Why Do We Care about Grammar?
Part of the Series: English Grammar Boot Camp

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English Grammar Boot Camp
English Grammar Boot Camp takes you on an enjoyable exploration of the essential aspects of English grammar. These spirited and accessible lectures offer a comprehensive core training in all of the key elements of grammar and usage, in their most immediate, practical application. Discover a breadth of perspective and context…
Descriptivism: How Grammar Really Works
Part of the Series: English Grammar Boot Camp
Now dive into descriptive grammar: the rules that describe actual usage. In examples ranging from contractions to word order and negation, observe the wealth of grammatical knowledge that you know intuitively. Consider how comparing the descriptive with the prescriptive can help you make more informed choices about usage.
Where Is American English Headed?
Episode 12 of English in America
Secure as a major player on the world stage, the U.S. can now look inward and focus on the intra-national linguistic and cultural diversity that's been there since English speakers first arrived on the American continent. Discover that regional dialect differentiation is actually increasing, not receding, even in the Internet…
Introduction to the Spanish Language
Begin by looking at both the "whats" of Spanish (elements such as grammar and vocabulary), and the "hows"--how to study, practice, and learn the language most effectively. Start with identifying cognates (Spanish words that are similar to their English equivalents), hearing the five Spanish vowel sounds, and practicing basic greetings,…
Prescriptivism: Grammar Shoulds and Shouldn’ts
Part of the Series: English Grammar Boot Camp
Here, investigate prescriptive grammar: the set of rules that tell us what we should and shouldn't do in formal English. Trace the history of specific grammatical rules and of academic usage guides, and note how such guides justify right" vs. "wrong." Learn about historically famous grammarians, whose opinions about usage…
Muslims in the Court of Roger II - 1130
Encounter the remarkable Kingdom of Sicily under the enlightened and tolerant rule of the Norman king Roger II. Grasp how Norman invaders established a kingdom in southern Italy, and learn about the unique features of life there, including extraordinary legal, economic, and architectural achievements. Consider Roger's legacy and why it…
Formal Commands and Unequal Comparisons
Continue to enlarge your vocabulary with words relating to places, such as public venues and businesses. Then learn how to say formal commands, also known as imperatives, as well as negative commands, and practice using them in different contexts. Study ways to compare two things that are not the same.…
How to Read and Understand Shakespeare Course
Shakespeare's plays are masterworks, but they can be hard to understand for a modern English speaker. Gain direct insight into Shakespeare's writing in this course which explains how to enter Shakespeare's world, how to grasp what's happening in his plays, and how to enjoy each play on both the page…
English in America - A Linguistic History
Welcome to the enthralling world of linguistics. If you've ever been curious how words like "awesomesauce" ever came to be, let alone made it into the Oxford English Dictionary, or if you've ever wondered why you say "firefly" and someone else calls the same insect a "lightning bug," English in…
What Part of Speech is Um?
Part of the Series: English Grammar Boot Camp
Within the grammar of conversation, study the distinction between involved discourse, which relates to negotiating relationships, and informational discourse, which involves delivering information. Then grasp the important roles of discourse markers, small words such as so," "well," and "oh," that help organize discourse and manage our expectations in conversation.
Drawing Fundamentals and First Exercises
Episode 3 of How to Draw
Explore essential first drawing exercises and learn how you will apply the skills developed here to much more complex subjects. Grasp how the curriculum--spanning the many pieces making up the "grammar" of drawing, such as composition, proportion, perspective, value, texture, and color--fits together, providing you with the knowledge and ability…
The Rise of American Language Standards
Episode 4 of English in America
In the 1800s, America began looking inward, not to England, for its language standards. The new norms were recorded in dictionaries, spelling books, and grammars, and celebrated in a profusion of distinctly American literary works. Noah Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain are all key figures in…