If you're studying English,

this book is perfect for you:


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about the author


December 2016:

The Second Edition, Updated is now available for download! Completely revised and expanded:

Unlike most other English grammar books, this book was written out of many years of experience by an ESL teacher and native English speaker who has spent thousands of hours with ESL students and has identified the most common mistakes that are made by nearly all ESL students throughout the world. Speak and Write Like a Native will show you how to correct and unlearn these mistakes by the use of simple memory aids, concise grammar explanations, and many examples of correct and incorrect usage. This small book contains most of the things your high school English teachers never taught you!


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About the Author:

Robert Davidson worked at Harvard University’s Museum of Natural History for eighteen years, developing museum exhibitions and editing exhibition texts. He studied English Literature at the University of Iowa, where he also studied poetry writing under renowned poet Donald Justice. Robert has lived in Bratislava, Slovakia, since 2004, teaching ESL to group classes and individual students for the past eleven years. He shares his home and life with his artist wife Milena Pribis, Charlie the Cocker Spaniel, Lily the cat, Mushi Mushi the cat, and two parakeets (Wooly and Worthy).




Improve THEIR English!


What's wrong with the grammar here?

Well, guys, if you want to be my partner, you're going to have to learn better English. There are two things wrong with the sentence, "We are looking forward to be your partner." First, "to be" has to have an "-ing" construction: "We are looking forward TO BEING your partner." Grammatically, the sentence is now correct. But it's messy: there are two "-ing" verbs in just an eight-word sentence. The right way to write this sentence is, "We LOOK FORWARD TO BEING your partner." OK, guys, I'll consider it now, but I suspect that a copywriter familiar with current business English would have phased the sentence more like, "We look forward to partnering with you."


What's wrong with the grammar here?

Logically it may seem that an infinitive is needed here: "Why to choose TEOCAR?". But like many sentences or phrases in English, especially in advertising text, newspaper headlines, etc., implication becomes part of the grammar. The implied question here is, "Why SHOULD YOU choose TEOCAR?". So we should correct this advertising text to read,
simply, "Why choose TEOCAR?"


What's wrong with the grammar here?

From an advertisement in a Slovak English-language publication several years ago, this is a good example of "Tarzan English" ("Me Tarzan, you Jane") — the Slovak copy editors never bothered to consult native English speakers, they just translated the words straight from Slovak to English, and this is what they got for that: primitive English.

The slogan would have read much better if it had said, "We can find your missing piece" or "We'll find your missing piece" or something else along those lines.


What's wrong with the grammar here?

This was an advertising slogan for a Slovak airline, published five or six years ago — clearly whoever translated the slogan from Slovak to English should have asked a native speaker before publication!

The problem here is with articles (a/an, the) — in just four words the writer has managed to make two mistakes concerning articles: "World" should have a "the", and "reach" should not. Properly written, the slogan would read, "The world within reach"


What's wrong with the grammar here?

"Outdoor" is an adjective, not a noun. You can love outdoor living, outdoor activities, outdoor sports and etc., but you can't love just the adjective, "outdoor".

So how do we fix this? In English, the phrase for being outside, usually in nature, is "the outdoors". So let's make the cow a better ESL student by rewriting the phrase to read: "I love the outdoors"

(And if the cow was referring not to her enjoyment of fresh air but of the act of reproduction — "making love" beneath the clear blue sky — then she would have to display the words, "I love outdoors", where the verb "love" becomes a very active verb!)





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