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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars30
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 9 March 2009
I've just started a 'survival Mandarin' course, aimed at teaching students to speak the rudiments of the language quickly. Necessarily, we are given the bare minimum of theoretical background, which makes me feel decidedly uncomfortable. So I was looking for a book that would help me gain a working understanding of Mandarin grammar equally quickly. Having read the previous reviews of this book, I decided to buy a copy. It turns out to have been a useful acquisition.

Part A of the book [107 pages long]is strictly theoretical and lays out the grammatical rules of Mandarin. Part B of the book [280 pages long] gives examples of how the language is actually used. For example, the type of compliment received determines the type of response that is required in return. This book allows you to choose the correct form from the plethora of possible alternatives.

It is also very clearly and elegantly written. The authors make the assumption that you may not know the grammatical term being described, so they give a definition of it before launching into their clarification.

I would strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in a simple but clear exposition of Mandarin grammar. I'd like to be able to offer a more balanced review by pointing out some shortcomings of the book - but I simply haven't spotted any so far.
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on 1 October 2007
Once you have a basic knowledge of Mandarin, this is an ideal reference book to understand chinese grammar. Our group has been using it for about three months and all consider it invaluable. It is highly readable as the authors have taken great effort to ensure the examples are easy to read, they are spaced out with not too many examples on each page. This results in a heavy (its only drawback) 400-page book, but in my opinion just about as useful as a dictionary, and unlike coursework books which you grow out of, anyone who buys this will use it as a reference book for years to come.
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on 8 March 2010
I have been learning Chinese for 20 years, since university and I now teach Chinese and work as an interpreter. This book is a real gem. I have lots of Chinese reference materials/dictionaries and so on; this has to be my favourite!
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on 1 April 2008
I am a linguist and I speak fluent Mandarin.
I used many books during my studies, but I believe this one is absolutely fantastic. Very easy to understand and the reference to both simplified and not simplified characters is very helpful.
I simply love it!
22 comments|14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 January 2009
I hadn't intended to buy a book on Chinese Grammar but some of the reviews were so good I couldn't resist giving it a try. On receiving the book a couple of days later I opened it up randomly and was delighted by what I saw. I did the same the following day and was even more delighted. I'm sure that this book, unlike many others I've bought, will not just be put on the shelf and forgotten. When I've gone through it and used it a few times it will no doubt be worth 5 stars. (I already know a bit of Mandarin)
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on 4 September 2008
I've looked at many books for learners of Chinese, and I have to say that I find the combination of this book and the corresponding workbook one of the best. It is extremely comprehensive- explaining each grammar point in detail with examples in traditional/simplified characters and pinyin, as well as an English translation. It is very easy to follow and the text is nicely laid out and very reader friendly. The fact that you have exercises ready to use in the workbook really helps to cement the grammar point. I would highly recommend this book- a fantastic reference book that should be a must for any learner!
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on 8 March 2007
I'm doing an intensive course in learning Mandarin up to AS standard in less than a year, and this has proved one of the most useful books I own! When I have no clue what the teacher is on about in grammar lessons, this is what I turn to. It's clear and understandable, doesn't waffle, but includes advanced grammar. Each example is written in simplified characters, then in traditional, then in English and sometimes in the English literal translation if it's helpful. Every student of Chinese should have one!
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on 30 December 2013
The content of the book is of a high standard, unfortunately it has not been laid out with an e-reader in mind. All the Chinese text appears as images, this makes it
impossible to use the built in dictionary to define individual words or characters. Additionally, using the book as a source for vocabulary is also made difficult
by the fact that words or phrases can not be copy-and-pasted into a vocabulary application. The Chinese text is also very unclear and zooming in does not help. If the
issues with layout are resolved this would be an excellent learning resource.
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on 24 June 2009
Don't be put of buy the price, this book is AMAZING!
Good enough to teach yourself, clear and simple
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on 19 February 2014
I was very disappointed with the Chinese characters as these appear on my Kindle. I don't know whether they would be as small and unclear in the paper version of this text. I tried increasing the size of the font (which you can do on the Kindle) but unfortunately the Chinese characters did not increase in size only the surrounding English print. Another issue I have is with the paucity of the index so that I found it difficult to find information about words to express 'want', wish' etc. I did like the way that the second part of the book gives lots of information about the social requirements in the Chinese language with lots of examples of the different ways to handle social settings and the language associated with these.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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