The 5 Best German Grammar Books

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Learning German grammar can be difficult and a good textbook can help you with the fundamentals. With the right references to study, you can learn proper German grammar and increase your fluency in the language. 

While you do have many options available, these are among the best German grammar books you can find today. They are technical and thorough in their explanations but also share the information in a way that any German language student can understand. 

How to Get the Most Out of Learning German

The material you study from really does matter whenever you're learning a language on your own. You need to enjoy the learning process and that should be strongly supported by a well structured and carefully chosen grammar book or resource. We all want to understand and when we don't, it's frustrating. This can severely limit your ability and desire to learn German.

Make sure you get the right material and the right tutor or online course that provides you with a good learning experience. At the same time, you also want one that leads to visible progress. If you're not experiencing either of those things, it's time to rethink your strategy for learning.

Books and Programs to Avoid

We do not recommend a book that is typically used in language classrooms. Those books are very thin when it comes to grammar explanations and, in some cases, they even explain it in German, which does nothing for an English-speaker's comprehension. These are made for group and partner work but not for self-learners.

Online courses like Duolingo, Babbel, Rosetta Stone, or Busuu are good programs from a technical point of view. As a grammar resource, however, they will let you down. Instead, it's best to view them as games and add-ons to your other efforts.

You can also save your money when it comes to books like "501 German verbs." German conjugations—changing verbs according to person, mood, or tense—is relatively regular or rather easy to learn and to predict once you do learn it. Those books usually collect dust very soon after they're purchased.

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Hammer's German Grammar and Usage by Martin Durrell

Book cover for Hammer's German Grammar and Usage


Many German students have found Hammer's German Grammar and Usage to be a very valuable resource. It is one of the most comprehensive books you'll find and perfect for anyone who's serious about speaking proper German, no matter your level.

This book has been revised many times over the years. Each edition is updated with the latest German words, including many that have been adapted from English. It's easy to read and understand and will explain everything you need to know about the German grammar's finer details.

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Schaum's Outline of German Grammar by Elke Gschossmann-Hendershot & Lois Feuerle

Book cover for Schaum's Outlines German Grammar


Mentioned almost as often as the Hammer's, Schaum's Outline of German Grammar is another excellent resource for successfully learning German. It's an outstanding textbook for fast learning and it supplements almost any German course.

This book gets a couple bonus points for the additional resources it offers. It includes audio files you can download to practice pronunciation and includes over 400 exercises with answer keys so you can test your skills on your own. This can really be valuable in making sure you fully comprehend a lesson and is excellent for self-learners.

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Lehr- Und Ubungsbuch Der Deutschen Grammatik

If you're dedicated to mastering German, this is the book you need. It's been a reliable resource for German teachers and native English speakers living in German-speaking countries for years.

Consider this one essential for the advanced student as it will dive deeply into all the grammar details other books leave out. Plus, the version that's written in German will give you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the language, which can really help with proficiency. 

The one catch is that you have to purchase the answer key separately or ensure the version you buy comes with it. Without it, you won't be able to check your work.

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You still need to practice what you've learned, as practicing is the only way you will truly see progress when studying any language and German is no exception. 

When you're comfortable with German grammar and want to build off what you learned, turn to a website such as the Schubert-Verlag.

The homepage has many useful exercises sorted according to the language level. You can also explore specific grammatical topics such as "Adjektiv" or "Relativ." Since the topics are listed in German, you need to know the German name of the topic you are planning to practice. Yet, you could also just work your way through that page, taking on one lesson at a time.

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Großes Übungsbuch Deutsch

Großes Übungsbuch Deutsch

If you want to practice your German grammar and prefer to have a book, this one by the renowned German publisher, Hueber, is an excellent choice.

It's better for practicing your German grammar than for learning it. The book has over 500 exercises that will give you plenty of practice time. 


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Editors, ThoughtCo. "The 5 Best German Grammar Books." ThoughtCo, Aug. 31, 2022, Editors, ThoughtCo. (2022, August 31). The 5 Best German Grammar Books. Retrieved from Editors, ThoughtCo. "The 5 Best German Grammar Books." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 27, 2023).