10 Best English Grammar Books 2017

How good are you at saying what you mean? The ability to effectively convey your thoughts is a skill to be honed and can only be achieved through mastery of grammar. It takes years and it takes practice. It pays off tremendously in the end, however, in terms of how well you can convey your thoughts and communicate with others.

Having access to the best English grammar book will certainly help you to perfect your grasp of the nuances of the language. To help you in your search for a really good English grammar book, we have compiled a list of the top 10 and included reviews of our top 3 pick.

Consider This When Buying an English Grammar Book

Whether it will be your constant companion or just act as a handy reference when the need arises, bear the following points in mind as you select the ideal English grammar book for you.

  • Size Matters. If you must take the book around with you often, then size matters, both in terms of dimensions and weight.
  • Contents. Before you head off to make a purchase, determine how detailed a book you will need. This can help you narrow your search to only concise editions or to ones with extensive coverage of the topic.
  • Format. A printed book may be sufficient for some people. Others may like the interactivity that a CD ROM provides or the opportunity to get online help.
  • Would an E-Book Be Better? An e-book, of course, means ease-of-carry and ease-of-use (adding notes and highlights, changing font size or linking text). E-books, however, do have disadvantages such as compatibility with the device you are using or eye-strain from reading off a computer screen.

Top 10 English Grammar Book Comparison Chart

PictureNameFeaturesPriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameFeaturesPriceRating (1-5)
1. English Grammar in Use BookIntermediate level self-study reference and practice book with answers and interactive eBook$$$4.7
2. Basic Grammar in Use Student's BookStudent's self-study reference and practice book with answers and CD-ROM in North American English$$$4.6
3. The Blue Book of Grammar and PunctuationGuide with reproducible quizzes$$4.5
4. The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever NeedResource book with guidelines for building grammar$4.5
5. Perfect English GrammarA reference book$4.5
6. McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage, 2nd EditionGrammar essentials taught through tips, definitions and simple rules$$4.4
7. Fundamentals of English GrammarAudio CDs and answer key$$$$4.3
8. English Grammar for DummiesTechniques and strategies to improve grammar$$4.3
9. English Grammar Workbook For DummiesGrammar practice exercises$$4.3
10. Understanding and Using English Grammar, 4th EditionDevelopmental skills book & audio CD$$$$4.1

English Grammar Book Shopping Tips

The vast majority of English grammar books on the market will cover roughly the same content. Consider the following points as you search for the one that best meets your needs.

  • Layout of Information. Some books present the content in a simple and straightforward manner while other books have introductions and summaries for the different sections or chapters. Likewise, while some English grammar books use basic fonts and formatting throughout, others will incorporate a variety of styles to separate and highlight parts of the content.
  • Included Exercises. Exercises to test your progress are always a good idea, especially if the book is to be used by students preparing for an exam. If, however, you are simply looking for a resource to check uncertainties against every now and then, the exercises will be of little relevance to you.
  • Level. Matching the book to your level is a vital factor in choosing the best English grammar book for you. If the book is well below your level, then there is little new information you can gain from it. If, on the other hand, it is too advanced then you may struggle with grasping the concepts.
  • Outdated information. Honestly, there may not be much difference between the fourth and fifth editions of a book. Having to choose between the first and eighth editions, however, needs more consideration. The newer version may incorporate revised syllabus content or the older version may include grammar rules that are no longer applicable.

Top 3 Best English Grammar Book Reviews

1. English Grammar in Use Book

It’s no surprise really that author Raymond Murphy wrote the first two books on this list of the best English grammar books. His work on the topic is extensive and spans quite a few years.

This paperback fourth edition of English Grammar in Use features several updates of material presented in the previous editions. The design and layout of the book have been refreshed and revised examples are included.

What remains the same, however, is the clarity with which the information is presented. Also unchanged is how easy it is to find topics and concepts throughout the book. English Grammar in Use also includes answers to exercises and an interactive eBook.

2. Basic Grammar in Use Student’s Book

Specifically geared toward the student learner of North American English, Raymond Murphy’s Basic Grammar in Use is a dependable companion. This paperback third edition covers the fundamentals of grammar and is laid out in a simple and easy to follow format. Its 116 units are close to exhaustive in the range of grammar concepts that students are exposed to.

Basic Grammar in Use is meant to be used both a self-study reference and as a practice book. Thoughtfully arranged, the book has simple explanations of the concepts on one page and on the page facing it are exercises to gauge understanding. Answers to exercises are included, as is a CD-ROM of tests, exercises and games.

3. The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

This is the eleventh edition of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation. Users who have been exposed to any of the earlier editions will really appreciate the way in which this edition has been revised and updated.

Written by the team of Jean Straus, Lester Kaufman and Tom Stern, the book is a concise grammar guide that also focuses on punctuation and usage. It does take a “no frills” approach in how the content is covered but does include a generous amount of worksheets, as well as, pre-test and post-tests.

Marketed as appropriate for all ages, The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation may be ideally suited to students in the seventh grade and above.