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Painless Grammar

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  305 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Titles in Barron's extensive "Painless Series " cover a wide range of subjects as they are taught on middle school and high school levels. These books are written for students who find the subjects unusually difficult and confusing--or in many cases, just plain boring. Barron's "Painless Series " authors' main goal is to clear up students' confusion and perk up their inter ...more
Paperback, 283 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Barron's Educational Series (first published 1997)
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Jan 29, 2012 J.N. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
I picked up this book to brush up on my grammar. Even though I tend to think I do an okay job with it, there are a lot of things about grammar that I would like to know--like independent and dependent clauses. Things they sort of brushed over in high school but never really went into, at least not well enough for me to remember it. This book is more for younger audiences (I'd say late elementary school to early high school, maybe) but I still enjoyed it. The author use humor and tried to keep th ...more
Feb 09, 2009 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Composition instructors/students with grammar issues
Some of my students really seemed to better understand the ideas I kept repeating to them from the few pages I copied and shared with them. I suggested that if this book's explanations made more sense to them, they should go online and purchase it. Of course, I told them that it is not an official textbook or university endorsed, necessarily, but if it makes sense, it may be worth it to them. The examples are somewhat shorter, and the author gives numerous "fixes" rather than one or two, which h ...more
Apr 11, 2012 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those with colon and related problems
Shelves: non-fiction
I have atrocious grammar. I read this book to help fix some of my most heinous sentence butchering. Probably hasn't worked. Decidedly not the fault of Rebecca Elliott, Ph.D. Her book is easy to read, easy to understand, and provides helpful exercises. I'm lazy. I fully intend to read through this book from time to time for: New Year's resolutions, bouts of self doubt, boredom, self improvement, snobbery.
Jul 10, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A grammar goddess I am not. However, of all the grammar books I have trialed, this one has been the easiest to navigate and the most helpful. It has become well used and one of the few books that are never far from where I write.
Cathy Maxwell
Jun 10, 2014 Cathy Maxwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business-stuff
This is my grammar book of choice. Easy to read and find what I need. Truly painless!
Nicole Pramik
As a former English professor, I'm always on the lookout for any good (and possibly) new books on grammar to add to my collection. While Painless Grammar isn't my all-time favorite resource, it is by no means inadequate or poor in terms of format, delivery, or content.

I will say that I sense the target readership is probably mid- to late elementary school to middle school as its overall style might be a bit too simplistic for high school or college. (Though it's certainly worth checking into as
Suzanne Arcand
Aug 19, 2016 Suzanne Arcand rated it it was amazing
A very usefull book and entertaining at the same time.
Mar 28, 2015 Dianne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-written
I read this again to brush up on my grammar for my English minor. Overall, the author presented each content with clear, humorous examples going over nouns, verbs, conjunction, preposition, interjection, syntax, symbols, confusing words, and email etiquette. The book seems to be geared for middle school students. (Some of these materials are also presented in elementary school.) It is a thorough book, but more reference and examples may be necessary for students to advance.

The "Brain Ticklers"
Bob Nichols
May 07, 2012 Bob Nichols rated it liked it
As books on English mechanics go, this is the best one I've come across. With all of the exceptions to the rules in English (e.g., "Inanimate objects usually don't own things, but some possessives are okay."), it's an oversell to say this is "painless grammar." Even so, the author's presentation is straightforward without getting caught up in technical-sounding terminology that often afflict books on English.

The author writes, "in England it is acceptable to put the period outside the quotation
Looktarn Wnnst
Jan 07, 2015 Looktarn Wnnst rated it it was amazing
It is actually not "painless", but it is kind of wonderful book I enjoy reading.
Feb 15, 2012 Erica rated it really liked it
Well, I'd never say grammar is "painless." But at least this book spells things out pretty clearly. It's actually written at a level a jr. high student would understand, and it covers common mistakes as well. It was helpful.
Big take-away: Quite a bit actually...choosing one...Possessives of pural subjects (Apparently, it depends on if the subjects share the same object(s) or if they each have their own.) I guess I've been getting that wrong all along. ;P
Aug 17, 2008 Victor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written for middle school and high school students, Painless Grammar claims to be "an enoyable, completely painless examination of parts of speech, sentence construction, and punctuation." On first glance it does appear fun to read, but in reality it's rather tedious. It does cover the basics, though, and for a book on grammar it is relatively understandable. Perhaps as a textbook, supplement, or reference it'd be fine. Just don't expect to enjoy it!
Tess Brewer
Well...considering this is a book about grammar, I'm sure my review speaks for itself. I learned some new techniques and I was updated on older ones. It was an average read, and luckily entertaining enough that it allowed me to survive long enough just in time for the school year (yay... ;P).
Nov 26, 2007 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: grammar-phobes
The title definitely describes the book's content. This is a handy reference to keep on your shelf and it clearly explain s a lot of the grammar foibles so many of us make (darn you bad/badly)! I particularly like the section titled, "The Top Goofs in Students' Writing." I may use some of this author's tips to help my students understand more about the writing process.
Jan 05, 2013 Bea rated it really liked it
An excellent resource, much easier to use than the Chicago Manual of Style. It's not as comprehensive but it's written for the average person and not professionals. The explanations are clear, simple, to the point and written with humor. It never patronizes or condescends. I borrowed this from the library but I'll be buying my own copy.
Nov 15, 2012 Katelyn rated it did not like it
I really dont like this book. I don't like grammar to begin with. But the books level is for a first grader sometimes and then a 12 th grader other times. I'm in 10th grade, so I am bored to death reading what a noun is and then all the sudden cant figure out what an antecedent is.
Yes, I like reading reference books, especially when I'm waiting for a book to arrive from Amazon. I picked it up looking for a few specific answers and then got interested in the whole thing. Helpful little book to brush up on those long forgotten grammar rules.
Mona Caber
Sep 11, 2013 Mona Caber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think that Painless Grammar is an easy and comprehensive way to structure ones grammar. It's a good book for someone who needs a sharp and quick review in grammar, as well as for someone who needs major help without the clutter of a huge textbook.
Brandon Baggett
Dec 31, 2012 Brandon Baggett rated it liked it
Shelves: academic
Honestly, this book isn't bad for those who want to improve their writing skills. It has everything from basic grammar skills to how one can proof read and improve his papers. This book also helped me prepare for the ACT English section.
May 19, 2011 Tanner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am really enjoying this book and I would highly recommend this to Mrs. Browning because it is all about grammar usage. There also is Painless Vocabulary, which you can buy at Costco for $6.00(which is $4.00 cheaper than the full $10.00)
Dec 10, 2011 Nan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It isn't E. B. White's Elements of Style, but it's a good reference manual for middle schoolers, tutors, and teachers of middle school writers. I'm keeping it.
Rachel Cawood
Jun 15, 2013 Rachel Cawood rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
All I can say is it wasn't painless. It was one of the most painful experiences in my life. If I could give it zero stars... I would.
Robin DeJarnett
Sep 11, 2009 Robin DeJarnett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-read
A great book - lots of grammar rules and tips, along with many hilarious examples. A wonderful reference for any writer.
Micha Meinderts
Nice book that is obviously for kids. I didn't learn all that much new stuff but it was still nice to be refreshed.
Apr 17, 2012 Tammy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of good information. Learned a lot!! (like not to use too many exclamation points...but I like 'em)
I know this book is trying to be reassuring, but the idea of painless grammar is an oxymoron.
Apr 17, 2010 Kiki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have done great things for the young students in my English Class, here in Puerto Rico!
Mark Adams
Aug 23, 2012 Mark Adams rated it it was amazing
I forgot how much I loved word construction until I read this book.
Sam Becker
May 02, 2015 Sam Becker rated it it was amazing
Let's just say, I'm smart now.
This is a kid's book, but oh well :)
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