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Persian Grammar: For Reference and Revision Paperback – 8 Aug 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (8 Aug. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700716955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700716951
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 437,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"Those interested in learning Farsi will find the book 'Persian Grammar' by John Mace a key resource in their learning activities. It offers support to student both in the early and intermediate stages… The author offers detailed explanations and many examples, all shown both in Persian script and in Roman transliteration, to help students to learn this language. Those who master this language will have the reward of enjoy the pleasure of reading the wonderful poetry of Hafiz, Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Attar and Sa’adi, among others, in their original language." -- Patricia Ordóñez de Pablos, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain (International Journal of Asian Business and Information Management, April-June 2011)

About the Author

John Mace studied at Oxford University. He has worked as a British Council lecturer in Iran, in the Diplomatic Service, as a personnel officer in the Middle East, and as a European Commission Delegate. He has written Persian, Arabic and German language manuals, and a verse translation of Russian poetry.

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S. Wilson on 18 April 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought Mace's Persian Grammar primarily because I'd been able to use the "look inside" feature to see how the material was presented. I think it is excellently presented. The cross referencing makes finding particular grammar points very easy. There is also a consistency of presentation, which many similar books lack. Each subject is treated as a standalone, so the reader does not have to start at page 1 to understand what's on page 125 etc. It goes deeper into Persian grammar than, for example, the Teach Yourself Modern Persian, but does so without becoming lost in the minutiae and the exceptions that tend to prevail in grammar books. I thoroughly recommend this book to ab initio Persian students.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lost Girl on 7 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
An easy to use layout with chapters covering verbs, syntax, word building and what I thought was particularly unique handwritten words under the "Writing" chapter. This is useful when you start writing by hand or read someone else's writing.

I bought this along with Teach Yourself Modern Persian Complete Course Package [With Book] (Teach Yourself Language Complete Courses) and Persian-English English-Persian Learner's Dictionary. There is some overlap but overall I think the books complement each other.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By henlet on 6 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 19 reviews
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Great book with grammar in terms we can understand! 1 July 2003
By dmc_runs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a spectacular beginner to intermediate book to use in conjunction with a course-based text. This book cannot actually teach you persian all on its own, but as a reference it is indespensible. While your course book may lightly delve into grammatical topics, this book travels a little deeper but without assaulting you WITHOUT INCOMPREHENSIBLE GRAMMATICAL TERMS. It gives you a full understanding of any part of Iranian Persian (Farsi) Grammar.
The book is a well organized, modern, and not painful to the eyes to read. In addition, this text contains modern colloquial forms on the side. Also, uniform Latin transcription, definitions, Persian text are included for EVERY persian word referred to!
I definitely recommend this book, especially over Persian Grammar by Ann K.S. Lambton for students not interested in delving deeply into literary Persian. Lambton confuses you with advanced english grammar terms time an again while Mace's book uses a few of these terms and offers generous examples to back it up.
The bottom line: Buy this book if you want to have a good grammatical backing for your course oriented book for beginner to intermediate modern persian students.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Great grammar book for beginning and intermediate study 16 Dec. 2004
By T. D. Boyle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the grammar book I wish I had found first. I bought another grammar text as well as word lists and colloquial speaking primers only to face several months of painful struggle. I allow that some early chapters here were easier by virtue of that struggle but life would have been much easier with this clear, well organized volume. It surely will not take the work out of foreign language study and cannot replace conversation tapes, vocabulary, story primers and human conversation; it will however, make all those more comprehensible in the early going. And if you read "How to learn any language" and plan to follow the advise to read five chapters of a grammar book, make it this one.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Learning Aid 17 Aug. 2007
By Kiro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best texts available for Persian grammar,and quite inexpensive for the content (now that it is in paperback). All example sentences appear with translations, and perhaps 95% of them also with transliterations. Stress is unmarked except in certain examples, but there is a thorough chapter devoted to the stress rules. This is not a text which is divided into lessons, and it uses a minimal amount of vocabulary in the examples (there are no excercises or readings). However, the topics do procede in a logical fashion, with the script and pronunciation chapters in the beginning, and with syntax and formal/arabic constructions towards the end. There is an index and an excellent internal reference system, but no glossaries (as it is not a lesson-text).

I should also add that Mace takes great pains to explain grammatical concepts with little linguistic (read: normal) terminology. Personally, I had expected the book to use accepted linguistic terms for everything. The only section of the work in which this decision proves problematic, though, is in pronunciation, which is very vague and English-comparative. One would expect a more appropriate treatment from a Routledge Publishing grammar.

Lastly, Mace makes amends for many of the outdated forms in his "lesson" book which he wrote for the TY series, this time pointing out forms that are outdated and ones which are standard literary. Where differences between literary and accepted colloquial occur, mixed examples are given from the start. I have not found the same frequency of errors and typos, either.

In summation:
-clear, large-type examples in script/transliteration/translation
-includes a section on Persian handwritten styles
-several lovely photographs included with captions (also translated)
-irregular verb forms treated in an appendix
-layman's terminology
-very easy (if idiosyncratic) reference system between sections of the grammar
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This should be your first book 8 Feb. 2007
By Dr. Robert C. Oswald - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Definitely the best introductory Farsi book I have seen. The easiest to work through, although I believe it is absolutely necessary to be painstaking about finishing each and every one of the numerous exercises provided. It is very nice to have a key provided for each lesson (this is the major downfall of Thackston's book, be nazer-e-man). Some errors, but not sufficient to hinder the learner.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Marjorie M. Chase - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Mace did wonders for Anglophones wanting to learn Persian through books. In order to appreciate this book, you must have a basic understanding of the Persian language and its pronunciation, but Mace does a pretty good job of transliteration/transcription for the non-linguist. This is a good pronunciation resource book for beginners.

One must still have some type of basic familiarity with certain pronunciations in Persian/Farsi before attempting to fully appreciate this book's value, although it is not absolutely necessary for a seasoned linguist. Mace includes BOTH colloquial speech applications, as well as formal and historical applications and/or origins of words. He discusses some of these at length to better clarify modern usage.

Each chapter is broken down into grammatical reference, with further references to other chapters that help clarify use and meaning. It is broken down through the use of 12 chapters, plus additional Appendices 1-4 for further clarification.

Here is the breakdown in order, by chapter:

(Covers both conventional and exceptional applications in most chapters throughout the book, within each chapter; note that some translations are direct transliterations, not perfectly translated into English, but these give the reader better understanding of HOW the language is structured, i.e. syntax)

1) Writing
2) Pronunciation
3) Nouns and Adjectives
4) Pronouns (subject, direct object, etc.)
5) Verbs (EXTENSIVE tense explanations and examples, including exceptional verb stems)
6) Prepositions (extensive explanations of the "ezafeh" 6.3)
7) Adverbs
8) Syntax (varied applications)
9) Numbers (including cardinal, ordinal, mathematical and time related)
10) Arabic forms (short chapter but contains invaluable Arabic references; one of the few around other than Lambtons, which is more extensive than Mace's Arabic references)
11) Wordbuilding (also contains historical references)
12) Polite forms (cultural applications and explanations)


1) Irregular present stem
2) Ezafe
3) Suffix
4) Definite direct-object suffix

Index: Contains many cross-reference entries between chapters

Mace's "Persian Grammar" is an invaluable Persian grammar reference book for the serious academic student.
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