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    #1

    Is it a good idea to read Old English novels?

    Hi there,
    I just want some idea about reading English novels. Honestly, I have started reading English novels in order to improve my English knowledge, specially vocabulary and grammar. But when we read them, we spot very strange grammar points which we have never seen before and sometimes we cant even find them in dictionaries. It is said that English is a language which evolves very sooner rather than any other language and I myself believe in that. Do you guys think that in order to improve English knowledge, is reading novels a good idea or not? I am actually talking about old types of novels. And, would you please recommend what type of books is better to read to develop English knowledge?

    Thanks.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Is it a good idea to read Old English novels?

    Technically, there are no Old English novels, since the novel form only arose in the 1600s - well into the Modern English era. You should be able to get value out of any classic novels from Jane Austen (early 1800s) onwards. Possible you mean "old English novels" - old novels in English, not novels in Old English.

    Can you give an example of the novels you have read that you've spotted strange grammar in?

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    #3

    Re: Is it a good idea to read Old English novels?

    If you're interested in improving your language, it might be a good idea to stick to modern novels. 19th century English is different from the English of today in many ways, though if you enjoy reading for pleasure many great novels were written then.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Is it a good idea to read Old English novels?

    Most 'good' editions of the classics these days have endnotes that explain dated terms for modern readers. But you don't get that on free ebooks, such as Gutenberg.

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    #5

    Re: Is it a good idea to read Old English novels?

    I hate endnotes- why don't they use footnotes instead so I don't have to flick to the end?

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Is it a good idea to read Old English novels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I hate endnotes- why don't they use footnotes instead so I don't have to flick to the end?
    I've been thinking that for the last week, while re-reading Jane Eyre. I much prefer footnotes.

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    #7

    Re: Is it a good idea to read Old English novels?

    "A good man is hard to find" of Flannery O'Connor (not a novel) is short story where I spotted a lot of spelling mistakes and even strange grammar. However, I have stopped reading it. Another one; which is a novel, "Clive Cussler Valhalla Rising" of A Dirk Pitt, where I find so many difficult words and even strange grammar. I can, somehow, manage the difficult words by checking them in dictionaries. I have actually just started reading, still on the first page . Let me show you a grammar point; "Meant to incite fear into the crew's enemies, the dragons were also believed to be protection against the evil spirits that lived in the sea.". I have never seen a sentence starting with participle or past tense and I don't get that grammar point. I picked the sentence up from the first paragraph of the first page of the novel.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Is it a good idea to read Old English novels?

    It's a common usage.

    Designed to frighten children, the monster under the bed isn't real but is very effective.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: Is it a good idea to read Old English novels?

    Quote Originally Posted by UM Chakma View Post
    "A good man is hard to find" of Flannery O'Connor (not a novel) is short story where I spotted a lot of spelling mistakes and even strange grammar.
    This may reflect the dialect of the region she was from. Novels and stories often do this.

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