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on 20 May 2011
If you have already mastered all the usual areas of Italian Grammar, this book will help you to revise the harder aspects of the language and it presents a new review of what you may already know. The exercises are particularly good, being a lot more thoughtful and demanding than those in earlier books like the same author's 'Complete Italian Grammar'. At the same time, this book is quite short, 167 pages before you hit the answer keys in the back. There are other books that cover the harder and less memorable parts of Italian grammar in more detail but they lack the pleasant accessibility of this text. I enjoyed working through all the exercises and comparing my answers with those suggested. It has been a good experience. Why therefore have I given it only 4 stars? Well, as is sadly too often the case, these college/school books from America lack the final polish before going into print: Barron's books are notorious for this failing. There are some obvious blunders that could easily be avoided, such as printing one sentence in Italian in an exercise that is intended to be put into Italian. On the other hand, in the answer pages, there are useful notes explaining, or reminding the student, why a particular translation or accidental form has been chosen.
Having said that the exercises are generally good, I can tell that the author has compiled them in a fairly rapid fashion : we teachers can spot the lapses that our colleagues tend to make in such circumstances. The same phrase will appear in consecutive sentences; sometimes a point of syntax will be introduced that is really going to be analysed much later in the book.
If however you have done a few months of good work in Italian and feel happy in reading and speaking day-to-day idioms, this is definitely the book for you. You will become much more confident with those subjunctives and conditional clauses, with the regular traps of prepositional usages and the oddities of noun-formation. It will also greatly boost your self-esteem when you spot typos or blips in the text which you yourself can correct. It's not expensive and, believe me, it's well worth getting and working at. I got through all the exercises in a fortnight.
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on 9 November 2012
On the front cover is 'Build on the grammar you already know' and this book is more revision than learning. Personally I an not keen on the wording of it - there is no need to put eg 'object pronouns are even more troublesome than subject pronouns' or 'a further complication is the fact that...'etc etc
I was also surprised to find no mention of si/se in the section on pronouns
Having said this it is a handy book for revision and overall an excellent book for revision
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on 4 September 2014
Great book for tweaking your Italian. Might help to have some of the keywords in the answer section highlighted to help check your own answers more easily, and also there is possibly too much information to absorb before you go on to a whole big chunk of exercises. Would prefer the exercises intermingled more with the grammar section, especially on the Subjunctive Mood.
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on 27 March 2013
I found this book very easy to use, very helpful, and a good follow up from "Complete Italian Grammar" in the same "Practice Makes Perfect" series. As with other books in this series there are mistakes in the answers to the exercises, but spotting them is good practice in itself!
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on 24 January 2016
Very useful addition to my Italian Library.
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on 23 December 2012
I probably should work at this more, but it just seems so banal for the most part. Maybe I shall return to it later in the year.
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