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Introduction > Introduction - Pg. xv

Introduction xv Part 2, "Under the Grammar Hammer," gets into the nitty-gritty of grammar: parts of speech, pronoun reference, pronoun case, verb usage, the difference between adjectives and adverbs, and subject- verb agreement. It's all the stuff you ignored in high school and English Comp 101 because you were too busy trying to get a date. This part concludes with a survey of the most common usage dilemmas. Along the way, there are lots of brand-new ways to make it easier for non-native English speakers to learn the basics of English. Part 3, "Usage and Abusage," describes the building blocks of paragraphs: phrases, clauses, and sentences. You learn all about prepositional phrases, appositives and appositive phrases, verbal phrases, gerund phrases, and infinitive phrases. This part also covers sentence structure and func- tion, fragments and run-ons, and sentence coordination and subordination. This sounds heavier than a sumo wrestler, but you know I'll make it fun. Part 4, "Tools of the Trade," first explores the importance of using all the resources available to writers: dictionaries, computer spell-checkers, books of synonyms and antonyms, and reference books. Then I give you a complete refresher course in the signposts of our language: punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, and spelling. Part 5, "Style: All the Write Stuff," helps you give your writing grace, clarity, and that essential je ne sais quoi that separates your writing from everyone else's. This section also covers active and passive voice, conciseness, diction (word choice), and levels of language. Part 6, "In Your Write Mind," helps you develop powerful writing strategies that enable you to write successful business and personal communications. This part covers such important writing situa- tions as business and personal letters and e-mail. In the chapter on personal communication, you'll learn how to write effective letters to friends, companies, and people suffering losses. Last, there's an appendix of model writing samples and a glossary of grammar and usage. The glossary of grammar and usage makes it easy for you to pinpoint specific writing issues and get the answers you need-- fast! More for Your Money! In addition to all the explanation and teaching, this book contains other types of information to make it even easier for you to master writing and speaking skills. Here's how you can recognize these features: Strictly Speaking Want to dazzle your date? Stump your spouse? Have some witty chitchat for the next office party? Use these grammar teasers to astound and amaze your friends and enemies alike. You Could Look It Up Like every other skill worth knowing, grammar and usage have their own terminology. These definitions explain all those terms to prevent you from dangling your participles in public.