https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aurora530650

Please can anyone recommend an English grammar book (not a German grammar book)?

I’m progressing well in the German course but considerably hampered by my complete lack of knowledge of the grammar of the English language - thanks 1980s education!

Can anyone recommend a book on English grammar so that I can understand how it compares to German grammar? I’ve tried looking at reviews on Amazon but a lot of the books are aimed at non-native speakers or only cover basic topics such as there/their/they’re or use of apostrophes.

Thanks in advance to anyone that can help.

August 9, 2019

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertHans782160

I think the best comprehensive grammar textbook I've come across is Michael Swan – Practical English Usage (Oxford University Press). Another book by the same author is recommendable as well – How English Works (accompanied by exercises) with its terse and matter-of-fact approach. If you want a good, coherent lecture with lots of examples, buy Thomson – Martinet A Practical English Grammar (Oxford University Press), an old thing, from the eighties but still irreplaceable. If you want something basic, get a copy of An A-Z of English Grammar (Leech Cruickshank Ivanic) by Longman Pearson. If you want a practical aspect with a lot of exercises – use MyGrammarLab (B1-B2), although it's a Marmite kind of stuff – you love it or you hate it. I would discourage you from buying Collins COBUILD stuff, especially English Grammar – a real nightmare, but strangely enough it pops often up on a Google query. All aforementioned books are widely available online in places like Amazon.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aurora530650

Thanks! I’ll have a look at your suggestions.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/schokolade

I think "English Grammar for Students of German" would be exactly what you're looking for. It starts by explaining concepts with how it works in English, and then how it works in German.

There are books for other languages too (French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, I think also Italian?). I read the French one first and actually didn't need to make much use of the German one because the French one had cleared so much up for me already.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sea-mist

The Grammar books for those learning another language from a language, tend to assume the person already knows Grammar and Grammar terms in their original language so arent great for someone who has never learnt Grammar and may not even know what adjectives, verbs, nouns etc etc are.

That's why I've had a huge problem picking up grammar terms as when I look a term up, they use other grammar terms I do not know to explain. It's like trying to read a new language though it's in my own language.

If you've never done grammar at school like my generation didnt, you need like something whic covers early school years grammar book in your native language for the easiest learning of Grammar.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/schokolade

I'm not sure if you're just agreeing with me or not. If you're not, I really recommend looking up the book I mentioned (e.g. on Amazon, they let you look at some of the pages), so you can see what it's like. It's designed to explain even the basics.

It won't be for everyone, but as someone else who wasn't taught grammar at school, I found it incredibly useful.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aurora530650

I’ve ordered the book you recommended. Thanks!

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aurora530650

That does sound good. I had the same problem when I did Russian at university for a semester. You need to understand the English grammar or the rules of other languages don’t make sense.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

Rediscover Grammar by David Crystal.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateBell20

As a language arts teacher I like the Farlex Complete English Grammar Rules for personal use, and Zorach's English Grammar for Students of German (written in english despite what the title implies). The 1st one is pretty comprehensive and organized well, while the other is a side by side look as english and german grammar. I use both frequently while learning German.

August 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aurora530650

Thanks for the recommendations.

August 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carbsrule

IIRC "English grammar in use" is quite popular

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertHans782160

You mean Raymond Murphy's? Quite poor as a reference book, messy and with scant explanations, focused on words, with the careless approach towards a sentence, particularly compound sentences. Works much better as an exercise book, but it is not what Janet wants.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sea-mist

ahh another Aussie I guess who was not taught grammar. They did our generation a huge diservice in our ability to learn languages due to this. I'm still struggling with the English Grammar while trying to learn German.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MenezesJai

Hi Aurora, there´s an interesting English Grammar that I strongly recommend to my students as well as to other English speakers. The book is: Practical English Usage from Michael Swan. Author: Michael Swan You can also find it at Amazon in the link below.

https://www.amazon.com.br/Practical-English-Usage-4th-Paperback/dp/0194202437/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

Hopefully you find it helpful.

August 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cherub64544

Collins Gem English Grammar is good if you want a tiny volume you can slip in your handbag. My preference is for paper copies of things, I like something i can flick through.

August 11, 2019
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.