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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 21 June 2007
I bought this book after having looked far and wide to discover that there is not a single good Polish grammar book in the English language. This one is at least comprehensive and well organised.

On the other hand, it has instances of language so obsolete that no Poles use it at all and many Poles do not even know about it (e.g. 'mię'). It's clear the author has relied too much on written sources and lacks an intimate knowledge of the language, which is a pity, considering the reputation of the university she works for.

Worst of all is the contextualisation of the grammar. 'There are no trees in this forest'. So where's the forest then? It was proven decades ago in the English language teaching industry that poorly contextualised examples hinder the acquisition of language. When will Polish book writers learn this?

So why not only one star? Because it's the best on the market. If you hope to learn Polish grammar with the help of a book, I strongly recommend this one and only this one. It helped me immensely.
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on 29 May 2002
I personally find grammar the hardest part of any language and it is probably the biggest factor in most people's speed of learning, in that if you do not understand the grammar, however good you may be at everything else, your sentance does not make sense. This is the case with most slavonic languages (and germanic I may add), and putting the wrong case ending or the wrong word order may destroy any meaning in the sentance. This book seeks to make that easier, and it does. As I went through it, I felt as if I was reading a good, clear instruction booklet. Actually you'll probably find that learning grammar through this book is easier than trying to make sense of a DIY book or a computer manual.
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on 11 November 2012
This author certainly has a remarkable knowledge of the Polish language and presents its grammar clearly without confusing jargon, often in easy-to-use tables, with loads of examples of everyday Polish. As the book is for English speakers with maybe a hazy grasp of English grammar, the author describes the function of all parts of speech (e.g. verbs, adverbs, conjunctions) - great revision before you tackle Polish grammar. I found the new Chapter 4 on studying an inflected language quite inspiring - it lists common errors made by students and analyses a typical Polish text, showing you what to look for, like plurals and cases, so that the text makes sense. There are 9 appendices summarising the most critical elements of Polish grammar in table form, including all the tenses of `to be' and `to have' - saves you hunting for the right bit of the verb in the book. For 430 pages the book is excellent value for money - worth twice the price in my opinion. Simply can't be beaten!
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on 25 September 2008
This book is a disappointment. I was looking for a Polish Grammar and it's true there are few on the market. But this is essentially a set of lengthy tables with virtually no textual explanation. It's a usable reference source (sometimes - if one can make sense of the de-contextualized lists) but not means of learning Polish grammar. There absolutely no progression through the book and it is not designed for the learner at all.
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on 24 September 2012
This isn't for complete beginners. It's a fairly thorough grammar reference for those who already have a basic understanding of Polish and/or some knowledge of linguistics. Once you've learned basic Polish, then you'll generally need 3 things to progress: practice, a dictionary and a grammar. This serves well as the last of these, and presents Polish grammar clearly and in depth. Clarity is something I've found missing in a few 'Learn To Speak Polish' books, where there often seems to be an assumption that things may be too complicated for the reader, so the books take unfortunate short cuts which I personally find obscure some of the underlying patterns. This one clears up some of those ellisions and evasions.

It will best suit people with some knowledge of formal grammar, who want the whole story and are not afraid of conjugations and declensions. Personally, I found the division of verbs into four straightforward conjugations exactly in parallel to the four Latin conjugations revelatory. Polish verbs are actually really easy and very regular; they are just badly explained by text books that favour a communicative (rather than formal) approach to language. The 'rules' are nevertheless quite important to a language like Polish and are described adequately here.

Polish is ill-served by text books and reference works in general - even a decent Polish-English dictionary is difficult to find (I haven't found one yet!) - and the standards are much lower than those for Western European languages, say (simply because there are fewer Polish books available, and fewer potential readers?). There are some lapses in this book ("seven declensions" of nouns are mentioned, but never actually listed one-by-one), but on the whole it's much more authoritative than any of the other books I've flicked through in foreign language book shops around London.

Personally, I quite like the author's plain approach and have lived with the book quite happily for the last two or three years.
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on 28 September 2012
This year I completed Basic Polish: A Grammar and Workbook (Grammar Workbooks) and I am currently working through Intermediate Polish: A Grammar and Workbook (Grammar Workbooks), both written by Ms. Bielec. When I saw that she released this new grammar, I couldn't resist buying it.

I am finding it to be the perfect complement to her grammar workbooks. They, of course, cover much of the same material, but this book goes into much greater detail. The book is an excellent learning tool for the serious student and I highly recommend it.
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on 19 June 2015
A great book. Easy to use clear explanations and detailed enough. Now I know I'd like to have a workbook with with a key to practice what I study.
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on 1 October 2013
Everything is there, but it's certainly not for bedtime reading! I'm sure her subsequent books with excercises are a better buy.
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on 17 November 2014
Arrived as described. Was a second hand book order but it could have been sold as brand new. Excellent quality.
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VINE VOICEon 1 February 2009
As one of the reviewers doesn't seem to realise, this book is purely a handbook. You can't use it alone, it's meant to act as an additional guide to be used alongside a standard textbook, and it serves this purpose very well.
It's organised and presented very clearly, which is always important for a grammar book, and it provides very clear explanations of aspects of usage along with generally good examples.
My only criticism is that there could be exercises easily put into this book to turn in into more than a handbook. This would turn it into a five star book, rather than a four star one. As it is, it's still a very worthwhile purchase for any serious student of Polish.
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