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4.5 out of 5 stars41
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 25 May 2009
This really helped me to consolidate my basic Spanish knowledge. The topics are short but the exercises so exhaustive that you feel you've always know the topic by the end. It's also great value as there's no filler here - just exercises after exercises. It's not a substitute for classes though as it won't help you with pronunciation.

By the way, this series of books seems to use American Spanish, so be prepared for `jugo' instead of `zumo', `carro' instead of `coche', differing uses of the formal form of verbs, etc.
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on 21 May 2010
As a Teacher it's easy to spot if someone knows what they are doing when they put together a learning resource. In truth I haven't simply significantly advanced my Spanish, but also my understanding of good teaching practice. If you are dedicated to learning Spanish off your own back then this is a great starting point. The vast majority of Castilian and Mexican irregularites are dealt with and I found this didn't present any source of confusion. If I was to make any criticism I would say that it probably won't appeal to young learners or those who are not prepared to invest time putting pen to paper. There is a hint of American cultural bias with some of the examples and content but it doesn't diminish from it's effectiveness. On rare occasions you get something more than what you pay for and that is exactly what this book represents.
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on 5 December 2012
Let me first say that this book does a good job on its intended purpose. When you flip to page v (the preface), the author clearly states that this book is not intended to be the primary teaching source or that it will introduce concepts.

There's nothing wrong with that, but the title of the book is "Practice Makes Perfect: Basic Spanish." I bought it with the impression that it would introduce beginning Spanish concepts. I wanted to use this book with students or homeschooled kids who needed a good place to start. When I saw this book listed on Amazon, I was excited to see that a book for beginners had been published. But this book is not for beginners. If the title had been Basic Spanish Review, I probably wouldn't have bought it, or I might have bought it if I needed additional materials for a Spanish class.

This book is best used for maybe Spanish I in high school or Spanish 101 in college. The exercises are useful in that respect. But if you want a book that is for absolute beginners, get a copy of Getting Started with Spanish: Beginning Spanish for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age. It is one of the best, if not the best, book for absolute beginners of Spanish.

Brandon Simpson
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on 21 August 2010
I am currently trying to progress from phrasebook Spanish so have tried lots of different methods to help me absorb the language. That is all well and good but I have found grasping verbs really difficult and having a cd spout all the verb conjugations at you - well listening hasn't really helped I have to say. This method helps build my vocabulary - but I've wanted something to help me form sentences on my own and repeat by writing the words as well as saying them.

I am so thrilled I stumbled across this book. Within a few hours I've gone from knowing nothing about sentence construction to learning and more importantly understanding how to do this. I'm really stunned.

There are so many exercises to do and the book drills the basics over and over. Introducing vocab slowly - and verbs - slowly - until you get it.

I think a few basics would arm you well with this book but it really isn't required. I wish that I had started here. I look forward to the other books!

There are some differences between the Latin American Spanish and Castillian Spanish I've spotted so far but nothing you that should stop you using this method.
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on 22 May 2011
I dont normally write negative reviews, especially on what is otherwise a good product, just I find certain parts of this book really frustrating. I am enjoying this book but for certain exercises which you cant really complete without looking at the answer key in the back pages unless you know about American celebrities & TV programmes as some of the exercises seem to be more of an American TV show & culture quiz but in Spanish. Most of the exercises in this book are very good & enjoyable but I feel that this book was spoiled slightly by the type of exercises I have mentioned. For example in one exercise you have to match childrens cartoon characters to which animal they are, I would have found this simple if I actually knew any of the characters(Shere Khan, Curious George, Wilbur, Old Yeller, Smokey, Templeton & Peter Cottontail), maybe I'm just not down enough with the kids despite having 2 of my own. In another exercise you have to read a paragraph about an American celebrity & write who you think it is, again you can only do this properly if you know anything about them(one was Tyra Banks, one was Doc from Snow White the other David Letterman. For these reasons I have deducted 2 stars from what would otherwise be a very good book.
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on 17 May 2015
Very good book and well put together. Good exercises for progressive learning. The only issue is that this book is written by an American and is therefore not strictly Castellano Spanish - it is presumably South American Spanish. Some of the words are not used in mainland Spain in the same way that some American English words are not used in England. Worth bearing in mind when you are in Spain.
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on 4 July 2014
I ve a Spanish boyfriend so I started learning Spanish. I read all the reviews and bought this book. My boyfriend helps me with the Spanish so I asked him to do some reading with me. He found lot's of unacceptable grammar, vocabulary mistakes!!! Don't use this book!!! I can not believed it has been published!!
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on 21 March 2011
This is a great self-learning book for Spanish beginners:]
I've also bought 'Spanish Vocabulary','Spanish Verb Tenses' and 'Spanish Pronouns & Prepositions'
All of them are very useful!!Highly recommended!
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on 5 January 2015
I am Spanish. This is a very bad book. It has a lot of mistakes. I bought it to help me teaching spanish to English people and I can't use it. I don't understand how could be published. It's a shame.
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on 24 October 2009
I recently enrolled at my local college for Beginners Spanish and my course tutor recommended this book. There are so many books to choose from on the subject of learning Spanish - 'Practice Makes Perfect Basic Spanish' I have found to be a tremendous help in getting to grips with the basics in Spanish. Full of interesting exercises and with the layout being simple and easy to follow the vocabulario and key words section with each exercise ensure you progress with confidence. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who is trying to learn Spanish in actual fact Perfect Practice makes Perfect and I have certainly found this book to do just that !
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