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German Grammar and Usage Hardcover – 7 Mar 1991

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Arnold; Revised edition edition (7 Mar. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340501286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340501283
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 531,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

If you study German at university it HAS to be on your shelf! This book got me through Oxford and was always my trusted companion in language exercises. Clear, to-the-point and comprehensive, it's full of great examples to illustrate grammatical principles and covers regional/non-standard usage to boot. If you are serious about studying German, get it now!
Richard West, student of German, Oxford University --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Martin Durrell is Emeritus Professor at the University of Manchester.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By H. Loughlin on 25 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is easily the best German Grammar book around. It got me through my German degree at Oxford and I just couldn't put it down. For anyone interested in grammar, it's a must have and I still read it for pleasure because of the wonderful detail that Durrell goes into. Yes, it may be difficult, but if you understand this book, you are well on your way to achieving a fantastic standard in German Grammar. I love it!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. W. Ellwood on 11 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My review relates to the Third Edition.

I do like this book, and tend to dip into it, and get lost in it (in a positive and less positive sense). Yes, as others have indicated, it can be confusing. There always seem to be exceptions, and exceptions to the exceptions, etc, etc.
But I suppose that is the nature of the German language, and indeed all language.

Having inadvertently bought a second copy of the third edition (thinking it was an updated edition), I put off buying the fourth edition ( even when I knew it was definitely available), although I have now very belatedly just ordered it. I will be interested to see whether he has corrected the serious error I have found (or think I have found), on page 25, table 1.3: the article for the feminine Genitive and Dative plural (with the noun "Frauen" in this example):

Shouldn't that be the same as the other plurals, viz. "Der" and "Den" respectively?

(As correctly shown (I think) on page 61, table 4.1).

I wonder if that is one of the two errors that another reviewer refers to.

I dare say I will eventually buy the 5th edition when it comes out.
I seem to be something of a Martin Durrell junkie, having also got the Workbook, and the book of German Synonyms.

The "Essential German Grammar" had passed me by, but having had a look at it online and at the reviews, it seems to fill very usefully an important niche.

Speaking of errors, I was rather shocked to find a seemingly glaring error in another grammar book by a different author (Fehringer). One wonders how these sort of errors can get through. It must be incredibly confusing to the beginner (which I am not, although it can also be confusing to me!).
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Tickell on 16 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
I've used this book for a couple of years and it is indeed very comprehensive, with full explanations of vitually all aspects of German grammar, from the basic to the extremely advanced. The examples are useful and in most cases the temptation to slip into linguistic jargon is avoided. It is not an easy read however and a reasonable knowledge of the grammatical terms is definitely required, although factual it is very dry and pretty hard-going.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ann Fielding on 19 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
This might be regarded as the 'Bible' for German grammar. As one might expect from such a description it is comprehensive and thus can be a 'challenge' for beginners (like me!). However,to be thoughly recommended for all students.It takes one through topic by topic with clear explanations and plenty of examples of the point being made.
Those new to the language would be advised to have less advanced material on hand to lead them into Hammer for example,Collins Easy Learning German GrammarThis is another excellent book but more suited to beginners. The introduction suggests that it would suit GCSE students.
Oh, and if you are old enough to have been taught English grammar and old enough to have forgotten it,buy,English Grammar for Students of German: The Study Guide for Those Learning German (English Grammar Series)Ashamed to say mine is well used!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dr. T. Mcphee on 11 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
I would agree with the other posters that this is not for the novice, but it does have a glossary which is very useful. It does seem to be quite tough to understand at times, but usually coming back to it after a day or two away makes it sink in. There are a vast number of rules, and these can get a touch ridiculous at times (as someone pointed out it isn't THAT essential that German girls would say such and such on the last Thursday of October if they had been to university in Munich.
I would also recommend the shorter version, The Essential Grammar.
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