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I am looking for a grammar book or series of grammar books for German that match the following criteria:

  • the book or books must be in German, i.e. all grammar rules and instructions must be in German (not English, Spanish, French, ...);
  • content should be organised in chapters that first explain a set of grammar rules and then provide a number of exercises that apply these rules;
  • there must be an answer key (the answer key may be a separate volume);
  • the book must be appropriate for self study (the presence of an answer key is not sufficient; some books of this type are intended for teachers of German).

I am looking for books for the levels A2 - B2. The first three criteria may be easy to fulfil, but the last criterion is essential and it may not be obvious whether a book matches this criterion just by looking at the book cover in an online bookshop. Answers that are based on personal experience using such books would be especially appreciated. Since there are several German publishers that specialise in language books, there should be several such grammar books.

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The most famous book in this area is "the yellow one": Lehr- und Übungsbuch der deutschen Grammatik – aktuell by Hilke Dreyer and Eberhard Schmitt, published by Hueber. This book was first published in 1985 and has been updated several times. It is aimed that levels A2 to C1, which is quite a wide range. There is a volume with grammar rules and exercises (close to 400 pages, including the index) and a separate volume with the answers to the exercises. (For those who need it, there is also English and a Russian edition of the first volume, but the answer key exists only in German.)

From the same publisher you can also get Übungsgrammatik für Anfänger. Deutsch als Fremdsprache by Renate Luscher, first published in 2001. The book's introduction does not mention the CEFR levels it is aimed at; the title says it is for beginners (the grammar rules are explained in very basic German) and it also covers more advanced aspects such as the subjunctive. Exercises and answer key are in one volume of 317 pages (including the index). There is also an advanced volume in the same style, but that one is definitely beyond level B1.

More recently, DUDEN also discovered the market for this type of book and published Lehr- und Übungsgrammatik. Deutsch als Fremdsprache by Melanie Kunkel and Uwe Durst. This book was published in 2017 and is aimed at levels A1-B1, so a bit lower than the previous books. Exercises and answer key are in one volume, which has 287 pages.

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The book Übungsgrammatik für die Grundstufe by Friedrich Clamer and Erhard G. Heilmann, published by Liebaug-Dartmann, fulfills your criteria. You can see it on the publisher's website here. The physical book costs €9.60 and has 166 pages. The most recent edition came out in 2007.

The book is in German and is for levels A2-B2. Each chapter begins with an explanation of some grammatical concept/rule/whatever, which includes examples and is then followed by exercises. The exercises have space for you to write directly into the book itself, and the answers are in a separate book by the same authors called Übungsgrammatik für die Grundstufe, Lösungen.

With regards to self-study, the book's introduction has this to say.

Diese "Übungsgrammatik für die Grundstufe" kann im Grammatikunterricht eines Sprachkurses benutzt werden; sie eignet sich auch für Wiederholungszwecke und für Selbstlerner mit Vorkenntnissen.

Roughly translated:

"Übungsgrammatik für die Grundstufe" can be used in the grammar classes of a language course; it is also suitable for repetition and for self-learners with previous knowledge of German.

I'm currently a B1 level German speaker and find this book pretty great.

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