on 26 March 2006
Learning Russian can seem an immensely difficult task at times, which isn't helped by the fact that 90% of the relevant reference books are far too scholary or lacking. "The Big Silver Book..", however, breaks with this tradition and makes Russian verbs seem somewhat easier to grasp than I could have ever imagined! It covers all the conjugations you'd need to know and there are lots of vital examples to clarify usage. As a beginner/intermediate student, I have found this book very helpful and will no doubt continue to use it for years to come. I can't realistically imagine how a book on Russian verbs could be much better..
The bottom line is- if you are a student of Russian, you NEED this book!
The last time I learnt a language I choose the Barrons 301/501 guide, but this time I decided to try The Big Silver Book, and I am very pleased that I did.
It's very clearly laid out and has easy-to-understand, but not sub-par or too-basic, descriptions of the different verb types and conjugations at the beginning of the book, as well as an extremely useful 'verbs of motion' index (Russian verbs of motion are far more particular than English - you cannot just say 'go', you must choose a particular verb for your mode of transport, then change the aspect according to whether the journey has been completed already, will be a return journey, or whether it has a specific destination in mind before its commencement).
There are some exercises at the back of the book (not as many as Barrons, but just as good quality), and although the book's title is 555 verbs, it actually contains details on over 2000 verbs in both perfect and imperfect aspect.
There are also example sentences under each verb, as well as proverbs and idioms for each verb, which help to bring the verb to life a little bit, showing it in genuine context (again, Russian verbs can prove complicated in that there are a choice of six possible noun and adjective cases to use after them. However, there are some patterns to this and this book has helped me a great deal to realise what they are).
Highly recommended for learners of any level.
I opted for this above other Russian verb books because of the wealth of examples given under each verb entry. Not only are the verbs conjugated fully, but there are hundreds and hundreds of example sentences illustrated standard, colloquial and proverbial usage of them throughout the book. Fantastic for getting to grips with the true meaning of a verb rather than just learning its parts!
Also very useful is the 'top 50 verbs' feature - the most important / frequent 50 verbs in Russian are marked out and given two pages rather than one per verb, including lots more useful examples. Interesting to see which verbs are in the top 50, and useful for targetting your first studies at the verbs you'll use / come across most often!
555 verbs is enough to cover most of the verbs I've come across in my studies, and for those which aren't covered in full, there's a handy, more comprehesive cross-references index at the back.
on 1 February 2007
For a beginner like me this really is an essential book. Each time I sit down to translate Russian into English, I use this book to confirm that the word I am translating is derived from the infinitive of the verb which the dictionary gives me. Why almost perfect? I do not understand the terms subjunctive, imperfect active etc, and would welcome an expanded section at the front of the book which not only explains these terms but gives simple examples, so that when trying to translate into Russian I would know which version of the verb to use.
on 8 February 2009
This collection of fully conjugated Russian verbs seems to be excellent. I particularly like the inclusion of lots of examples illustrating the use of each verb in practice. This is especially helpful in Russian, where the use of aspects is better seen in real use than learned from rules. I also like the way verbs of motion are given with all three forms together, indeterminate/determinate/perfective.
The categorisation of verbs follows the one-stem model, rather than the two-stem approach which many students will have met in textbooks. However, this does not actually impact on the conjugated forms given in the book, and would matter more as a rule for working out how to conjugate unknown verbs.
on 1 December 2009
This book is well laid out, explains the extremely complicated grammatical rules as simply as it is possible to do, and offers an amount of information that, if you take in one verb and all its conjugations per day, will keep you going for over 18 months. It's an extremely useful bit of kit to have if you are at an advanced beginner/intermediate stage russian level.
on 25 December 2009
Excellent reference source for anyone learning or teaching Russian as a foreign language. Contains clear examples to illustrate the way each verb is used. Both my students and myself feel it is very helpful and of a high standard. Intermediate to advanced level.
on 1 March 2010
I bought this book few weeks ago and i am very happy with it. It covers the most important verbs (so far i found all the verbs i wanted)with lots of examples. Before to buy this book i was using internet resource but it was a time consuming work. It is nice to have all the verbs coniugated in one place, and the price it is really reasonable. I reccomend this book to anyone studying russian language!
on 20 December 2010
An exellent book for us.We are continously flicking through it.We found that the words in the book are used very often in everyday speech, as it says, thus for us it is relevant in everyday speaking.The pages are well set out and easy to navigate.A very very good book.If the authors do a book purely on grammar I will definately buy this too
on 25 August 2015
Such a brilliant book. Great reference, but also a great read. All verbs come with examples, and the top used verbs have special sections with idioms and popular expressions. I've been using it non-stop for the past 6 or 7 years already. Worth every cent.