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on 26 February 2002
This book was just what I needed, having moved from Ireland to Sweden, to learn Swedish quickly. With a decent dictionary (say, David Harper's Swedish Dictionary - also Routledge - which is the only dictionary I have found so far that gave the genders of nouns), and this book, I am able to understand and follow conversations in Swedish more easily, and feel much more confident to try my "Baby Swedish" out on people and improve it.
This book is designed to be used by native English speakers, and every point is compared and related to English grammar. That, alone, makes it much easier to grasp the grammar concepts quickly. Swedish is a notoriously difficult language to learn for English speakers, and the grammar is very different to any other European languages, not least of all English.
Starting with a basic guide to pronouncing Swedish words, which should perhaps be skipped if you don't want to sound like you're from Stockholm, the book is broken into a small number of logical chapters - nouns, adjectives, etc., each of which is described in excellent (but never superfluous) detail.
The structure of the book means that I can read it from start to finish, or search for and immediately find the exact topic I am interested in. The quality of the binding feels excellent, and the print is very clear, with a clean, uncluttered layout, so I feel that I will be using this paperback book for a long, long time.
Holmes also writes an excellent classroom book "Colloquial Swedish" with Serin Gunilla, and if you add this to "An Essential Grammar" and your decent dictionary, you will find that you can study and learn a lot of useful Swedish in a short time by yourself, or in addition to some language classes (the approach I'm taking).
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on 18 January 2016
Just what I was looking for! I am learning Swedish, but live in Germany and attend a Swedish course in a nearby town. Naturally, the language is being taught via the medium of German and sometimes I have really wished for an English explanation. This is just what I needed! Quite technical, but that is OK for me as I teach English and am familiar with the technical vocabulary.
Not for those who don't know what verbs and adjectives and so on are.
I love the comparisons with English, makes learning a lot easier.
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on 26 January 2013
As somebody who is trying to learn Swedish from noting this was a helpful book. Grammar is presented in an easy to understand way. Bought second hand at a ridiculously good price - well recommended.
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on 7 July 2014
If you happen to own more than a few electronic devices, I'd strongly recommend avoiding the Kindle version of this book, as it has a ridiculously limiting licensing scheme attached, which finds you facing the prompt "License limit exceeded" whenever you happen to trigger enough upgrades any of your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet devices. What's especially stupid about the licensing restrictions attached to this product is that the only people it penalizes are those who are honest enough to actually pay for the Kindle book. This Swedish grammar is a textbook (pun intended) example of DRM done wrong.
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on 9 September 2014
Basic grammar book - all you need to know.
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on 28 July 2015
Awful purchase!!! Need to have first class honors from Oxford to understand this book, not helpful at all.
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