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With Complete English Grammar Guide, Ajayi deepens language education

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Author: Helen Prest Ajayi
Publisher: Educatrix Resources Ltd.
Date: May 2019
Reviewer: Bayo Ogunmupe

The Complete English Grammar Guide for Full Comprehension and Understanding is a self-help book written by Helen Prest Ajayi for anyone desirous of mastering English as a second language. Although the book has as its primary audience, students currently in school, it also appeals to parents and working people.

Since lifelong learning is the prescription for human progress and development, every result-oriented person will gain from the contents of the book.

Published in 2019 by Media Business and Company Limited, and printed in Nigeria by Ingram Press Limited, the book has 21 chapters, 180 pages, a foreword, an introduction, and why English is hard to learn as its ‘last word’.

Helen Ajayi, its author, lays out salient principles that will help anyone using the English language improve their spoken English as well as writing skills.

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The book is a complete guide to the full comprehension and understanding of English grammar. As a guide, the book shows you the way to manoeuvre through the muddy waters of English grammar. It leaves no stone unturned in the grey areas, which the non-native speaker needs to master.

The introduction to the three-part volume grants comfort to anyone struggling with the correct use of English language. The author’s boldly written declaration that “everybody has issues with English, even the English,” can be calming, while the statement that ‘a good grasp of English…. came better the chances of unlocking the gates’ of opportunity, is very motivating.

Part One, titled Parts of a Sentence, opens its constituent 12 chapters with first treating the structure of a sentence before going on to treat in great detail, the eight parts of speech.

This chapter compares aspects of adjectives and adverbs, focusing on punctuations and opening the eyes and shedding light on common mistakes people make. These are ‘a must read’ chapters of the book.

The focus of the three chapters of Part Two, are on the common spelling errors people make. Chapter 14 is on errors while Chapter 15 treats words and phrases that must be avoided by anyone wishing to speak and write Queen’s English correctly.

Basically on Writing, Part Three has six illuminating chapters that must not be ignored. Mrs. Ajayi went out of her way to devote each chapter to treating contemporary issues such as: How to interpret examination questions, how to write essays, how to write effective emails, the art of writing formal letters and how to write a debate essay.

Writing this book demanded from the author a lot of skill, creativity, ingenuity and the practical know-how engendered by experience and devotion to duty as a teacher of English as a second language. Vivid illustrations, luminous colours, the well laid out tables and relevant graphics make the book appealing to the reader, the West African Examination Council examiner and the effective tertiary education lecturer. Every chapter ends calling attention to errors to avoid. The text is an excellent grammar guide and companion to whoever is interested in using language as a medium of unlocking the gates of opportunity in political and corporate leadership.

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This portable paperback edition is the treasure house of expertise in language and communication exemplifying the skill, experience, and knowledge of the author as a communications expert.

In giving effect to my appreciation of the author’s scholarly contribution to the advancement of the English language, I commend this book to everyone who sees communication as an instrument of advancement in life. Thus, the book is an excellent starting point for lifelong learning as a prescription for success in life.

And this is why it is important for you to have a good grasp of English. It is the lingua franca of Nigeria. It is the language of communication in the world. Our laws, regulations street signs and public records are written in the English language. English is also the language of global commerce.

English is the language of the Commonwealth of nations where the sun never sets, And due to the size and pioneering status of the United States and her influence in information technology, science, medicine, and entertainment, English has become the universal language such that when you are in a foreign country whose language you don’t speak, the next question they ask is: Do you speak English? Living in the 21st century demands that you have the skill-set of a good education in order to have access to information. This can only be acquired if you have a good mastery of the English language.

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