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Written Grammar Presentation Based on “Fever Pitch” Essay

“Fever Pitch” is probably the best football book ever written and one that revolves around the way the obsession about football influences the narrator’s life and personality. The book is an autobiography that is structured in a very interesting way-it has no plot but is written as a diary in which every Arsenal game is connected with certain moment of the author’s life, certain emotion and memory. Although Arsenal is into the spotlights and we can feel Hornby’s devotion to the club, the book is an exploration of some of the meanings that football seems to contain for many fans of various other clubs including myself. Many other issues such as racism, television broadcast, football tragedies, hooliganism, women’s passion for sports and so on were also touched upon.

The book is very emotional and is basically written in plain informal English, thus author and audience are brought even closer together. The reason why I chose this topic for the presentation is not only because the text offers plenty of examples but also because I find these grammar rules (about the use of all (of), whole, every, each) a bit fuzzy for me and for my colleagues, I believe. First of all, I will elaborate on the use of ALL (OF). “We use ALL after the noun it refers to” (Cambridge Advanced Grammar in Use, Second Edition by Martin Hewings, p.102).Here are a few examples of the book that illustrate the usage: But then, we all do it at some time or another, chaps, don’t we? ( p.12)

How we all wished we came from the Chicago Projects, or the Kingston ghettos, or the mean streets of north London or Glasgow!(p.13) It all seemed so languid, and the ball trundled in so slowly, that I feared that it would not have the strength to cross the line completely.(p.17)

“We usually put ALL after the verb BE” (Cambridge Advanced Grammar in Use, Second Edition by Martin Hewings, p.102) as in the following examples: But then, most football fans do not have a criminal record, or carry knives, or urinate in pockets, or get up to any of the things that they are all supposed to.(p.135) In the return at Highbury, however, we got stuffed, overrun, outplayed, and it was all over, maybe for another twenty years.(p.26)

However, “ALL can also be put after the first auxiliary verb if there is one” (Cambridge Advanced Grammar in Use, Second Edition by Martin Hewings, p.102). We must all have* been in some kind of a dream, everything failed for the Austrian champion and were predicting a triumphant and stately procession through to the European Cup Final. (p.113) *In spoken English of if we want to put more emphasis we can also say “we all must have been” and it would be perfectly fine. If we want to make negative sentences “we use NOT ALL (OF) rather than ALL…NOT”.

For example: After Brady had gone Arsenal tried out a string of midfield players, some of them competent, some not all of them doomed by the fact that they weren’t the person they were trying to replace.(p.31) There have been so many players that the crowd have rubbished over the years, and not all of them were bad.(p.47) Although sometimes we have freedom of choice as far as the place of the word ALL in a sentence is considered as in the examples above, we have to be aware that “NOT ALL and NONE OF have a different meaning” (Cambridge Advanced Grammar in Use, Second Edition by Martin Hewings, p.102).See the above sentence:

Thirteen of our league games that year ended nil-nil or 1-0, and it is fair to say that *none of them were pretty.(p.24) *If we try to use NOT ALL instead of NONE OF, the meaning will be totally changed!

Second of all, let’s have a look at the difference in the use of ALL and WHOLE. “Before singular countable nouns we usually use THE WHOLE rather than ALL THE (Cambridge Advanced Grammar in Use, Second Edition by Martin Hewings, p.102).For example we would say: His first season was, in short, a disaster, as it was for the whole team, and the manager, Terry Neill, got the sack after a dismal run of results in November. (p.27) (Rather than….all the team!) “In informal speech we can use ALL THE with things we see as being made up of parts” (Cambridge Advanced Grammar in Use, Second Edition by Martin Hewings, p.102). For instance:

They offered me a drink and I declined, so they shook my hand and offered commiserations and I disappeared;to them, it really was only a game, and it probably did me good to spend time with people who behaved for all the world* as if football were a diverting entertainment, like rugby or golf or cricket.(p.41) * world is such word made up of parts

I soon found that the only way to claim all the emotional territory* for myself was to go on a sort of sulk war. * territory is another word of this type

We should also bear in mind that “we can use ENTIRE instead of WHOLE immediately before a noun” (Cambridge Advanced Grammar in Use, Second Edition by Martin Hewings, p.102).In either cases whether we use entire or whole it the sentence will be equally right.

The nadir of his Arsenal career was probably during a horrible 1-0 defeat at Wimbledon in January 1990, when every back-pass or clearance he accomplished without disaster was greeted with ironic cheers and applause for the entire game. (p.8)

You just can’t find this outside a football ground; there is nowhere else you can be in the entire country that will make you feel as though you are at the heart of things.(p.14)

Imagine the entire population of a small town (my own home town has a population of around fifty thousand) trying to get into a large department store.(p.27)

Very often we may not make a difference between the use of ALL THE and WHOLE before plural nouns: All the teams were having understandable difficulties settling into a struggling side.(p.31) In order to raise the money, whole teams such as Arsenal and West Brom will be charged much higher entrance fees. (p.78) In the first sentence we mean every single team while in the second one we mean some of the teams(such as the mentioned above).

The last, but not the least problematic issue I’d like to stress is the one concerning the use of EVERY and EACH. “We use `each’ and `every’ when we are talking about all the members of a group of people or things. We use `each’ when we are thinking about the members as individuals, and `every’ when you are making a general statement about all of them. Both are followed by a singular countable nouns” (Collins Cobuild English Grammar, p.84). Let’s look at two examples with EACH in the first one we talk about members of a group of things while in the second one about the members as individuals.

Before each home game we all of us trooped into the sweet shop, purchased our mice, walked outside, bit the head off as though we were removing the pin from a grenade. (p.15)

It became obvious that Arsenal were going to go down fighting, it occurred to me just how well I knew my team, their faces and their mannerisms, and how fond I was of each individual member of it. (p.53)

And now two examples with EVERY where we make a general statement about the members of a group of people or things: Many of those around us had the look of men who had seen every game of every barren season.(p.36) Every Arsenal player remembers this match-it wasn’t a great game, but it was a good time to come, because Arsenal were slap-bang in the middle of a tremendous twenty-two-game unbeaten run.(p.9) There is an important rule that sometimes seems to make us confused to stick to: “EACH is slightly more precise and definite than EVRY and that is why you can modify EVERY but not EACH”. (Collins Cobuild English Grammar, p.84).We can say, for instance:

To get where he did, Gus Caesar clearly had more talent than nearly* every one of his generation. (p.42) * we can also say “almost” every one

All in all, these examples do not cover all the rules we should abide by as far as the use of all(of), whole, each and every are concerned. I paid attention only to those I found in my book and my initial idea was whenever possible, by comparing, to show the small but very important differences between words with meanings that often seem to overlap. The topic may seem simple but during the time I was searching for information and writing the presentation I found many things I had not known.

REFERENCE SOURCES:

Advanced Grammar in Use, Second Edition by Martin Hewings; Collins Cobuild English Grammar


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