I want to improve my English grammar, including every little information like where to use exclamation, where to or not to use semi-colon etc.

Can someone recommend any elementary or high school level or anything from where i can comfortably start working on my grammar?

Thank you

  • I would say conversation and reading books is better than any manual or grammar guide.
    – user85526
    Aug 25, 2014 at 22:47
  • And by books I mean literature.
    – user85526
    Aug 25, 2014 at 22:48

3 Answers 3


I constantly come back to Warriner's "English Grammar and Composition", which I used in middle school, as well as "The Little, Brown Handbook" by H. Ramsey Fowler. Both of these work through all the important matters of English grammar, without useless pictures that look nice and take up space, but don't really teach the use of actual words. Check your favorite used bookstore.

  • Ckelly: this is a helpful answer to the question as asked, but just so you know, EL&U generally discourages asking questions soliciting opinions, and in turn discourages offering answers to such questions (because it tends to attract more off-topic opinion questions). It would be best (policy-wise) to delete this answer.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 25, 2014 at 22:25
  • Dan: Thanks for the gentle reminder. I can understand the need to follow policy, as with grammar; and I hope breaking of the rules is also tolerated, to a point, as with grammar.
    – C. Kelly
    Aug 27, 2014 at 12:57

Sorry if this seems old-fashioned.

Strunk and White's -- "The Elements of Style" is still the classic.

For more detailed explorations of many things related to this site it is fun to read Fowler's "Modern English Usage". The original is sometimes no longer correct, but there are current editions updated from the original.

For more modern issues, the APA's "Publication Manual" is a good compromise reference that almost everyone finds acceptable.

  • John, please see my comment on CKelly's answer (and oh boy, don't bait our descriptivist friends, please. Throwing out S&W is like chumming the waters here!).
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 25, 2014 at 22:30
  • Hey, if they can answer a question about proper usage with a frequency graph, I can mention Strunk and White or Fowler in passing. (I have avoided quoting any 18th Century Latin Grammars so far.) Aug 25, 2014 at 22:37
  • Also 'John' is my father. I am 'Jon', apparently just so as not to be named after him. (Just mocking your fear of being off-topic.) Aug 25, 2014 at 22:40
  • Oops, sorry about that (for the first two weeks at my first job, all my colleagues called me "Don" :). –
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 25, 2014 at 22:48

Read Books.

Reading books creates flurries of mental activity which will, among other things, result in your unconscious mind's organizing and associating language patterns into information in a manner simply not attainable through high-level communication (such as asking questions).

Ways in which reading surpasses any other method of improving linguistic proficiency include:

  • profundity: the depth of the unconsciously-learned knowledge makes application of the new knowledge to existing knowledge automatic.
  • rate of absorption: it would take several lifetimes to generate a complete list of equivalent questions and answers to all the pertinent pieces of knowledge obtained by simply reading several books.
  • accuracy of information: the likelihood of some miscommunication between questioner and answerer is very high -- not to mention the detection of misunderstandings is not 100% either, meaning that it is possible to come to believe inaccurate information and so mar your writing ability and ability to improve it.

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