The Return of the Grammar Guru

Author(s):Patrick Duffley, Ryan Fisher



Number of pages:184



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Louis and Mr. Walters are back! Presented in the form of a Socratic dialogue like its predecessor, The Return of the Grammar Guru aims to both instruct and entertain its readers through give-and-take conversations between the Grammar Guru, a retired linguistics professor who runs a pub near the university campus, and Louis, an aspiring English teacher with an insatiable thirst for grammatical knowledge and beer. Through a series of weekly encounters with the Guru, Louis learns about:

  • The difference between the infinitive and the gerund, as in He tried to be nice to his boss and He tried being nice to his boss.
  • The use of the article in English, which can make the difference between He admired Picasso and He admired the Picasso.
  • The difference between Didn’t you bring any beer? and Didn’t you bring some beer?
  • The contrast between bare noun and genitive constructions, as in Someone stole our car tires and Someone stole our car’s tires.
  • The use of the demonstratives in There was this guy walking down the street and There was that guy walking down the street.
  • The effect of adverb position on meaning, as illustrated by the difference between She shared her experience generously and She generously shared her experience.
  • The subtle difference between With no job Rob would be happy and With no job would Rob be happy.

Rather than overwhelm his listener with endless rules, the Guru makes grammar come to life by focusing on the meaning of the various grammatical forms. Also included in the book is a series of meaning-based exercises that allow readers to test their knowledge of the forms discussed in the book.

Patrick Duffley

Patrick Duffley

Patrick Duffley is a full-time linguistics professor at Laval University’s Faculté les lettres et sciences humaines. He has published extensively in the field of English semantics and is the author of the books The English Infinitive, The English Gerund-Participle and Sammy the Semanticist. He currently resides in Sillery, Quebec.

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Ryan Fisher

Ryan Fisher

Ryan Fisher holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics from Laval University and has taught ESL at the Cégep and university level. In addition to co-authoring The Grammar Guru and The Return of the Grammar Guru he has also contributed to the series Looking Ahead and written The Grammar Geek. He currently teaches at Cégep Garneau in Quebec City and resides in Lévis, Quebec with his family.

Publication(s) by this author

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