15 Must-Have English Grammar Books: The Only Grammar Books You’ll Ever Need

  • Post last modified:December 24, 2020
  • Post category:Books

Looking for the best English grammar books? I’ve got you covered.

Below, I’ve curated a list of 15 books, ranging from traditional grammar books (1–5) to nontraditional, often humorous books (6–15) that make learning easier and fun.

Native English speakers looking for books to improve their grammar will definitely appreciate the nontraditional books, whereas non-native speakers will benefit more from the traditional ones.

Nevertheless, be sure to look through the list for a book that suits your personal needs and style.

Indeed, mastering grammar, spelling, and punctuation is often a confusing and arduous journey, but I hope that with these books, I have made your journey a little bit easier.

All right. Let’s get right in. Shall we?

1. English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy

English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy book cover

One of the bestselling grammar books of all time, English Grammar in Use is a grammar reference and practice book for intermediate English learners. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Exercises to help you hone your grammar skills.
  • More than 30 years of knowledge and expertise. 
  • Excellent explanations and activities, perfect for self-study or the classroom. 

English Grammar in Use is perfect for English learners who want to build a solid grammar foundation. 

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation by Jane Straus book cover

This is a simple and concise workbook on grammar, punctuation, and usage. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Several examples and exercises.
  • Worksheets and tests to help you master your grammar.
  • Clear and easy-to-follow advice.
  • A more engaging and fun book than traditional grammar textbooks. 

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation is perfect for students of all ages and levels. 

3. Practical English Usage by Michael Swan

Practical English Usage by Michael Swan book cover

Practical English Usage is an ultimate guide that answers questions about the English language. Divided into two sections (grammar and vocabulary), it makes it easier and faster to find answers in the book. 

What’s in it for you:

  • The difference between British and American English.
  • More than 600 entries that answer common questions about grammar.
  • Covers the major aspects that cause problems for learners. 

Practical English Usage is perfect for teachers and advanced level English learners. 

Understanding and Using English Grammar by Betty S. Azar book cover

In print for more than forty years, Understanding and Using English Grammar is the ultimate grammar resource for both teachers and students. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Incremental exercises to help you improve your language skills.
  • Pretests to help you gauge your own skills and knowledge at the start of every chapter.
  • And so much more!

5. Perfect English Grammar by Grant Barrett

Perfect English Grammar by Grant Barrett book cover

Focused on everyday communication, Perfect English Grammar will teach you how to communicate clearly and effectively, and to improve your grasp of English grammar. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Quick and expert advice to help you improve your everyday communication.
  • Composition guidelines to help you sharpen your style.
  • Memorable and detailed examples to help you remember important grammar rules.
  • And so much more!

This book is the perfect resource for anyone who wants to produce clear, concise, and error-free writing. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Several detailed examples and explanations. 
  • How to avoid the most common grammar and punctuation mistakes. 
  • How to write clearly and effectively.
  • How to approach all types of writing projects, whether big or small.
  • And so much more!
English Grammar- 100 Tragically Common Mistakes by Sean Williams book cover

Written as a fast reference, this book cuts straight to the chase and presents you with the most common errors in the English language and how to avoid them. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to make a good impression with your writing while still acing your grammar skills.
  • Excellent writing hacks and tips.
  • Guidelines to help you avoid falling into the most common grammar traps.
  • And so much more!

8. Write Right! by Jan Venolia

A perfect resource for writers of all levels, Write Right! will take you through all the essentials of writing clear, effective, and grammatically correct prose. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Easy-to-follow, digestible information and advice.
  • A step-by-step process from understanding the parts of speech to writing sound sentences to fine-tuning them. 
  • Fun examples and explanations.
  • And so much more!
Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares by Jenny Baranick book cover

Unlike most grammar books, Missed Periods is concise and straight to the point: it won’t overwhelm you with all the grammar rules out there; rather, it hammers down on the most important rules and communicates them to you in simple, jargon-free language. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Expert advice and information presented in easy-to-read, common language devoid of jargon. 
  • An entertaining and fun read.
  • Most common errors, such as misuse of apostrophes, semicolons, commas, capitalization, etc. 
  • And so much more!

10. Elements of Style by William Strunk

Elements of Style is a short handbook that contains all the important rules and guidelines of American English. 

Short and concise, the book is perfect for English writers who want to improve their style and grammar. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Excellent advice on composition, style, and form. 
  • Eight elementary rules of usage.
  • Ten principles of composition. 
  • A list of often misused words and expressions.

11. Eats, Shoots, & Leaves by Lynne Truss

Eats, Shoots, & Leaves by Lynne Truss book cover

In this book, Truss combines humor and grammar expertise to show the reader the importance of punctuation in our world. 

What’s in it for you:

  • A boisterous, fun-to-read book on grammar.
  • The importance of punctuation, such as commas and apostrophes, and the funny consequences of their misuse. 
  • And so much more!

Eats, Shoots, & Leaves is perfect for native English speakers and writers who would rather read a fun book on grammar than the traditional, boring-to-death grammar books. 

12. Woe Is I by Patricia T. O’Conner

Woe Is I by Patricia T. O'Conner book cover

In Woe Is I, O’Conner offers in plain and down-to-earth language the solutions to several of the grammar errors that trip most of us up. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Excellent, fun grammar guidebook for all readers.
  • An excellent, jargon-free guidebook.
  • Up-to-date and engaging information on grammar, style, and usage. 
  • And so much more!
Between You & Me- Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris book cover

With more than three decades of experience, Mary Norris brings her knowledge and expertise in grammar and usage to writing this concise, engaging book. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Excellent, fun advice on grammar and usage.
  • Easily digestible, practical advice.
  • And so much more!

In this book, Mignon Fogarty — famously known as Grammar girl — is determined to eradicate bad grammar and provide readers with an easy-to-read alternative to boost their grammar knowledge. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to avoid the common grammar traps that trip up even the most experienced writers.
  • How to remember and apply tricky grammar rules.
  • Expert tips and writing hacks.
  • And so much more!

15. The Glamour of Grammar by Roy Peter Clark

The Glamour of Grammar by Roy Peter Clark book cover

In this book, author Peter Clark aims to incorporate glamour and fun back into grammar and do away with all the stuffiness of the traditional grammar books.

What’s in it for you:

  • The best tools to help you master the English language.
  • How to take advantage of grammar to perfect your writing and speaking.
  • How to use grammar to incorporate charm and wit in your writing.
  • And so much more!

Best Websites for Learning Grammar

Below are some of the best websites for learning grammar. These resources are usually great if you want to brush up on your grammar skills or are looking to improve specific parts of your knowledge.

This website is by far the best website on grammar out there. Although its interface is a bit outdated, it makes up for that by the quality and quantity of content on the site. 

Granted, if you put in the effort, guidetogrammar.org can take you from intermediate to expert level in grammar. 

Towson University’s online writing support page is an awesome resource for writers who want to improve their grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

The page contains every you need to know, from parts of speech to sentence structure to punctuation, capitalization, etc.

5 Minutes Grammar is an excellent site for English as a second language (ESL) students.

If you are an ESL student looking for the best resource on the internet, 5 Minutes Grammar has got you covered.

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