Students of English who limit their study of grammar to what they find in grammar books are like naturalists who limit their study of nature to an encyclopedia. Once you leave the safe confines of the grammar books, you begin to learn all kinds of interesting things about the way English is used. It isn't easy; in fact, it's a jungle out there.
The "grammar safari" activities here are suggestions for "hunting" and "collecting" EXAMPLES of specific words as they are used in documents accessible to anyone on the Internet -- a vast, ever-growing, always up-to-date "corpus" of language ranging over an inexhaustible range of topics, geographic areas, and users.
- Hunting "COMMON" Grammatical Structures using the Find function
- Hunting "EXOTIC" Grammatical Structures using Search engines
- Online Text Resources
- Suggestions for what to do with your Grammar Safari examples
Going on a Grammar Safari does NOT:
- give you access to any special documents collected for ESL study or any other purpose
- provide any grammatical explanations for what you find
Going on a Grammar Safari DOES:
- provide you with (usually) hundreds or thousands of examples of any particular English words you choose, used in authentic communication.
Hunting "COMMON" Grammatical Structures using the Find FunctionBelow is a list of possible starting points for searching for common structures (articles, prepositions, coordinating and subordinating conjunctions, gerunds, infinitives, verb tenses, etc.). This will involve using the find capabilities of your browser program to search a document you are looking at. Here are two examples of how to do this kind of search:
Here is a list
of available online texts--there are others, but this can get
On the Grammar Safari search page you will find a list of possible starting points for searching for grammatical structures that can be found by looking for less common key words (use of specific words, transitions, etc.) These searches use search engines available on the WWW. These search engines are designed to locate information based on topics and so typically eliminate common function words from their databases. Nevertheless, with some experimentation, you may find ways to trick them into finding grammatical structures that you're looking for. Here is one examples of how to do this kind of search:
- What to do after you have done a Grammar Safari
- Grammar Safari Journal Assignments
- Introductory Grammar Safari Activities for Classes
Here are two approaches we suggest for hunting grammatical structures on the internet. The approach you choose will mostly be determined by the "game" you're after. This is a beginner's guide--as you work on it you will no doubt find new tricks of your own that you prefer. That's fine. These are just some ideas to get you started.
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