EHOBBS at WELLESLEY.EDU
Tue Dec 29 13:05:28 EST 1998
John, and B-Greek Colleagues:
John Francis Avellar asks for a grammar of English on which he can rely.
In fact, there is a grammar which is absolutely THE currently standard
grammar of the English language. It is probably far more than is needed,
but it is the equivalent of Smyth (updated and expanded!) for Greek.
_A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language_
by Randolph Quirk [et al.], with an Index by David Crystal
x + 1779 pp. 1985; American publisher is Longman.
The "short" version is about 1/4 the size:
_A Concise Grammar of Contemporary English_
by Randolph Quirk and Sidney Greenbaum
xi + 484 pp.
1973: American publisher is Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
I can't certify that even the Concise version is "easy"; but they are as
reliable as we have today.
I am attempting to learn Biblical Greek and finding that my knowledge
of English grammar isn't entirely up to the task. Most of the authors who
write books about NT Greek do a fabulous job of describing grammatical
terminology, but I would like to study English grammar more thoroughly so
that I won't have to wait until I learn Greek before truely comprehending
English grammar. Yet, many of the authors who
write tomes about English grammar are either too complicated-like the work by
Huddleston which I have looked at-or so easy that I half expect to hear the
voice of Mr. Rogers intoning, " Can you say, " noun" ? Moreover, some authors
will throw around terms like "kernal clause" and "finite clause" while other
authors never seem to mention these two concepts but, instead, use terminology
which is different in its own odd way. In brief, is there a grammar which is
consistent enough in its description of terms and concepts that, as I begin my
study of Greek, it will help rather than hinder me in my pursuit of
proficiency in understanding Greek and English.
Thanks for your consideration of this question and a happy New Year to
John Francis Avellar
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