by J.D. Bentley ... For years there has been insufficient provision of specific material for practice with sentences. We speak mostly in sentences, not in individual words or in unrelated verb-parts or in tricky linguistic tests. Our speech and writing are creative-the putting-together of words into sentences. And our linguistic comprehension is mostly of the meanings of sentences rather than individual words. In contemporary written and oral examinations in English more and more attention is being given to sentence-construction than to filling in blanks in sentences already constructed by the examiner. This book aims at filling a gap. It aims at giving plenty of practice in understanding, constructing, and using sentences, and in selecting sentences for certain circumstances. It is intended for students who have got beyond the elementary stage and are at intermediate and advanced levels. It is designed for use by students who are at the stages of the Cambridge Examinations for foreign learners of English, and the similar Pitman Institute Examinations, and the ARELS Oral Examinations. It should also be useful for Commonwealth students studying for 'O' and 'A' levels of English.
The book should be helpful both for classwork and, with a key, for students working on their own. A balance has been kept between dialogues, continuous passages, exercises of related sentences, and exercises of miscellaneous sentences. In only a very few sections, dealing with certain points, is the student asked to add words in blank spaces in sentences; and even those sections progress from that to the student constructing his own sentences. The sections have all been worked through with students of several backgrounds and several native languages. The vocabulary is that of everyday English with 'acceptable' modern idioms. In a few cases the vocabulary may seem a bit random, but an attempt has been made to give a fairly wide range of vocabulary. The number of grammatical terms has been kept down to the minimum. It is hoped that several of the types of exercises will be helpful for language-study of longer and more advanced literary efforts; and also of newspaper articles, news bulletins, radio interviews and talks, where the language will be more spontaneous than it can be in the pages of a text-book.