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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars19
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 13 March 2009
I'm new to Arabic but have 2 years university Hebrew behind me many years back and a few other languages. This is a great value comprehensive guide to climbing the mountain of Arabic verbs. Whatever this author or many others say about Arabic verbs being easy - "all you have to do is learn the rules" (!) - they are plainly difficult. There are 10 verb forms with subtle and not so subtle changes of meaning, subjunctive and jussive voices and complex changes of conjugation depending on double root consonants and "weak" consonants (waw, yeh etc.) Scheindlin provides a thorough, fully vowelled and conjugated list of the verbs you are most likely to use. Each verb form and meaning comes with a relevant and contemporary example. Scheindlin also throws in a brief grammar and summary of the morphology of Arabic verbs and an index at the back (from an Arabic viewpoint). I had no problem navigating the book, and although it is clearly not intended to function as an English-Arabic dictionary it does a give an excellent view of the range of meanings conveyed by each verb in the various forms of the root. A fair amount of general understanding of grammar is required, however.
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on 3 September 2011
Having read the more negative reviews of this book here I felt sorry for those people - but I think they somewhat miscalculated how Arabic is best learnt. Learning Arabic for English speakers is a formidable task and really a good teacher is indispensable. To use Scheindlin's book you have to understand basic morphology (sarf). The 10 verb form patters have to be explained to you and learnt. Some courses here in the UK (e.g. Ibn Jabal) teach the first year of a good Western university Arabic degree course in 15 lessons. With that basic foundation you realise how useful this book is: You acquire 500 words; you know how to conjugate the difficult and non-intuitive verb forms; how to make the imperative, the subjunctive; you learn the active and passive participles etc; and you see the subtle differences in meaning between the different verb forms etc

People struggling with the index clearly don't understand the root system and the 10 forms - and without those you're handicapped; you can't even use a good dictionary like Hans-Wehr without that basic knowledge. My best wishes to all those trying to learn Arabic but whilst you're getting on your feet you need a good teacher. Scheindlin's book is very good once you're intermediate. The best beginners Arabic (grammar) books out there for English speakers in my humble opinion are: Faruk Abu-Chacra (2007); and Mohammad T. Alhawary (2011)...very systematic, good contemporary style (as opposed to the older books like Haywood etc) and the Arabic font is clear. Most of all persist, it's amazing when you can pick up Arabic only books and read them like any other. It's a very velvety and descriptive language, full of metaphor.
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on 24 July 2009
The good features of this book are: (1) The large number of verbs included, (2) The indexing of verbs both by whole word and by root order, (3) The introductory notes, (4) The inclusion of exemplary sentences, (5) The inclusion of the English meaning of each verb. The book would have been more user friendly were it to include an index of verbs by type and form and employ a format of one complete verb per page. Both of these features appear in '201 Arabic Verbs' by the same author.
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on 31 March 2011
Something which really annoys me in Arabic is the incorrect use of hamza. This is a hugely common mistake, even among native Arab speakers in books, newspapers and magazines. This book is no exception, with hamzas placed on all the form VIÌ, VIII and X verbs, which is simply not correct. However, this is a mistake seen in many Arabic grammar books and many people think it is actually correct, so I don't think it's fair to mark the book down too much for this. However, the presentation is a little off-putting; as another reviewer mentions it would be better if there was one verb per page. It is excellent for checking verb conjugations once you have looked a verb up in a dictionary, although the errors with the hamzas make me worry that there may be more mistakes. The inclusion of an English index would greatly enhance the book as it could then be used to look words up, making it a multifunctional reference. However, it is good at what it does, if you can get past the hamzas!
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on 23 September 2013
As an intermediate learner of Arabic, I find this book very confusing and difficult to find the correct person in the correct tense. It would probably be ok as a reference book for an advanced learner, but definitely of no benefit for a beginner.
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on 4 April 2008
I am just beyond beginner level in Arabic and bought this book to help with my understanding of the conjugation of verbs. However, this is a horrible book to navigate. It starts from the back (as you might in an Arabic book) but much of the start is written in English; I find this unnecessarily confusing. In addition, there appear to be some errors in the early verbs and even my teacher has great difficulty finding words; she is a native Arabic speaker! To make proper use of it I have had to compile my own index. This is a useful reference but not an easy one to navigate.
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on 19 April 2015
This is a great resource, only marred by the fact that there's not proper index for quick and easy reference.
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on 26 May 2016
I'm studying Arabic at uni where students are expected to learn every possible verbal conjugation of every single verb even though in spoken Arabic most of it isn't use. I'd certainly be lost without this book. Highly accurate with a few minor typos.
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on 10 April 2014
The type -face is very clear and easy to read and the layout shows the surprising regularity of the Arabic verb. This book must
make easier the learning of this detailed language.
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on 12 September 2013
The book, content-wise, is a must-have. But the copy here has not been optimised for Kindle. It's a plain PDF file, which is user-unfriendly. Get the paperback version. I got it too.
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