I have a problem and I'm not sure how common it is. I have often heard people say that reading will, just by pure habit, always develop the writing skills of a reader; that just by sheer recognition of style and function of how sentences are formed, one can learn good writing technique even if he/she can't fully grasp the rules involved.

For me, that has not really been the case. What I often notice about myself is that I know something feels off when I make a mistake writing, and yet I'm not able to actually tell where my grammatical error is. I love literature and love being able to express my thoughts in writing, but I think that because I'm an ESL student (came to USA when I was 7, I am now 27), there is a fundamental gap in my understanding of grammar that has never been filled.

In light of this problem, are there any resources I can use to go back and relearn grammatical structure? I would appreciate any recommendation.


1 Answer 1


This problem is not peculiar. In my long career as a book editor, I have encountered many writers who have an intuitive grasp of writing but cannot analyze a problem or articulate the grammatical issues involved. I developed this skill in myself by reading many books on grammar and usage (popular books, not textbooks). A book favored by many writers and editors today is Garner's Modern English Usage by Bryan Garner.

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