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4.3 out of 5 stars17
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 23 August 2001
Haywood and Nahmad's "A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language" is a fully comprehensive and utterly indispensable grammar for the English or American student of Modern Standard Arabic.
It's size may be off-putting for some people, but really it oughtn't to be. It's a reference book, and as such is supposed only to be dipped into in order to consult the pertinent points required for one's use.
If it were any less voluminous it would not be as useful. I suppose this goes without saying: as with most reference books, the more content, generally the more worthwhile they are, but with "A New Arabic Grammar" it really holds true. It's impossible to try and learn a language without a good grammar and this is certainly the best grammar that's currently around. Believe me - I've looked!
A wealth of explicatory notes, with practice exercises interlaced between the different grammatical features examined and explored, means that Arabic grammar is dealt with in its entirety and in a really engaging way.
You don't just have to read and try and absorb. Haywood and Nahmad have designed it so that you practise the language as you go along; gradually progressing in difficulty, which means that you're more likely to be able to retain what you have learnt. This quasi-"interactive" approach is brilliant for both teacher and student.
This may seem daunting - a huge tome covering all of Arabic grammar, how couldn't it scare you? Don't be daunted. Truly, it's a treasure and for anyone who is really serious about getting to grips with Arabic, it's a fundamental text.
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on 24 December 2007
The best Arabic grammar book available in the English medium and better than many Arabic ones too. For serious students, not tourists. Lesssons build upon one another. The only criticism is that the answer book for end-of-chapter tests comes separately.
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on 30 November 2005
This book is hard work, but probably the best available for any serious western student. The book has is a simple structure with plenty of questions at the end of each section.

Remember to get the key for the book as the answers are not published in this book.

This book is also really good
Arabic: An Essential Grammar
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on 12 January 2016
I have been studying from this book for 15 months & highly recommend the book for the serious student of Classic Arabic. This book is taught at Zaytuna College in the US (leading Islamic liberal arts institute in the US) & is very detailed with information. I strongly encourage you read this book with a tutor as due to information overload you may come unstuck as is normal with students doing self study. I have listed reasons below why I have given the book a 5 star rating.

1) 4000 word vocabulary list with many Classical words which may not be in use today but required if your going to read Islamic texts,
2) Excellent introduction by the Authors explaining how the book is an updated version of Thatchers Arabic grammar book, the book also has a further study guide recommendation once you complete the book.
3) One chapter teaches you how to actually use an Arabic dictionary as Arabic words are found by first determining the trilateral root letters before you can browse the dictionary.
4) Each chapter has on average 20 questions in Arabic which you are required to translate in English & 20 questions in English that require translation to Arabic
5) In the latter part of the the book extract articles are provided from old Arab newspapers & magazines which you are expected to read (without
vowels, hence the need for a tutor)
6) The verb conjugation table in all forms are provided in the respective chapters thereby the student should easily be able to conjugate the verb when reading or translating,
7) The book is very detailed so even though you may not require all the information the book will act as a good reference point as you continue your studies.
8) My own teacher used this book & is now teaching me, also leading institutes use this book.

Lastly please note the answer key to the exercises is a separate book that you will need to purchase. Good luck with your studies if you to purchase this book.
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on 29 September 2003
For those fed up learning a language my memorizing touristy phrases, or these new 'wonderfully crap' methods then check out this book. What appealed to me about Hayward & Nahamd was its grammar orientated approach to understanding Arabic. The book's approach reminded me my schooldays of learning Latin: declining nouns, conjugating verbs and translating texts. It is worth noting that it was the Arabs who pioneered the most to the dicipline of understanding grammar, building on the preliminary work of the ancient Greeks; resulting in the classically famous books of Arabic grammar as Al-Ajroomiyyah, Qatr an-Nadr and the Al-Affiyyah.
If you want to learn Arabic, or any other language for that matter, do it properly instead of pithy little books/courses that seems to eminate from certain institutions.
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on 15 June 2009
A great book for the studetn serious about Arabic. Has all the essential grammar and more, and helps you improve through practical exercises. The format and style is consistent and the texts explored cover a wide variety so finish the book feeling you have covered alot. Plus it is excellent for building one's vocabulary up. Buy it and the key or get a teacher to check the answers over with you.
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on 31 July 2009
I learnt written Arabic from this book - and am probably showing my age....

The positive points are:
1) It is very thorough. When learning written Arabic in particular, it is important to remember it is a highly grammatical language. You need to know the grammar inside and out. Whilst it maybe more "relevant" to learn some phrases first and picking up the grammar as you go, at the end of the day you will have a better understanding and foundation learning this way.
2) It is very clear with good choices of examples. Each chapter focuses on a particular grammatical point.
3) It is methodical, as in point one it doesn't take short cuts but at a cost of taking a while to allow the student to write even vaguely life-like sentences. Think of it as a long-term investment!!

So at the end of this course, you will have an extremely sound foundation in both the grammar and vocab. That said the bad points are:

1) The vocab is a bit funky. I would suggest it is slightly more geared to people studying classical arabic. Certainly the vocab would not be as helpful reading current events coverage in arabic.
2) There is no audio material. I am in two minds whether this is important or not. Fact is that no one speaks MSA and certainly no one speaks like the exercises in this book. On the other hand, getting used to the sounds and being able to listen to the exercises would help memorise the vocab.

In summary, I think it is one of the better textbooks out there. If you are serious then i would recommend it and its answer key. I would also suggest you always try to translate english into arabic, ie do the first sections from the english translations in the key to recreate the original sentences and then do the second set of exercises. If you can do english to arabic then you almost certainly can do arabic to english. The other thing is to try and be regular as it builds on itself. Good luck to all students, Arabic is a beautiful and fascinating language.
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on 18 October 2007
This was our standard textbook back in the 70s, when I started learning Arabic (from the greatest teacher of the language, Pierre Cachia). It compared wonderfully well with Wright (brilliant in its own way as a reference text for the really obscure stuff, but not much use for teaching/learning) and still compares well with any more recent grammar I've seen. You can't pick up Arabic without a solid knowledge of the grammar (which can be much enhanced by studying the classical Arab grammarians, who have a totally different take on the language). Much recommended.
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on 13 April 2013
Arabic grammar is not for the faint-hearted, but this work is a useful tool in coming to terms with it. Examples are given both in Arabic and phonetic scripts, helping the non-native speaker improve their pronunciation.
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on 19 May 2012
This book was recommended to me by my teacher and I found it very useful especially the way it is structured. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning Arabic and has good grasp of English language.
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