This book is an introductory textbook on modern Standard English grammar, intended mainly for undergraduates, in English departments and schools of education as well as linguistics departments. Though it takes note of developments in linguistics over the past few decades, and assumes a thorough knowledge of English, it does not presuppose any previous study of grammar or other aspects of linguistics. We believe that every educated person in the English-speaking world should know something about the details of the grammar of English. There are a number of reasons.
There are hardly any professions in which an ability to write and speak crisply and effectively without grammatical mistakes is not a requirement on some occasions. Although a knowledge of grammar will not on its own create writing skills, there is good reason to think that understanding the structure of sentences helps to increase sensitivity to some of the important factors that distinguish good writing from bad.
Anyone who aims to improve their writing on the basis of another person’s technical criticism needs to grasp enough of the technical terms of grammatical description to make sure the criticism can be understood and implemented. It is widely agreed that the foremost prerequisite for computer programming is the ability to express thoughts clearly and grammatically in one’s native language.