This book started life as a hundred-page 'Grammar Primer' that formed Part Five of my 1993 Write In Style: A Guide To Good English. When a revised edition of that work was proposed in 2000, a strong case emerged for dropping that material and publishing it in discrete form instead.
Two considerations governed that initiative, the first frankly commercial. Although there were a few deletions from the original edition, revising the manuscript of Write In Style turned out to be chiefly an exercise in expansion, and it became clear that unless something in the order of those hundred pages could be excised, Routledge would be unable to retail it at a competitive price. The second hinged on readers' needs rather than raw sales - a more edifying concern even though the two are obviously connected! I had come to realise that some of those who might consult Write in Style for its chapters on (say) the art of paragraphing or the writing of reports were by no means certain to need fundamental or even sophisticated advice on grammar. Conversely, not all of those who were primarily interested in the latter would find some of the earlier material entirely pertinent. Two separate volumes seemed more desirable as well as expedient.
And so The Good Grammar Guide was born. It is notably larger than its precursor: Chapters One and Seven are completely new, as is Appendix I; additions have been made to Chapters Four and Five; the number of exercises has also increased. Finally, although this Guide is now a stand-alone publication, I hope its pages may encourage readers to investigate the Revised Write In Style, for the books are still designed to complement each other.