Barron’s Painless Grammar (3rd ed.), by Rebecca Elliott, Ph.D.

My Copy: 9780764147128 (image from

Well, it’s up to a 4th edition right now, but no matter what edition we’re talking about and how many links and internet apps and such, Barron’s Painless Grammar is still a great guide for anyone who needs either a brief refresher on grammar rules or needs a new way to learn to write English.

Maybe some have certain preferences regarding learning publishers, but I gotta admit, I’ve always liked Barron’s the best. I have several of their language-teaching guides on my shelves and tried my first Spanish workbook when I was a little kid (and yes, I bought another one to help me out since my high-school experience with Spanish wasn’t so great or helpful).

Painless Grammar does a pretty good job of breaking down the do’s and don’ts of writing and explains common mistakes of grammar and how to remember not to repeat them.

The book’s geared toward younger readers and those who need bigger font sizes, but it’s not particularly dense and doesn’t go crazy about theory. It says enough to get the point across with loads of examples and quite a few “work it yourself” parts to basically study and fill out (yes, answers are in the back).

I recommend this book to anybody who wants a relatively inexpensive grammar guide to help them out, tutors, parent with middle- or high-school students really struggling through English writing, or anybody who just hasn’t had a very good go at remembering grammar rules. I admit, I fail at this sometimes and need a refresher–this book’s a good one to use.

Happy perusing and writing!

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