In this course, we explore the shapes that English sentences may take and learn the traditional rules for building and identifying those shapes. In other words, we will work on developing the kind of conscious understanding of the structure of our language that permits us to analyze and edit our own grammar and the grammar of others. In doing so, we focus on lexical and syntactic structures with some attention to semantic and cultural issues that affect these structures. While the course focuses on understanding how English grammar works rather than on memorizing a large number of unexplained prescriptive rules for "proper" English, we generally discuss a variety of prescriptive issues as we study the relevant aspects of English grammar. The course does NOT presuppose that all students have studied English grammar before college. We do, therefore, cover a lot of grammatical "territory" in one semester!
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