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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Significant improvement, 20 Feb 2008
This review is from: 501 Japanese Verbs (Barron's Foreign Language Guides) (Barron's 501 Japanese Verbs) (Paperback)
While the previous edition of this book appears to have been largely pointless, due to the lack of kanji and repetition of regular verb forms, this book seems to be a significant improvement.

First of all, there is a list of 55 'Essential Verbs' at the beginning of the book, and alphabetically through the book, these are given an extra page each. The extra page for each of these verbs contains 'Sentences using [verb]', a short description of when you might use it, and 'Words and Expressions Related to This Verb'.

At the top of each page (one page equalling one verb covered), is the verb written in romaji and then in hiragana, WITH the relevant kanji. Where a kanji equivalent is included, the hiragana writing is also there, so that it is easy to see how the individual kanji is/are pronounced. This means that for 'mitomeru', for example, we have three separate writings of it - one hiragana alone, one kanji and hiragana, and one romaji.

While it is true that most Japanese verbs are regular, and so there is a large amount of repetition in the book, one could also make the argument that large numbers of French verbs, or Spanish verbs are regular, so there's no need for more than one of each regular form in their respective editions of this book. Seeing the verbs all laid out can make it much easier to learn how regular I and II verbs act, which will be useful for when one encounters a verb not listed in the book.

All in all, I have found this book to be very useful, and would hate to see it damned for failings in the previous edition. As for the lack of hiragana in the lists of forms, I would suggest that a quick google would find a chart that would allow them to be copied down however the reader wishes when they are being used, so I don't personally consider that a serious detriment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 2 Oct 2010
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This review is from: 501 Japanese Verbs (Barron's Foreign Language Guides) (Barron's 501 Japanese Verbs) (Paperback)
This book has everything a student of Japanese could ask for. Verbs are arranged A-Z in Romanji (so for those students wanting a more serious approach, it'd be better to look for a book that organises things according to Hiragana) It also has a glossary at the back, so if you know your English verb, you can look it up in the back of the book to find the Japanese translation, then you can go back to the front of the book and find it accordingly. It also has 'essential 55 verbs' to show you which verbs are used most often and which are good to learn. Overall a very good investment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 5 July 2012
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This review is from: 501 Japanese Verbs (Barron's Foreign Language Guides) (Barron's 501 Japanese Verbs) (Paperback)
This book is very helpful! A lot of useful verbs with every form needed in it. Love it! Recommend this to any one studying Japanese
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but no continous present/past tense (progressive), 13 Dec 2013
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This review is from: 501 Japanese Verbs (Barron's Foreign Language Guides) (Barron's 501 Japanese Verbs) (Paperback)
This is a good book and worth buying. It has been of a great help to my studies. I checked some of the verbs with the online conjugation site and some of the online site verb conjugations were wrong (according to this book) so I am glad I have this book.

My only gripe and its a small but important one is that it doesn't have the present and past continuous tense (progressive: the ing form) and that it is quite important. I also have their Japanese grammar book which is excellent and in the grammar book you get a nice break down of each tense and how to use it. Whilst it is not a major problem to not have those tenses in this book they are used quite a bit, so it would be nice to have them in the next edition. However having the grammar book has solved that problem for me.

My only other minor point with this and every other verb book...is that at the beginning of this book it describes what each tense means and how to use each tense but I would love to have a book with a description of each verb on each page to save me continually trying to figure out what each tense is and how we use each tense...is it 'played, will play, didn't play, shall we play, haven't played, play!' etc etc etc.....

I am not good at grammar and no book seems to have this, the amount of time I spend just trying to figure out what the bloody tense is drives me insane! Ok so its the Past Presumptive informal tense WTF is that!!/ it's the Conditional Formal tense WTF, Ok it says it's the Provisional Informal tense 'asobeba', what the hell is that, play, will play, have played, shall we play, will not play etc etc etc you get my point! Give me the conjugation asobeba and then tell me what it is in English and how it is used..Asobeba...this means..'If, provided i play'..I just had to spend 4 minutes trying to find what it means!

Any book that can give me all conjugations of each verb with a breakdown of what each tense is and how the verb works in real life I'll be buying..until that day I will forever be continually searching online, in books etc to figure out what each tense is and how it works.

Most people actually don't understand grammar very well and all these verb books simply assume that all students are fluent in grammar..tis rather annoying...I am learning slowly what each tense is and how it works in real life but man it's so time consuming and really slows down my sentence learning.

Having said all that, this book was and is a good buy and will be coming to Japan with me when I make it there one day!
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