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Education Featured Article

November 07, 2012

Improve Your English Skills with the 'Practical English Usage' iOS App

By David Gitonga, TMCnet Contributing Writer


When do you use a past tense with a future meaning? When and why do English speakers use ‘the’? Do I say ‘big’, ‘large’, or ‘great’? What exactly is the difference between ‘close’ and ‘shut’? If you are thinking of purchasing the bestseller “Practical English Usage” in hardcopy to help you with these answers, hold your phone, because there is an app for that. The reference tool is now available on the iPhone (News - Alert), iPod Touch and the iPad with an Android version coming soon.


Practical English Usage, written by the highly respected grammarian, Michael Swan, penned down the book to help teachers and higher-level learners with common language problems master the English language in a quick and easy way. The book contains over 600 entries, similar to the ones listed above, to help both native and non-native English speakers find clear answers to questions they find difficult to explain.

The app was developed by the Oxford University Press, which is the world’s most authoritative English-language reference publisher. Working together with the Paragon Software Group, a multi-platform mobile and desktop software developer, they developed the app to be an easy-to-use and fast tool that includes follow up cross referencing between related entries.

Users will be able to navigate the content by use of the index, the thematically-organized ‘Contents Overview’ or by use of the A-Z list of entries. You can also search for key words. The app will help in both spoken and written grammar, vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, British-American differences and formal and informal differentiations. Users even have the option of saving their favorite entries and bring up their History review entries if necessary. Tapping on any word brings up the dictionary entry.

The app is available on the AppStore starting at $39.99.




Edited by Brooke Neuman




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