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Arabic Verbs and Essentials of Grammar (Verbs and Essentials of Grammar Series) [Paperback]

Jane Wightwick , Mahmoud Gaffar
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Dec 1997 0844246050 978-0844246055
This concise, two-in-one book provides an accessible introduction to Arabic grammar and a comprehensive explanation of verbs in their various forms.

Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Contemporary (1 Dec 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0844246050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0844246055
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.9 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 833,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
The first thing note is that this is not a book for absolute beginners, if you're taking your first steps in learning Arabic you will not find this book to be very useful as it assumes a certain basic knowledge of written Arabic. However, if you are at the stage in your course or private studies where you are learning the Arabic verb then you need this book, and at a price of under £10 this really is a steal. While most of Arabic grammar is quite straightforward, the various and unpredictable conjugations of the Arabic verb can be a real nightmare and there is no easy way to get around the problem, which is why whole books (like this one) are written on the subject. This book is extremly easy to use and will allows you to find quickly the particular verbal form you are looking for as well as containing great reference sections on the major features of Arabic grammar, e.g. Possessives, Pronouns and Numbers. But it must be stressed that this is strictly a reference book and therefore absolute beginners will find it awkward and frustrating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My main reference 4 April 2008
Having mastered Arabic script, I have found this book to be absolutely invaluable. It has an easy-to-follow verb section (80% of the book), followed by a section covering all the other necessary grammatical constructs (plurals, possession and questions). Being a bit of a book collector in my Arabic studies, I find this to be far and away the most useful reference work at my level.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Very helpful for those with a notion of Arabic, well structured and complete tables. Ideally combined with their other publication "Mastering Arabic".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good "quick and dirty" guide to Verb formation 21 Feb 2003
By S. Kelly - Published on
This is a nice outline of Arabic verb structures, but is not by any stretch of the imagination what the back cover suggests that it is (i.e. something to the effect that it is a "one-stop-shop" for Arabic Grammar). It should be noted that it does absolutely nothing with noun structures (cases etc.)
If you already have a grasp of verb structures and just want a basic-review / memory-refresher in one slim volume, this is the book for you.
For someone who is newer to the language, but has the alphabet down already, I would look to Schulz's "Standard Arabic - An Elementary-Intermediate Course" [these guys really cut to the proverbial chase and get going quickly, I reccomend this one more for folks with an existing background in linguistics and who already speak at least one other foreign language] or Brustad's "Al-Kitaab" series [the latter goes at a slower pace that many will find more digestable, especially if one doesn't have some background in linguistics jargon]. With either of these, I cannot reccomend strongly enough that you get the accompanying audio materials.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars decent but sloppy 20 Nov 2002
By Benjamin P. Wing - Published on
this book is very small -- 125 pages, large print. considering this, it's well organized and gets the basics across. however, there is not that much more information than you find in the section on verbs in the back of "teach yourself arabic", and the "essentials of grammar" part [apart from the verbs] is practically a joke, since there's so little information. even worse, this book is just rife with editing mistakes, both in the english and especially the arabic. for a reference book, especially a basic one like this, this is inexcusable.
in my opinion, someone who is ready to use a book like this would not be satisfied, as they'd find it little more than a rehash of what already appears in their textbooks. instead, buy the other arabic verbs/grammar book by john mace, which is more thorough and has far fewer errors in it.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suitable for beginner and intermediate level, practical 18 April 1998
By - Published on
This book is easy to use, well structured. Arabic verb system is rather complicated, but with this aid you can even study on your own
Transliteration is good, too. Doesn't matter if you are native English speaker or not. It is an absolute pleasure to have a book which shows the Arabic vowels - no more guessing. This book should be used from beginner to intermediate level. The essentials of nouns, adjectives, prepositions etc. in the end make you wish there were another book covering those parts of Arabic grammar just like this book covers verbs.
Good cross-references help reader to find more information on specific topics. This book is a must, if you plan to study Arabic or have just started.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for new students 26 Dec 2003
By "talibaarabia" - Published on
This is the one book you will return to again and again. It's user friendly, concise, and offers solid examples of usage. It's the reference book that is so simple yet needed. I brought this to class one day and a few people asked to look at it. Now over half the class has bought one.
The problem with many Arabic textbooks is they don't offer an explanation for the grammar, structure or usage. The philosphy is students will pick it up and figure it out. I like knowing why things are the way they are and how it all compares to English.
This is one of a couple of books that anyone who is serious about learning arabic needs. It makes things less confusing and can be used as a quick reference when no one offers an explanation.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good start, but you've got a little further to go 12 Feb 2006
By Yggdrasil - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a beginner to the Arabic language, I was grateful to find this book. In the past, I've been subjected to dry-as-toast Arabic grammars that made NO sense whatsoever (because they often used jargon that would only be familiar to Arabic scholars with PhDs, probably). Wightwick and Gaafar's book is a nice, slim reference for basic Arabic grammar. What is particularly nice for the elementary student is that while grammar is shown in Arabic script (in my opinion, this is necessary for any Arabic guide worth its salt), the words are also transliterated so that the reader can accurately learn the pronunciation of a word.

HOWEVER, it should be pointed out that the subtitle is a little misleading. This is NOT a practical guide for the "mastery" of Arabic. While a great desk reference, it is still a good introductury Arabic grammar. There are other books for advanced grammar. This isn't it.

Also, this book is not for the absolute beginner. You should have a foundation in the Arabic alphabet and some basic vocabulary. This book teaches none of those things, just how a sentence fits together and various verb tenses.

Looking back on this review, I have to amend a few things. I began studying Arabic with a tutor and would add that while the pronunciation used in the book is close, sometimes it's inaccurate. Really, you need to use this book in conjunction with an Arabic course, because you won't be able to teach yourself. You NEED to hear the language firsthand, and flat words on paper aren't going to give you that.

Honestly, I recommend this more: A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic (Reference Grammars). This is a fuller, more complete picture of the Arabic language (so why waste your time on a very skinny intro grammar that occasionally makes transliteration mistakes?). Wightwick's book is a decent reference but really, for your time and money, you can do better.

I'd change the stars on my original review but unfortunately the edit option doesn't seem to allow me.
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