The Best Grammar Books for Adults of 2024

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you.

Spread the love


Grammar is such an important part of the English language that you can’t consider yourself proficient unless you’ve learned more than the basics of English grammar. However, although there are many grammar books in the market, not all offer the exact value you need to perfect your English grammar skills.

So, how do you choose the right option among the numerous options you’ll find in the market? We know how difficult the process is, so we’ve reviewed the best grammar books for adults. You can read about the different books on our list and choose based on each book’s unique features. Let’s go!

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top choice for grammar books for adults here.

Our Favorites for Best Grammar Books for Adults

The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

Often referred to as the “Holy Grail” of grammar by college professors, this book by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White offers more than advanced grammar lessons. It is recommended for learning the basics of creative writing.

The book focuses mainly on breaking English grammar down into rules of use, matters of form, and principles of composition. Thanks to its encompassing contents, The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition, has become a required text for many college grammar classes.

It is also popular for its focus on exploring commonly misspelt words and misused expressions in American English. It also emphasizes clarity and precision as the most important components for maintaining top-level grammar in creative writing.

What Makes it Unique:

  • The authors of this book lock away gold nuggets of information valuable for creative and technical writing in a concise but easily understandable manner.
  • The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition, features hilarious and relatable examples suitable for different learners.
  • The book has five parts, each focusing on unique topics relevant to modern-day written grammar.

Why Choose This Best Grammar Book for Adults:

  • It is simple to read and doesn’t beat around the bush with unnecessary information.
  • The author’s writing style is sharp and witty, so you can expect to stay focused and engaged throughout the book.
  • Although the small book can be finished quickly, it has loads of nuggets and literal wisdom that will keep you coming back for more.
On Sale
The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
  • Wusthof
  • Strunk Jr., William (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2024-06-19

Practical English Usage, Third Edition by Michael Swan

Here’s one option often recommended for people who want a practical and reliable guide that can help them improve their English grammar skills.

Firstly, it’s a comprehensive reference book that covers problem points in grammar, writing style, vocabulary, spelling, idioms, and pronunciation. Many English processors prefer this reference book because of the clarity of its explanations and examples designed to help people master the nuances of the English language.

It also covers issues on usage (e.g., When is the present perfect tense used, not how to form it), making it an excellent option for any adult learning English as a second language.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Practical English Usage, Third Edition addresses different problem points encountered by teachers and learners of the English language.
  • This unique reference guide is a full coverage of grammar and explanations of many common vocabulary problems.
  • Most information and advice in this book are clear, practical, easy to find, and reliable.

Why Choose This Best Grammar Book for Adults:

  • The author uses simple explanations and clear examples to answer general questions that often pop up in English language classes.
  • Most of this book focuses on dealing with the language as it’s actually being used and not as it should be used.
  • Although this book is quite large, it features an index and other search options to allow readers to search for words and information easily.

Last update: 2024-06-19

English for Everyone: English Vocabulary Builder by DK

Here’s a series of guides and practice books written to support all levels of English learners. English for Everyone: English Vocabulary Builder by DK combines relatable illustrations, practice questions, and audio to help readers master the over 3,000 essential English words and phrases that always come up in day-to-day conversations.

It explores basic vocabulary related to popular topics like travel, food, animals, work, etc. In addition to helping you build your English vocabulary, English for Everyone is an ideal tool for preparing for an English test. It also serves as a reference guide for strong learners who want to transition to more advanced sentence structures in practical English usage.

What Makes it Unique:

  • English for Everyone: English Vocabulary Builder by DK features several sample sentences, practice questions, and supporting audio to help adult learners progress their English usage from beginner to advanced level.
  • It features a visual breakdown of essential grammar, showing learners how to recreate complex English sentences.

Why Choose This Grammar Book for Adults:

  • It’s compact and easy to use, with tons of examples to guide you on how to use each word and phrase.
  • The authors have attached an audio guide to help non-English speakers easily catch up on pronunciation and usage.
On Sale
English for Everyone: English Vocabulary Builder (DK English for Everyone)
  • DK (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 360 Pages - 01/02/2018 (Publication Date) - DK (Publisher)

Last update: 2024-06-19

Runner Ups for Best Grammar Books for Adults

Fundamentals of English Grammar, 2nd Edition by Betty Azar

As its name signifies, Fundamentals of English Grammar, 2nd Edition by Betty Azar, offers a comprehensive review of the basic rules of English grammar. This edition provides a well-organized core of materials that teachers and instructors can build their course syllabi and classroom activities around.

It presents interesting, realistic content that matches current needs both in and outside classrooms. The most important feature of this book is how well it uses the developmental skills approach to explain concepts. This way, it is able to effectively explain a broad syllabus of English structures needed for speaking, writing, listening, and reading the English language. It also includes key English topics like verb forms, comparisons, and idea connections using subordinating and coordinating conjunctions.

What Makes it Unique:

  • The variety of written and oral exercises this book contains makes it perfect for adequate practice and preparation for English exams.
  • It contains crystal clear illustrations and explanations that’ll make for an easier understanding of grammatical concepts.
  • Focuses on developing written and oral grammar.

Why Choose This Best Grammar Book for Adults:

  • Fundamentals of English Grammar, contains several self-explanatory concepts that make it easy for users to learn by themselves.
  • The inclusion of answers to its workbook exercises and detailed teaching instructions makes this book an excellent book for English teachers to form the basis of their lessons.

Last update: 2024-06-19

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation by Jane Straus, Lester Kaufman, and Tom Stern

Here’s an excellent handbook for learners who already have a basic understanding of English but need further clarification on trickier areas like punctuation and sentence structuring. The first feature that attracts many readers to this book is its concise look.

However, as you pick it up, you’ll find out that it’s an entertaining and user-friendly resource. It works you through simple explanations of punctuation, grammar, and usage of advanced English words. Although it’s generally considered ideal for students of any age, we recommend it for students from seventh grade through adulthood.

If you want to understand English grammar’s subtle guidelines and unspoken rules, The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation by Jane Straus, Lester Kaufman, and Tom Stern is an excellent option.

What Makes it Unique:

  • The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation by Jane Straus, Lester Kaufman, and Tom Stern is clear, easy to follow, and concise, offering only facts and simple explanations of punctuation usage.
  • It covers real-world use while clarifying current grammar rules that may confuse old learners.
  • This book uses clear explanations, good examples, and loads of short practices to clarify abstract grammar concepts.

Why Choose This Best Grammar Book for Adults:

  • Although this book is straightforward and clear, it still offers more than enough to help you get the hang of modern punctuation rules.
  • It is an excellent resource for helping you prepare for any English language test.
On Sale
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation: An Easy-to-Use Guide with Clear Rules, Real-World Examples, and Reproducible Quizzes
  • JosseyBass
  • The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation: An EasytoUse Guide with Clear Rules, RealWorld Examples, and Reproducible Quizzes

Last update: 2024-06-19

Complete English Grammar Rules by Farlex International

Complete English Grammar Rules by Farlex International was written to suit the ever-evolving rules of English grammar. It offers enough content to help beginners and experts learn something new whenever they open the book.

As a simple go-to guide for grammar, this book fills all the gaps that other incomplete grammar textbooks may leave or in areas where they may contradict themselves. With over 500 pages of easy-to-understand instructions, this grammar text lets you say goodbye to embarrassing grammar errors.

Users can always use the hundreds of quizzes and many real-world examples in the book to understand and retain information.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Complete English Grammar Rules by Farlex International is a complete guide that covers the most relevant topics in English grammar while remaining comprehensive and enjoyable.
  • The book divides grammar rules and topics into basic units that are easy to understand.
  • The book’s thousands of grammar quizzes and real-world examples make for easier and more effective self-study routines.

Why Choose This Best Grammar Book for Adults:

  • It’s enjoyable to read, offering detailed explanations and exciting examples to keep you in the book for a long time.
  • Despite covering so many topics, it’s still concise and direct to the point.

Last update: 2024-06-19

Value Picks for Best Grammar Books for Adults

A Practical English Grammar, 4th Edition by Audrey Thomson and Agnes Martinet

This classic English grammar book by Thomson and Martinet is foreign learners’ most popular intermediate grammar book. One of the most obvious reasons for this popularity is the clarity of its explanations. However, beyond that, it also deals thoroughly with some of the most difficult grammar topics. It may not be as expensive as some of the options in this list, but its beautiful organization and easy-to-read nature make it suitable for utilization in all writing circumstances.

This book starts with a comprehensive survey of common grammatical structures. It gradually forms before diving into clear explanations and examples of concepts in a pretty organized manner for easier comparison of related topics.

In this fourth edition, the authors do more to make the book a reference book that intermediate and advanced students can use to gain clarity on difficult topics.

What Makes it Unique:

  • A Practical English Grammar is known for clearly explaining difficult topics.
  • It offers easy-to-follow exercises and examples to help students grasp grammar rules and their use.
  • Its unique organization makes for easier comparison of related topics while easily transitioning into complex topics.

Why Choose This Best Grammar Book for Adults:

  • The author’s unique writing style makes for easier understanding during personal study times.
  • Since the book grades exercise into categories based on difficulty levels, readers can now easily focus on the most difficult grammar areas.
  • It features a unique content list and index that allows for easier navigation through pages and topics.
Practical English Grammar 4th Edition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Audrey Thomson (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2024-06-19

The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English by Roy Peter Clark

When most people buy this book, their first impression is that it is usually just a book about grammar. But while reviewing it, we found that there’s more to it. It is indeed a guide to the magic and mystery of practical English. One of the most striking things about this grammar book is that unlike most traditional grammar books, the author reserves its scolding for teachers of writing who harbor unduly restrictive views.

The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English by Roy Peter Clark endorses breaking grammar commandments that make little or no sense as long as they do not take anything away from your writing. The beauty of this book lies in the fact that there’s so much more to gain from it beyond simple grammar corrections.

Firstly, it is an amazing read with an extremely well-written narrative and terrific examples in each section. Secondly, the book’s directness to the point, with only relevant information about each topic, makes it a beautiful read for anybody.

What Makes it Unique:

  • The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English by Roy Peter Clark features short pages and chapters, with each sentence enlightening enough to convey adequate information to readers.
  • It contains a tremendous range of examples, with various exact quotations to make for more effective study routines.
  • It offers a slight peek into how glamorous English grammar can be when you choose to only go by the rules without letting them limit your creativity.

Why Choose This Best Grammar Book for Adults:

  • Most readers find each chapter enlightening enough to stand on its own.
  • Clerk’s fun and clever writing style makes for a smoother and more understandable read by expert and intermediate learners.
The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Clark, Roy Peter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2024-06-19

How to Choose the Best Grammar Books for Adults?

As adult learners, there’s no question that finding the right books and study materials is important, especially when you don’t have enough basic knowledge. But with thousands of grammar books published yearly, how should a grammar learner (especially one who’s not a native English speaker) decide the best books for grammar practice? We often get this question, so we’ve prepared a detailed guide to help you find the perfect grammar book for your need. Here are questions that can guide you.

Are You a Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced Learner?

If you can squish a few words together in English, you’re a beginner. You’re intermediate if you understand the language enough to produce something agile and high-quality. However, you’re advanced if you understand the solid foundations alongside the underlying processes. Whatever the case, there are grammar books for every level. So, the first step to finding the best books for grammar practice is to note your proficiency level before finding something that suits it.

What is Your Learning Style and Goal?

Some popular learning styles include auditory, kinesthetic, and visual. Each of these learning styles has its pros and cons, and a person may not always prefer a particular learning style for all situations. Whatever the situation, find the learning style that suits you most and get a book that excels in that style for effective learning.

Does It Provide Examples and Exercises?

Examples and exercises are so important in learning that we can hardly learn without them. However, some books focus more on working readers through detailed examples and exercises than others. If you’re buying a book for self-study purposes, we recommend choosing a book with tons of relatable examples and exercises. Fortunately, most of the books we’ve reviewed above excel in this area. So, you just need to choose one or more from the list during personal study times.

Does It Cover a Wide Range of Grammar Topics?

Coverage is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a grammar book. Always choose books with extensive coverage of topics like parts of speech, punctuation, verb tenses, and sentence structures. Such books can provide you with a holistic approach to English grammar while enabling you to communicate fluently in different contexts.

What is Your Budget for a Grammar Book?

Although often overlooked, budget is an important aspect of any purchase. Grammar books vary in price. So you want to choose one that doesn’t excessively strain you financially. Fortunately, you’ll find books that cover different grammar needs in different price ranges. It’s up to you to search well and pick one that meets your needs at a price point you can afford. Our value pick, A Practical English Grammar, 4th Edition by Audrey Thomson and Agnes Martinet,  covers advanced grammar learning needs without breaking the bank. You can search for other books in the same price range by typing affordable grammar books for adults. Whatever the case, ensure you’re not sacrificing quality for price.

Wrapping Things Up: The Best Grammar Books for Adults

Mastering the art of connecting words together to form a logical statement in English can be challenging for anybody, especially if you’re just starting to learn the language. However, it is especially more challenging for adults who need to learn English as a second language. Grammar is such an important aspect of learning any language. But you want to learn grammar in combination with everything else and that’s why you want the right books that will guide you through the rules. So far, we’ve reviewed some of the best English grammar books for adults. Depending on your learning goals and personal preference, we expect you to choose a book that offers you everything you need for your level.

If you can’t go through the reviews in detail, choose our favorite pick, The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. This book focuses on breaking English grammar rules into understandable chunks for intermediate and advanced learners. Our runners-up, Fundamentals of English Grammar, 2nd Edition by Betty Azar, offers a fundamental view of the basic rules of English. Other options touch on different aspects.

Picture of Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

If you found this helpful, help us out by sharing this post!


Readers of this post also read...

A Guide to Effective Study Group Strategies

A Guide to Effective Study Group Strategies

Perhaps you have exams coming up and you’re considering studying with your friends but aren’t sure how to kick things off. Crafting the ultimate study group involves making sure that the time you spend together...

Read More