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English Grammar – app review

English Grammar emantraQuite simply, English Grammar by Emantra Technologies is not worth downloading and installing on your tablet or smartphone. In fact, it appears to be little more than a sparse, poorly written grammar guide put into an app full of incredibly annoying and intrusive pop-up adverts.

We installed it on a Nexus 10 tablet, gathered around and gradually became more and more incredulous as we used it.

Language Problems

Any grammar of English written for learners (or teachers for that matter) needs to fulfill 3 main criteria.

  1. it must be accurate
  2. it must be error-free
  3. it must be easy to understand

This app fulfills none of these. It is not accurate. It is full of errors. It is not easy to understand. Thus it is pretty much useless for learners and teachers of English.

But don’t take my word for it, let’s look at a few examples.

The first problem is the language used in the app. It is very formal, verbose, and not at all suited to learners of English. For example, the introduction to the app begins:

The modern biolinguists [sic] seems to indicate that Spoken English is strongly instinctual in nature.

Who is this written for? Would any non-advanced learner of English understand this? Would any advanced learner or teacher fail to see the grammatical errors in this statement?

And who brings biolinguists into a grammar of this type?!

So within minutes of firing up this app we began to suspect that it was written by someone (or people) who did not have a perfect command of English. Which, if you’re writing an English grammar, is a bit of a problem.

The errors continue throughout the app. Take, for example, the page on idioms. Now a good page on idioms will explain for learners what idioms are and then likely give a few useful and common examples so that learners can immediately see and understand what idioms are all about.

The Emantra app begins to talk about idioms like this:

Idioms combination of words that has a figurative meaning. [sic]

So its definition of idioms contains a grammatical error which doesn’t bode well.

It then goes on to list a few example idioms. Now if I were writing a page on idioms I’d include a few common ones. The Wikipedia page on idioms, for examples, includes these:

  • She is pulling my leg.
  • When will you drop them a line?
  • You should keep an eye out for that.

and so on. Simple, common, everyday, idioms.

This app, however, decides to go a different route. In their 8 example idioms they include one in Latin, one written wrongly, and one that none of us here in the office had ever heard of before and which even a Google search failed to help explain.

Et tu Brutus – meaning: apparently the last words of Julius Ceaser

Ignoring the fact that the meaning isn’t explained, it’s hardly an idiom which beginner or intermediate English learners will come across or find particularly useful.

Clear as Bell [sic] – meaning: to be understood clearly.

Was this app even proof read by a native English speaker?

And then our favorite:

Cat bird seat – meaning: to be a vantage point

Have you ever heard of this? Does it make sense to you?

Rating

Don’t bother with this app. If you want an easy access English grammar then there are plenty to choose from. This app is full of mistakes, poorly chosen examples, links which don’t work, exercises which don’t exist and all put together in a dull, uninspiring design.

Rating 0 out of 5.

Useful Links

Download Link on Google Play – for Android devices

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