Let's face it: trudging through grammar isn't a joyride. Some people are so overwhelmed by the intricacies of grammar rules, they give up on learning a language altogether. And even if you managed to achieve a high level of fluency, without diving too deep into grammar, a good understanding of the foundations is necessary for truly mastering a language and being able to express your thoughts (especially in writing) in a clear and precise manner.
There's no shortage of books and textbooks on grammar for learners of all levels. However, there's no point in having a book that will only bore you and, eventually, will be gathering dust on your desk. Here are 5 great books that are actually a fantastic and fun way to learn the most boring and tricky grammar rules:
"Have You Eaten Grandma?: Or, the Life-saving Importance of Correct Punctuation, Grammar, and Good English" by Gyles Brandreth
Written by a British author, broadcaster, and former Member of Parliament, this book is a witty and humorous guide to proper punctuation, grammar, and the use of English in our modern world. It delves into the history and evolution of the English language and has plenty of great examples and anecdotes that illustrate common grammar misconceptions, spelling errors, and punctuation pitfalls.
"Kiss My Asterisk: A Feisty Guide to Punctuation and Grammar" by Jenny Baranick
In the introduction to this book, English professor Jenny Baranick compares loving grammar to loving oatmeal - not the most delicious dish, but actually good for our health. Written in a playful style, with plenty of pop culture references and funny examples, this book helps readers recognise the most common grammar errors out there and improve their writing skills.
"The Grammar Devotional: Daily Tips for Successful Writing from Grammar Girl (Quick & Dirty Tips)" by Mignon Fogarty
Mignon Fogarty, a renowned grammar expert and host of the popular "Grammar Girl" podcast, shares a great deal of helpful tips, fun facts, and examples mixed with cute illustrations, quizzes and word games to help you master grammar without descending into boredom. If you want to avoid common grammar mistakes and gradually build your writing confidence with everyday grammar reminders, this book is right for you.
"Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation"by Lynne Truss
Yes, punctuation is important. As a a British writer and journalist Lynne Truss demonstrates in her bestselling book, one comma can make a difference between a panda that eats shoots and leaves and a panda that eats (e.g. a sandwich), shoots (e.g. from a bow) and leaves (e.g. the room)! Even if reading about punctuation isn't really your idea of a good time, you will enjoy this entertaining and fun read that shows with many great examples how even a small punctuation mark can impact the clarity, meaning, and tone.
"Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English" by Patricia T. O'Conner
The introduction describes this book, written by former New York Times Book Review editor and linguistic expert, as a "survival guide for intelligent people." It's witty, humourous, and full of clear and helpful explanations that will help make sense of the most complex and obscure aspects of English grammar.
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