The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation by Jane Straus – Book Review

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation: An Easy-to-Use Guide with Clear Rules, Real-World Examples, and Reproducible Quizzes 11th Edition

the blue book of grammarA revised and an updated new edition of the bestselling (over 200,000 copies sold)  workbook and grammar guide

Why would you buy Jane Straus’s book on grammar over other books reviewed?

  • Of the books that I have reviewed, this is by far the most affordable book on grammar.
  • It is light and easier to carry around.  This is an advantage for students.
  • It is an easy reference guide

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation is a concise entertaining workbook and guide to English grammar, punctuation, and usage. This user-friendly resource includes:

  • Grammar
  • Punctuation and usage
  • Scores of helpful examples
  • dozens of reproducible worksheets
  • and pre- and post-tests to help teach grammar to students of all ages.

Appropriate for virtually any age range, this authoritative guide makes learning English grammar and usage simple and fun. This updated Eleventh Edition reflects the latest updates to English usage and grammar and features a fully revised two-color design and lay-flat binding for easy photocopying.

  • This book is clear and concise, easy-to-follow, offering “just the facts.”
  • Fully updated to reflect the latest rules in grammar and usage along with new quizzes
  • Ideal for students from seventh grade through adulthood in the US and abroad

For anyone who wants to understand the major rules and subtle guidelines of English grammar and usage, The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation offers comprehensive, straightforward instruction.

Example quiz from the Blue Book

Who, Whom, Whoever, Whomever Quiz 2

Choose the correct word for each sentence.  The answers are on page 123.
1. We intend to notify ______ ranks highest on the list.
2. These are the sign language interpreters ______ I feel you should acknowledge.
3. ______ can we trust in a crisis?
4. Ms. Cohen, ______ has a way with words, will be the valedictorian.
5. The person ______ produces the most work will receive a bonus.
6. ______ are you dancing with next?
7. ______would you say is the best person for this position?
8. The therapist will talk with ______ needs her help.
9. We are not sure ______ set off the alarm.
10. Don’t talk with anyone ______ you think might be connected with the competition.
11. ______ had my job before me?


  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Author
  • Foreword by Mignon Fogarty
  • Introduction
  • Grammar
    • Finding Subjects and Verbs
    • Subject and Verb agreement
    • Pronouns
    • Who vs. Whom
    • Whoever vs. Whomever
    • That vs. Which
    • Adjectives and Adverbs
    • Problems with Prepositions
    • Effective Writing
  • Confusing Words and Homonyms
    • Advice vs. advice
    • Affect vs. effect
    • Lay vs. lie
    • Their vs. there vs They’re
    • Hundreds more confusing words and homonyms
  • Punctuation
    • Spacing with Punctuation
    • Periods
    • Ellipse Marks
    • Commas
    • Semicolons
    • Colons
    • Question Marks
    • Parentheses
    • Apostrophes
    • Hyphens
    • Dashes
  • Capitalization
    • Beginning a sentence or quoted sentence
    • Proper nouns
    • Titles
    • Government officials
    • Points of the compass
    • Titles of publications
    • With state, federal, and other government bodies
    • With seasons
    • With salutations
    • With words derived from proper nouns such as English
  • Writing Numbers
    • Using figures vs. spelling out
    • Mixed quantities within the same sentence
    • Fractions
    • Large numbers
    • Decimals
    • Dates
    • Time
    • Compound numbers
  • Quizzes
    • Grammar Pretest
    • Grammar Mastery Test
    • Punctuation, Capitalization, and Writing Numbers Pretest
    • Punctuation, Capitalization, and Writing Numbers Mastery Test
  • Answers to Quizzes


  • Paperback, 153 pages
  • Published January 2008 by Jossey-Bass (first published January 1997)
  • Original TitleThe Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation: An Easy-to-Use Guide with Clear Rules, Real-World Examples, and Reproducible Quizzes
  • ISBN0470222689 (ISBN13: 9780470222683)


The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation is a handy reference guide.  It a book that you would want to have in your back pocket when visiting an English speaking country, or to cram for an English exam.  The quizzes help get up to speed quickly with English grammar.

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation


GoodReads Rating



  • handy reference guide with examples and questions
  • Affordable for students on a budget


  • Not as comprehensive as other grammar books

Aaron Skudder


  1. If there is one thing that I struggle with, it’s grammar. And you can probably see that from me writing this post. I’ve been looking for a user-friendly resource to carry around when I get into situations where I need to write a professional email at work. I like how there are examples and quizzes that you can do to really make the concepts stick. This will definitely be my next purchase! Thanks for the recommendation. 

    • Hi Hillary.  Jane’s book will be a good investment.  You should also consider Grammarly for instant grammar feedback for blogging and emails 

  2. Hey Aaron good to hear from you again. I am a native English speaker but it looks like this book could actually teach me a few things about the English language that I don’t already know! When I saw the thing about lay and lie I was like wait a second am I lying in bed or laying in bed?

    This book is actually very affordable too. Like when a book is like $50 is a little harder to decide but when it’s like $10 it’s much easier to decide.

    As you can tell by my writing style I do not have perfect grammar LOL. If I ever feel like sort of knowing for sure what the right grammar is I will definitely get my books here. And I will probably keep coming back in the future to read some more anyway. Take care.

  3. Ah, a book on grammar! I’ll buy for some people I know.

    I just can’t help it but cringe when somebody doesn’t know basic grammar and makes writing mistakes, including native speakers! What a shame.

    I think this book will come really in handy for people who are starting to learn English. I only believe in one motto: practice makes perfect!

    Thank you for sharing this.


  4. Hello Aaron, this is an excellent overview of the blue book of grammar and punctuation by Jane Straus. I must say that I’m getting excited already to add this to my collections of helpful books that will help to iron out my deficiencies in English. Another plus point is that it would of great help to my son too and what better feeling is there than that. Thanks

  5. Very good price for this book and good and lots of resources for those looking to learn. My experience with this topic is we’ve had lots of exchange students come in looking to learn, and many books have helped, and now they also have several apps to help with this as well. 

  6. Good to know that Jane Straus’s book on grammar is one of the most affordable out there. If I’m looking for a book on grammar cost definitely comes into play. It also looks like a pretty quality book. The quiz is a great example, whoever, whom, whom…hehe. Grammar is something that is escaping us as a society I fear, so this definitely is a worthy cause. I’ll recommend your post to some not-so-Shakespearean friends, well done!

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