Most helpful positive review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
an excellent book
on 9 March 2009
I've just started a 'survival Mandarin' course, aimed at teaching students to speak the rudiments of the language quickly. Necessarily, we are given the bare minimum of theoretical background, which makes me feel decidedly uncomfortable. So I was looking for a book that would help me gain a working understanding of Mandarin grammar equally quickly. Having read the previous reviews of this book, I decided to buy a copy. It turns out to have been a useful acquisition.
Part A of the book [107 pages long]is strictly theoretical and lays out the grammatical rules of Mandarin. Part B of the book [280 pages long] gives examples of how the language is actually used. For example, the type of compliment received determines the type of response that is required in return. This book allows you to choose the correct form from the plethora of possible alternatives.
It is also very clearly and elegantly written. The authors make the assumption that you may not know the grammatical term being described, so they give a definition of it before launching into their clarification.
I would strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in a simple but clear exposition of Mandarin grammar. I'd like to be able to offer a more balanced review by pointing out some shortcomings of the book - but I simply haven't spotted any so far.