Most helpful critical review
95 of 98 people found the following review helpful
Novel but overly-long approach to 'mexican' grammar
on 2 October 2004
This is basically a grammar book so you will need to look elsewhere for vocabulary and usage. I used this book in conjunction with other more readable grammar books such as Shaums Outline Grammar to help get me up to intermediate level.
1. I like the idea of teaching verbs by starting with the Past Tense. It's so mush more useful and you can start constructing more meaningful conversations sooner.
2. There are a few chapters at the end that handle the subjunctive pretty well.
3. It is very example driven. There are plenty of exercises and practice with the answers available immediately so no leafing to the back of the book.
4. The price. It's worth having for £7.
1. The layout is very cramped and dull. Surely it could have spruced up a bit to make it a bit more readable. There is no need for this book to be 450 pages long if the layout was improved and the book edited.
2. The book is overly verbose and there are far too similar many examples of conjugations. The examples are often overly simplistic. It should be enough to give the rules of conjugation for standard, stem changing and then the irregular verbs in each tense. Shaum's Outline Grammar manages to condense the same information into less than ten pages of an appendix!
3. There is a lack of everyday usage information for particular verbs.
4. This book teaches South American Spanish. If you are going to Spain after using this book you might get some funny looks. It sticks to Usted rigidly and omits the Tu conjugations. All the exercises and answers are in Latin American Spanish throughout. Examples include 'boletos' instead of' billetes',' tomar' instead of 'coger' (not that you would use 'coger' in Mexico!), 'estacionar el auto' instead of 'aparcar el coche' and so on.