My mother gave me the most precious presents of all when I was eight years old. She forced me to attend English school in the afternoon, after regular school, until I was 16.
Together with letting me choose a technical school, and being understanding when I dropped off university, it was the most life-shaping gift she could have ever imagined.
When at the age of 17 I bought my first modem, I was extremely fluent in written English, while my classmates were still struggling with it. This familiarity with the language allowed me to start traveling the world at the age of 22, to spend a few months in New Zealand when I was 25, to accept foreign clients when I was freelancing at the age of 27.
Unfortunately, my familiarity with the English language is not as perfect as it should be. Sometimes, as not native speaker, I find myself making trivial mistakes, picking the wrong particle before a verb, missing a plural conjugation, etc.
Today I found a book that in just 200 pages helped me a lot, refreshing all the rules I learned (or learnt) at school, but that faded over the years. The title is “I used to know that – English” by Patrick Scrivenor.
I know, it looks like one of those one-minute-manager books you can find in airports, but it’s brilliant, and for just a few bucks it’s a great deal. I’m happy I decided to buy it.