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Destination C1 & C2 Grammar and Vocabulary. Student's Book with Key
Destination C1 & C2 Grammar and Vocabulary. Student's Book with Key
by Malcolm Mann
Edition: Perfect Paperback
Price: £17.46

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 22 Mar 2014
This book blew me away. I was recomended to have a go at it and I must admit I was a bit skeptical at first, especially as to how the chapters are arranged. Up to this day I still believe it's no use shoving up to student's faces an endless list of vocabulary, patterns, idioms, phrasal verbs, etc. It makes difficult committing so much information to mind.

Anyway, I can just skim the surface of the book here, but if you are thinking about purchasing it, take my word on it, you won't regret it. For a start, grammar lessons are really approachable, not stilted explanations but cut to the chase and a peck of excersises to practisce. Note that grammar is thoroughly (old-fashioned) British English, which suits exams preparation, if that's your purpose, otherwise it makes no harm to know how to go about speaking well, isn't it?

About vocabulary, my only objection is that new vocabulary is presenting all at once (perhaps a bit daunting), but excersises help learning everything to mind (or at least, some). No reading, no listening, no perks, but that's what you were looking for if you came across this book. For me it's a 5-star review anyway, it offers a high-quality method focusing on grammar and vocabulary exclusively and that's exactly why I turned to it in the first place.

Final piece of advice, get the answer key edition and you won't have to get on to a teacher. Good luck.

New Ready for CAE: Student's Book - Key
New Ready for CAE: Student's Book - Key
by Roy Norris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and appealing, 3 July 2013
I consider myself sort of an avid reader on English books. I have spent a pretty penny on books like this (I have some other 14 books on English stacked in my shelves) so I'll be straightforward writing my review.

"Ready for CAE" has what I was looking for. Full coverage of exercises for Cambridge's Advanced and may other to improve vocabulary, especially focusing on collocations and patterns. Unlike some other books, this one doesn't offer separate sections on grammar or vocabulary. Instead, each lesson gathers different forms of reading, listening, writing, and use of English exercises. Therefore you'd better have a good dictionary on your side, because you shouldn't be expecting a book with definitions or easy tasks but a great deal of demanding exercises for intermediate users eager to move on to the next level.

The reader will certainly stumble on a lot of useful and updated vocabulary across reading texts and exercises. What I really liked were collocations, you'll get grips on some of the most useful that, as an intermediate user, you may have never come across. I must confess to having found the kind of book I do fancy. I firmly believe that there are more complete books on market (Destination C1&C2 includes far more vocabulary) but it's hard to find such an appealing book as this.

I'll put in some recommendations as well. Use a good dictionary, the collocations, patterns and idioms found along the book require more than the usual bilingual dictionary, better off for users to rely on a good monolingual dictionary. Moreover, especially if you want to complement this fantastic book, try with some of the "in use" collection for advanced students.

Advanced Grammar in Use with Answers
Advanced Grammar in Use with Answers
by Martin Hewings
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Good book on grammar, 30 April 2013
Let's be honest, it is quite a daunting challenge to make a book on advanced grammar appealing.

Cambridge enjoyed well-deserved success with Mr. Murphy's "English Grammar in Use" for intermediate users which is, still today, the best reference in the market. This may well had set a precedent for publishers who thought it would not be such a bad idea to keep on the format when they commissioned Mr. Hewings to write this one. I sincerely doubt about Mr. Hewings' aim to lay out his work like this, most likely he was pressured into doing it, and money has the last word, and it is unlikely to believe that "Cambridge" trademark was not to be exploited to amass good revenue.

All in all, we have an excellent author unable to put us through his lessons, sometimes because the explanations are too brief or the examples hardly useful, sometimes because what it is fairly clear to us is explained in so much detail that we end up having too much information in our head.

There are not as much exercises as I would have expected from a book by Cambridge, neither are they demanding enough to fit your needs, in case you want to prepare for advanced exams, probably a great deal of the target customer.

I am sorry to be brutally honest -and rather downright rude-, but it was not worth the spending, despite I thought it would eventually pay off, I'm not going over it more than once in two or three months...

The contents are good, of course. I just want to address that this is not the best book on display in Amazon by far, there are better alternatives on this subject (which I will not mention just to be objective, I am not here to sponsor anyone for free).

Last but not least, I will put in a good word for the book. Good coverage of complex sentences formation, including linking, inversion or the right position of adverbs, prepositions or adjectives. Some lessons really live up to its predecessor legacy, so if you so not mind spending a pretty penny, your bookshelves will welcome this book, and you will make the most of it.

To sum up: Good book, not the best, but thinking twice never harmed anyone.

English Grammar In Use with Answers and CD ROM: A Self-study Reference and Practice Book for Intermediate Students of English
English Grammar In Use with Answers and CD ROM: A Self-study Reference and Practice Book for Intermediate Students of English
by Raymond Murphy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.19

5.0 out of 5 stars The Sacred Text of English Grammar, 28 Aug 2012
As a long-time student of English, I have spent quite a lot of money on English books, and I think I can make an accurate assesment.

I'll quickly get to the point, this book is a must-buy, everybody should have a copy on their shelf. I could try to use my whole english vocabulary to praise Murphy's book: clear, user-friendly, accurate, uncluttered, easy to understand, magnificent... and I would never get close enough to describe how good I think this book is.

"English Grammar in Use" is a Bible of English, I have always looked it over whenever a doubt came up. It's the perfect book to own and check from time to time, (fortunately, I need to check less and less). In my humble opinion, the strongest point of the book is the fact that the english grammar on display is the one actually used most often among native speakers, whlist more advanced grammar books focus on academic or complex forms of english, the english in "grammar in use" is plain and utterly useful for your day-to-day.

I will never change my mind about this book but I want to make a warning, though. The book has a weakness: the exercises. Don't get me wrong, they are good in order to achieve a general overview, but if you want to take an exam (such as First Cerftificate) then you need another book containing more demanding exercises, as well as specific ones to train skills for listening, writing, reading and speaking. Of course, this does not make the book less useful, but such an important issue must be pointed out.

To round off, I strongly recommend purchasing this book despite its small weakness.

Fast Track to FCE Student Book
Fast Track to FCE Student Book
by Alan Stanton
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars All you need for FCE in just one book., 22 Aug 2012
When I decided to take the FCE exam, neither I had any money to take up an academy nor to buy any books. A friend of mine lent me some of the books he had used to study in the previous year.
Out of all the books I borrowed, I found "Fast Track to FCE" the most useful. It's clear, concise, straightforward, direct and -above all- the english you really need to know to pass the exam.

Every unit has different sections to train specific areas (vocabulary, use of english, listening, reading...). Personally I learnt a lot of words and grammar rules directly from this book, and the best part of it, I still remember them.

All in all, the name "Fast Track" fits the contents of a book which provides the necessary english you need to learn in an intensive course. If you are considering taking the famous Cambridge exam, don't hesitate, this is your book.

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