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Great little beginner to intermediate grammar guide
on 15 August 2011
This grammar book is best for learners who are already comfortable with the arabic alphabet and a few words and phrases. Nonetheless, most words in the early chapters are also transcribed into the English script to help beginners with pronunciation. It's a fairly slim book, at 150 pages, divided into short chapters so it can be consumed in manageable chunks. It's long enough to cover all the issues at the beginner to intermediate level, but short enouch not to overwhelm you with unnecessary detail.
Verb conjugation takes up about two thirds of the book, but it also briefly covers gender of nouns and adjectives, plurals and the 'dual' form, the definite article, personal pronouns, possession, and forming questions. One of the best things is the index of 400 common verbs at the back, arranged in both English alphabetical order and then Arabic alphabetical order. The index tells you the transliteration (including short vowels), the verb type, and a page reference to where that type's conjugation is explained.
Each chapter gives an explanation of the rules (usually reasonably clear), examples in sentences, verb tables for each verb-type and a summary of key points. The only annoying thing is that the dual form is omitted in the verb tables, for reasons of space, leaving the reader to work it out themselves from the pattern of the other verbs.
You can use this book to methodically learn all the rules, or dip into relevant chapters to clear up problems, or just use the verb index as a quick reference when writing arabic. I've found it clear and helpful and would definitely recommend it.