel that the content is too easy, but if you proceed a little further through the chapters, you will realize that the content is by no means easy.

“A Practical but Challenging Book for Self-Study”

The content conveyed in the textbook is very practical. However, simply studying with the textbook alone may be challenging for beginners.

Because it is difficult to understand what the essence the book is trying to convey just by reading the book. Therefore, if you are a beginner, it is recommended to listen to lectures while using the textbook.

Even if you perfect only the grammar introduced in the “Basic Grammar in Use” for beginners and the “Grammar in Use Intermediate” for intermediate levels, you will have almost no problem writing and understanding English freely.

“Grammar in Use”