We get asked a lot about recommendations for the best English grammar books. Is there a shortcut to perfect grammar? As always with languages there is no magic bullet!
Our recommendations for students always stay the same:
- Get a good teacher with experience (yes, a grammatical wizard)
- Get a good grammar book for adults!
But there are THOUSANDS of books out there. Which is the best English grammar book?
Now first of all, we’re native teachers specialised in Business English. We speak from our experience of teaching professionals for the last 23 years.
BUT! We’re not affiliated in any way with the books we’re about to recommend.
These are simply the books that we find to be the most helpful, and effective. Both when it comes to using and understanding English grammar.
What can business professionals learn from the best English grammar books?
The best English grammar textbooks for adults can help learners in several ways:
- They improve your understanding of the structure and rules of the language. This includes parts of speech, sentence structure, verb tenses, and punctuation.
- They enhance your writing skills! You’ll learn to write clear and grammatically correct sentences.
Studying with these books will boost your vocabulary and helps you understand the meaning and usage of words in context.
- Improve your speaking skills by learning to use correct grammar and pronunciation when speaking. The best way to quickly level up from let’s say B1, to B2.
- Improved understanding to correct common grammatical errors in your own writing and speech.
- Enhances your ability to effectively communicate and express yourself.
Simply put, English grammar books for adults can be a valuable resource for professionals who want to improve their mastery of the language.
Ready for our 3 favourite English grammar books?
Here we go!
1. Beginner-level grammar book
Essential Grammar in Use for Elementary Users by Raymond Murphy is a beginner-level book for English language learners. It provides clear explanations of basic English grammar concepts.
It comes with plenty of exercises to help learners practice and improve their understanding of these concepts. It’s designed as a self-study guide, with a layout that is easy to follow and understand.
The book covers a wide range of topics, including:
- Basic sentence structure
- and much more
Each unit focuses on a specific point. You’ll find clear explanations, examples, and exercises to help you practice what you’ve learned. The grammar book also includes a comprehensive reference section and an answer key. Why is this important? Well, this way you can check your understanding of each grammar point.
“Essential Grammar in Use for Elementary Users” is ideal for learners who are just starting out with the language. It’s also great for those who need to review the basics. It targets Elementary to Pre-intermediate (A1-B1) learners.
With its clear explanations, practical exercises, and helpful reference materials, it’s a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their understanding of English grammar.
2. English Grammar book for intermediate and advanced students
For those learners that have an intermediate level, we recommend the book “English Grammar in Use for Intermediate Learners” by Raymond Murphy.
It’s a comprehensive self-study reference and practice book for intermediate students. The book covers a wide range of grammatical topics. It starts with the basics such as simple tenses and subject-verb agreement, to more advanced topics like the passive voice and modal verbs. It’s listed as B1-B2 (Intermediate to Upper intermediate).
Each unit in the book provides clear explanations of concepts and rules. You’ll find plenty of examples and exercises for practice. The “English Grammar in Use” by Raymond Murphy also includes a wealth of additional materials, including:
- A reference section
- A glossary of grammatical term
- Appendices on irregular verbs and common problems
What sets “English Grammar in Use” apart from other grammar textbooks is its focus on practical, communicative use of English. It simply feels relevant, particularly from a business perspective.
The book’s clear and accessible explanations and examples are designed to help students apply what they learn to real-life situations. This way you can confidently use your new skills in your daily life and in your professional capacity at work.
3. Advanced learners (adults)
“Advanced Grammar in Use” by Martin Hewings is a comprehensive grammar reference and practice book. It targets advanced learners of English as a second language.
Same as for the others two grammar textbooks, it provides in-depth coverage of a wide range of topics, with a focus on advanced learners. It’s listed as B2-C2 (Upper intermediate to Proficiency).
You’ll learn about complex sentence structures to take your language to the next level. You’ll also discover more nuanced and sophisticated uses of grammar.
Some of the main points covered in the book include:
- Complex sentence structures, such as conditionals, reported speech, and relative clauses.
- The use of modal verbs, passive voice, and causative structures.
- The differences between formal and informal English, and the use of idiomatic expressions.
- The use of discourse markers, such as linking words and phrases, to create cohesive and coherent writing.
- The use of collocations, or word combinations. Learn to express ideas more naturally.
The textbook includes clear explanations of each point, along with numerous examples and exercises to help learners practice what they have learned.
Are you studying for the Cambridge English C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency or IELTS? The examples are one of the things that make this English grammar book one of our favourites! It is designed as a self-study guide, with a layout that is easy to follow and understand.
Overall, “Advanced Grammar in Use” is an essential resource for advanced English language learners. It’s suitable for any adult looking to improve their mastery of the language.
If you’re searching for a comprehensive guide to advanced English grammar, this is it. It’s one of the best and as a language consultant firm we are happy to recommend it.
These English grammar books for adults cover different aspects and cater to different levels of learners. You obviously need to choose one that fits your specific level, needs and learning style. What type of exercises help YOU the most?
All three guides are part of Cambridge’s best-selling series. The series is widely used among not just our teachers, but teachers worldwide. If you’re in Barcelona we recommend you visit Come in, THE best bookstore! If you’re a student at Nativos we can help you buy the book (paperback or online), or if you’re feeling lazy you can purchase it online from Amazon.
Last but not least, some professionals find it easy to improve and get perfect grammar by following a book. Others find it… super boring. But classes or lessons don’t have to be boring! Not if you have a talented teacher that knows how to mix things up and keep things interesting in class.
Our teachers have +10 years of experience in teaching English to business professionals. We all know how to guide and sneak in fun Grammar exercises that helps you improve both your speaking and writing skills. Let’s talk?
And hey, get those books! Or let us know which guide or textbook you like the best?
David Jones holds a DELTA certificate with a masters in applied linguistics. Born and raised in England, he’s got 17 years of experience as an English language trainer. He specialises in English for Business with Nativos Language Consultants since 2015.