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Borbs Tibor Simon Pter: Grammar Cracker 1 Introduction Page 1 of 1

1 Introduction
Welcome to Use of English for the CLT, a course in English grammar for first year students of the English
Department at JGYTFK, Szeged University.

1.1 What this book is and what it is not


The aim of this book is to explain and practice the grammar of English at an advanced level and to
prepare you for the Use of English section of the CLT (Alapvizsga) at the end of the first year of your
studies. As the very basics of the language are not dealt with here, an intermediate level knowledge of
English is recommended. The major topics of English grammar are discussed with special emphasis on
the interrelatedness of the different fields. Besides providing an insight into these underlying principles,
the book also enables you to develop a reliable ability to use grammatical structures correctly.

But this is not a language course. Do not expect speaking, listening, writing or reading exercises. Do not
expect an expansion of your vocabulary. Sometimes you will even doubt the usefulness of the course. Yet,
the drudgery of grammar apart from being a must may pay in the long run. Studying (but not
necessarily learning) the rules and understanding the logic behind them enhances your grammatical
awareness and this, in turn, will indirectly improve all four skills. Understanding and knowing the
structures will help you notice them in reading and listening and use them more efficiently in writing and
speaking.

While working through the units, you may wonder why certain structures and expressions that you would
encounter in authentic materials or when speaking to natives do not appear here. The reason is that this
book gives you a prescription of how you should use the language rather than a description of how it is
used by native or other speakers of English. As in every language, in English, too, there is a language use
which is accepted as correct and there are variations which are not. Language exams generally test you on
this correct language use, so if you want to pass such an exam, you have to be aware and be able to use
accepted structures and expressions. This book prepares you for a language exam, so its main concern is
explaining correct language use.

1.2 How to use this book?


The order of the units follows the lessons during the two semesters but, as you will notice, in every unit
you will find links to explanations in other units. The interrelatedness of two, sometimes seemingly
distant and independent, phenomena will help you understand both.

Here are two related excerpts, one from unit 2.2 (Past time) and the other from 2.3 (Present Perfect).

2.2.3.2
The Past Perfect is used with superlative forms of adjectives to express emphasis (cf. 2.3.1.6).

Jill was the most beautiful girl John had ever met.

2.3.1.6
The Present Perfect is also often used with superlative forms of adjectives to express emphasis.

This is the first time I have been to Prague.


This is the worst film I have ever seen.

This use also applies to the Past Perfect tense. (Cf. 2.2.3.2)

Jill was the most beautiful girl John had ever met.

Whenever you find it difficult to understand the terminology, consult the glossary, where the grammatical
terms frequently used in this book are listed.