How sentences and form-class words work
DOI link for How sentences and form-class words work
How sentences and form-class words work book
This chapter is about how sentences and form-class words work, topics that are covered by the terms syntax and grammar. Grammar is the underlying system of rules of a language. Standard English is the set of standards that professional experts have agreed upon while also acknowledging that language constantly changes. The rules for Standard English are defined by the ways in which educated people use it, but English is not strictly codified in the way that the French language is. There are two groups of grammarians: descriptivists and prescriptivists. Descriptivists describe how language is used and how it changes. Prescriptivists prescribe how language ought to be used. The chapter sets out the basic grammatical rules of Standard English as required in any formal written context. Traditional grammar prescribes rules and follows what some people call the ‘doctrine of mechanical correctness’.