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English grammar book for native speakers

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Since I sometimes am asked to explain English grammar, I am currently looking for a book I could read (I'm a native English speaker) to help me learn or re-learn the proper grammatical vocabulary and many of the rules that native speakers implement subconsciously..

For example, today a friend said "I want to talk something about " When I corrected her grammar, she was confused and asked if she can say "I want to tell you something about ". I said that was okay. I then guessed that it is due to "tell" being used as a transitive verb, and "talk" being used as an intransitive verb.

Merriam Webster states that both words can be used as transitive and intransitive verbs. I don't know if what I said is correct. Even if it was correct, it was not very helpful because I am unable to articulate the necessary rules, etc, to a non-native speaker.

Does anyone know of any good resources? I'm not especially interested in a huge textbook, especially not with lots of exercises that I don't need.



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This might suit, as it's aimed at teachers and advanced learners. Cobuild stuff is usually very good (he half-remembered from his teaching days . . . )

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There is a lot of books out there, starting with Quirk et al., a 1000 page grammar with a shorter student grammar version.

But whatever you get, stay away from Strunk and White :wink:

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