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Includes such topics as: SEAE: Standard Edited American English, parts of speech, nouns, adjectives, verbs, verb tenses, gerund, infinitive, present participle, past participle, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections, simple sentence, phrase etc.
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English grammar is serious stuff, and there's only so much that can be done to make it entertaining. But the Standard Deviants, an energetic troupe of young performers whose specialty is making serious academic subjects engaging, happily dive into what they call "The Split-Infinitive World of English Grammar." The lessons on this DVD have been prepared by a panel of serious academics, but flashy graphics abound. And the performers do their best to liven up presentations of basic concepts. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and other parts of speech are explained with some offbeat examples (for instance, a film of a lizard is used to demonstrate why "gecko" is a common noun). While introducing a section on verbals, a young woman mentions that a "funky thing" verbs can do is function as other parts of speech. Eventually all parts of speech are covered, and basic sentence structures are introduced. At the end of each set of lessons a quiz is presented, which a student can either take or skip. After proceeding through all the lessons on this DVD (which contains about two hours worth of material), a student can take the "Gram Slam," a comprehensive exam. English grammar will never be a barrel of fun, but the Standard Deviants deserve credit for making this review course as engaging as the subject is ever likely to get. --Robert J. McNamara
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