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"A Comprehensive English Grammar", by Eckersley & Eckersley is a good book. It isn't a new book, and it isn't the most complete either; but it's easy to follow and covers the basic points of English grammar.
If you're looking for a more "advanced" grammar, let me know?
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What prabeersikdar said about grammar books is true; it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to find a grammar that is comprehensive enough to include everything.
I will suggest two books which are not so complete as what you're looking for, but they are very good:
- "English Syntax and Argumentation", by Bas Aarts, published in 2001.
- "English Syntax: A Grammar for English Language Professionals", by Roderick Jacobs, published in 1995 (I think).
Both are very good and deal with more than syntax.
I will also suggest my favourite grammar book: another "formal" grammar (not as in "opposite to informal" but as in "different from pedagogical, functional, etc"), "A Grammar of Contemporary English", by Randolph Quirk, S. Greenbaum, G. Leech and J. Svartvik. This book is out of print but I wouldn't say it is old-fashioned even when it was last published perhaps 20 years ago. It is the most complete grammar I've ever come across. It is also a very thick book; it has 1120 pages and, evewn when I don't expect you to judge a book by the number of pages it has, perhaps you can imagine how much information the book contains. You will most probably find this book in many used-book stores.
Another book by Quirk and Greenbaum, which I believe is also out of print, is "A University Grammar of English". It is in a way similar to "A Grammar of Contemporary English" but not so complete.
There is another grammar I can recommend: "The Grammar Book: An ESL/EFL Teacher's Course", by M. Celce-Murcia and D. Larsen-Freeman. This is a pedagogical grammar.
Another interesting book is "A Grammar of Speech", by David Brazil. This, of course, deals mainly with spoken English.
If you are looking for a functional grammar, the best author is by far M.A.K. Halliday. Some people find him difficult, though; he's not everyone's cup of tea. If you'd like to read him anyway, I recommend "An Introduction to Functional Grammar". It is excellent!
Another good functional grammar
There are surely many other good books I don't even know of. These are the ones I can recommend, though, because I've been using them for years. Believe it or not, I agree with prabeersikdar to such an extent that I use all the books I mentioned, plus a few others.
Good luck, I hope you can find the right book for you.
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