Review Of The Harvey Grammar Books

1. McGuffey Educational Series
Easy English Grammar Lessons

Are you looking for a shortcut to grammar?

Check out the Harvey Grammar and Composition book for its quick and simple presentation. 

I have used it and have found it to be a concise and useful book.

Harvey Grammar book with red and green composition notebooks and a mechanical pen and pencil.The Harvey Grammar books are reprints of concise vintage grammar books.

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1.A. Learn English Grammar As An Adult

Harvey's English GrammarHarvey's English Grammar

Anyone learning English grammar could simply read Harvey's vintage grammar books to understand basic grammar.

If you're seeking how to learn English grammar, be encouraged! Harvey's Elementary grammar is only 121 pages long. I have found it to be the best English grammar book for beginners or for a refresh.

An adult can read the book in two hours and catch up on all of the basic grammar lessons.

As a matter of fact, the faster that you read this book, the better you can make the connection that most of grammar is naming the use of a word as it is used in sentence construction.

Just read it.

Teachers, homeschooling parents, or college students who need to refresh their knowledge will like having this book handy.

So much of grammar is simple. Truly many of the words in grammar mean the same as they do in everyday life, for example:

  • conjunction (with join), 
  • preposition (pre position - before the noun), 
  • relative (related).

A child would need a teacher who has experience with sentence construction; yet, if you need to learn grammar or teach grammar at home, you'll like this Harvey's easy grammar book. See more for teaching children below.

The Harvey Answer Key with solutions is super helpful here, too. It's always easier to check your work or correct a student's work with the answer handy, than to have to figure the answer every time as with so many older books.

1.B. Use Harvey Grammar For Kids

Harvey's Elementary Grammar and Composition was originally a grammar book for kids.

Harvey's book combines teaching the grammar definitions and terms and, at least in the edition I own, it incorporates diagrams

Once one understands the connection between the names and the use of the words descriptive writing and prescriptive writing (instructions, legal documents) becomes easier to edit for correct form.

This book is especially handy if you are teaching grammar at home.


You have the freedom to choose which books and resources you want to use. Why not start out simple?

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2. Harvey's Elementary Grammar And Composition Book

Once upon a time there were two tiny English grammar volumes written by Thomas W. Harvey in the 19th century that covered most anything that anyone generally needed to know about American English grammar.

Then along came the big book companies who wanted to sell loads of books to schools all over the nation. New books every single year.

Finally, as the turn of this century approached some people "caught on".

They said, "We don't need a bookshelf full of books to teach grammar!"

They figured a solution, "Let's go back to the old way."

Enter: Companies like Mott Media. Mott Media restored and republished many old school books and included Harvey's grammar series. They now also publish matching a Teacher's Answer Key.

These Mott editions are revisions, not actual reprints; yet, after using the book, I think that their comment still holds true:

  • "These compact volumes cannot be matched for the thoroughness with which they treat every aspect of English grammar." - Mott Media

Yes, thorough; yet these books are super compact. One can learn the basics of grammar simply by reading the book. 

For the size and the price, Harvey's Elementary Grammar has an excellent quick survey of the English language for all ages; yet most especially for elementary school children.

2.A. Parts Of Speech And Grammar Definitions

Harvey's Elementary Grammar begins by explaining grammar terms and definitions like 

  • object (what we might call a person, place, or thing - something knowable through the five senses)
  • word
  • sentence
  • proposition

It's super simple with no fluff. Here is its simple definition of grammar:

  • Grammar treats of the principles and usages of language.

See a free printable ebook of all the basic grammar definitions and examples in PDF form here.

2.B. Grammar And Diagramming Sentences

I was thrilled to see that this book covered diagramming because it really helps students "see the picture" or map the thoughts in a sentence.

It can be your grammar and diagramming sentences book that covers the following elements. (If you would like our free printable practice worksheets to use with this book, click on these links):

Harvey's Grammar Books

Harvey's Grammar SeriesHarvey's Grammar Series

To wit, remember that the Harvey's Elementary Grammar book of old was ONE little 120 page book! A tiny book!

The principles of writing and grammar are simple. They do not need a three foot stack of K-8 books to be taught well.

If you are looking for the easiest way to teach English Grammar lessons, this little book is an excellent start.

It is also inexpensive to buy, especially since it is frequently available at Amazon as a used book, too.

You can also go to Archive to get this English grammar book pdf download.

Looking For Printable Grammar Worksheets?

If you are using Harvey's book and want to add diagramming to your day to make it easier for your students to learn the parts of speech see our free

Author and Webmaster, Mary Fifer
Mary Fifer (Webmaster,

Mary Fifer, BSBA is webmaster, author, and researcher at She has created elementary school practice exercises using digital interactive worksheets. Printable and perfect for today's teachers, tutors, homeschoolers, and students!

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