Date of publication

24/09/2004; reprinted with amendments 2006


1 85341 134 5

Paperback ISBN-13

978 185341 113 4 paperback only




A5 (210 x 148 mm)


£6.99 paperback only

Grammar Without Groans – A Return to Standards in English
Ray Sparkes
Chris Sparkes


These are controversial times in the study and teaching of English. Even politics has become involved as the Government has focused on improving the undoubtedly low standards of writing and understanding English in schools. The contents of this book are based on standards that reflect Ray Sparkes's experience of teaching secondary-school students for many years. He and other reviewers noted the common errors in written and spoken English, and Ray incorporated them into this informal book.

More than twenty years on, Ray's book is as appropriate as ever, and it has become even more relevant to the post-school needs of people who wish to brush up their English at college, for use in schools, in business or in every-day life. That is what Ray's son, Chris, has also found in teaching in further and higher education, and why he believes in the importance of the sub-title of this book: a return to standards in English.


Between You and Me; the Unrelated Participle; Relative Pronouns - 'Who' and 'Whom'; 'She' and 'I' - 'Her' and 'Me'; Taking Possession - 'Them' and 'Those'; How to be Loyal to Your Subjects; 'More' and 'Most'; 'Lie' and 'Lay'; Other Common Errors Explained'; A Spotlight on Words Which Often Cause Difficulty; Punctuation; Revision, Test-Yourself Exercises; Answers; An Afterword - On Standard English; Bibliography; Index.


Ray Sparkes

Ray Sparkes taught English and Drama in Warwickshire and Hampshire secondary schools for twenty-nine years. He reviewed poetry for The Teacher and wrote regularly for the East Hampshire Post. After retiring from teaching, he ran his own bookshop in Petersfield fo six years and devoted most of his spare time to writing. Ray died in 1993.

Chris Sparkes

Chris Sparkes was educated at University College, Chichester, and has degrees in English with Related Arts, and in Creative Writing. He now lectures on Linguistics and Creative Writing at South Downs College, Waterlooville. He is married with two children, and lives near Petersfield, Hampshire.

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