Books on grammar, usage, and writing

Grammar Handbooks

Alexander, L. G. Longman English Grammar. London: Longman, 1988.

Crews, Frederick. The Random House Handbook. 4th ed. New York: Random House, 1984.

Fernald, James G. English Grammar Simplified. New York: HarperPerennial, 1968.

Fowler, H. Ramsey. The Little, Brown Handbook. 3rd ed. Boston: Little, Brown, 1986.

Hodges, John C., and Mary E. Whitten. Harbrace College Handbook. 9th ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982.

Sentence Diagramming

Emery, Donald W. Sentence Analysis. Forth Worth, Tex.: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College, 1989.

Usage Guides

Bernstein, Theodore M. Miss Thistlebottom’s Hobgoblins: The Careful Writer’s Guide to the Taboos, Bugbears, and Out-Moded Rules of English Usage. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1971.

———. The Careful Writer: A Modern Guide to English Usage. New York: Atheneum, 1965.

Bryson, Bill. Troublesome Words. London: Penguin Books, 1987.

Copperud, Roy H. A Dictionary of Usage and Style. New York: Hawthorn Books, 1964.

Evans, Bergen, and Cornelia Evans. A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage. New York: Random House, 1957.

Follett, Wilson. Modern American Usage: A Guide. Edited and completed by Jacques Barzun. New York: Hill & Wang, 1966.

Fowler, H. W. Fowler’s Modern English Usage. Revised and edited by Sir Ernest Gowers. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965.

Garner, Bryan A. Garner’s Modern American Usage. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Gordon, Karen Elizabeth. The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed. New York: Pantheon Books, 1993.

Johnson, Edward D. The Handbook of Good English. New York: Washington Square Press, 1991.

O’Connor, Patricia T. Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English. New York: Grosset/Putnam, 1996.

Partridge, Eric. Usage and Abusage: How to Pick the Right Words—and Avoid the Wrong Ones—in Speech and Writing. New York: W.W. Norton, 1973.

Perrin, Porter G. Writer’s Guide and Index to English. 4th ed. Chicago: Scott, Foresman, 1965.

Shaw, Harry. Errors in English and Ways to Correct Them. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1970.

Skillin, Marjorie. Words into Type. 3rd ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall, 1974.

Urdang, Laurence. The Dictionary of Confusable Words. New York: Ballantine, 1988.

Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1989.


Benson, Morton, Evelyn Benson, and Robert Ilson, comps. The BBI Dictionary of English Word Combinations. Rev. ed. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing, 1997.

Heaton, J. B. Prepositions and Adverbial Particles. London: Longman, 1965.

Spears, Richard A. NTC’s American Idioms Dictionary: The Most Practical Reference for the Everyday Expressions of Contemporary American English. Chicago: NTC Publishing Group, 2000.

Wood, Frederick T. English Verbal Idioms. London: Macmillan, 1964.


Barzun, Jacques. Simple and Direct: A Rhetoric for Writers. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.

Cook, Claire Kehrwald. Line by Line: How to Improve Your Own Writing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985.

Williams, Joseph M. Style: Toward Clarity and Grace. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

Synonyms and Antonyms

Fernald, James. C. Funk & Wagnall’s Standard Handbook of Synonyms, Antonyms & Prepositions. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1947.

Hayakawa, S. I. Modern Guide to Synonyms and Related Words. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1968.

One thought on “Books on grammar, usage, and writing”

  1. I have gone through Modern Guide to Synonyms and Related Words-published by Funk & Wagnalls. It is no doubt a valuable reference book.

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