The Mother Tongue at Exodus Books

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Exodus Books is now carrying The Mother Tongue: Adapted for Modern Students and the accompanying workbook and key.

Here’s some of what they have to say about The Mother Tongue grammar books:

That’s why a book like The Mother Tongue: Adapted for Modern Students is so surprising and should be welcomed with open arms by all those convinced that to succeed academically students need to know the English language. The approach of this book is at once simple and far different than any grammar course we’ve seen, and that is a good thing.


Kittredge and Arnold’s approach is summed up in the first line of the preface to the first edition: “The purpose of this book is to set forth the elements of English grammar in their relation to thought and the expression of thought.” This means that the structure of the English language is decoded and examined to allow students to better understand it and express their ideas.

This also means that grammar is explored in depth. Students will study mood, case, clauses, infinitives, gender, number, and all things in between (and the parts of speech, sentence construction, etc.). Things like capitalization and punctuation are relegated to the appendices, so that students can spend their time studying the real meat of grammar.

Their opinion of The Mother Tongue grammar books:

What can you say when you’ve found what you’ve been looking for all along? The problem with so many grammar programs is that they focus on peripheral matters and never get much below the surface, so that students never really understand English but are able to perform some rudimentary functions.

The Mother Tongue actually teaches grammar, and does so in a way that will improve the student’s ability to read and write. Is it difficult? Absolutely, but once the course is successfully completed the mystery of language will be solved and students will find learning as a whole to be much less difficult, whether they’re studying astronomy or French history.

Read the whole thing here.

Exodus Books is a wonderful online bookstore, chock-full of detailed reviews books. We love their full-length articles about classic books, particularly their translation comparisons, like this one of Beowulf. Browsing their website is every bit as cozy and wonderful as browsing in a bricks-and-mortar bookshop. They do have a physical location in Portland, OR, for those lucky enough to be close enough to pop over for a visit.


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