The Practical English Usage book is a must. References are NOT of page numbers but paragraph sections and so the format, at first, can be off-putting.
Practical English Usage 3rd Edition
English, like all languages, is full of problems for the foreign learner. Some of these points are easy to explain – for instance, the formation of questions, the difference between since and for, the meaning of after all.
Other problems are more tricky, and cause difficulty even for advanced students and teachers. How exactly is the present perfect used? When do we use past tenses to be polite? What are the differences between at, on and in with expressions of place?
We can say a chair leg- why not *a cat leg? When can we use the expression do so? When is the used with superlatives? Is unless the same as if not? What are the differences between come and go, between each and every, between big, large and great, between fairly, quite, rather and pretty? Is it correct to say There’s three more bottles in the fridge? How do you actually say 3 x 4 = 12? And so on, and so on.
Practical English Usage is a guide to problems of this kind. It deals with over 600 points which regularly cause difficulty to foreign students of English. It will be useful, for example, to a learner who is not sure how to use a particular structure, or who has made a mistake and wants to find out why it is wrong.
It will also be helpful to a teacher who is looking for a clear explanation of a difficult language point. There is very full coverage of grammar, as well as explanations of a large number of common vocabulary problems.
There are also some entries designed to clarify more general questions (e.g. formality, slang, the nature of standard English and dialects) which students and teachers may find themselves concerned with.