Spanish Verb Manual: Correct Conjugation and Regional Use Paperback – 1 Jul 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
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First of all, I like the layout of the verb tables. Unlike Kendris' work, Gonzalez Hermoso groups his 'model verb' tables into "ar" "er" and "ir" sections. This approach is far more helpful than you think. Second, the irregular aspects of a particular model are clarified on each page with bold, red print. This little feature makes it really easy to spend 15 minutes or so each day flipping through the book and picking up one or two of those extra little quirks that makes the verb system so maddening at times.
Then, there's the 'regional usage' section, which details how the usage of certain verbs varies across the Hispanic world. Like, don't use 'coger' - which ostensibly means 'to catch' - in Mexico, okay?
I carry this book + "Buscalo!" (Clarkson, Campos) around with me at all times and try to review a couple of pages each day.
I highly recommend this excellent Spanish-verb guide to anyone who is currently studying Spanish or who has studied it in the past and is looking for a handy way to review verbs.
** Comparison with 501 Spanish Verbs **
I have both "501 Spanish Verbs," by Christopher Kendris, and "Spanish Verb Manual," by Alfredo Gonzalez Hermoso. Each has been on my bookshelf, next to each other, for more than 8 years, and I find myself always choosing the "Spanish Verb Manual" to quickly look up a verb and its various tenses, uses with prepositions, etc. The Spanish Verb Manul has several features that make it more valuable in my view than other books, and easier and faster to gain information from, including red print (not just black, as in 501 Spanish Verbs and other books) that immediately highlights irregular tenses, uses or spellings of verbs.
In addition, Spanish Verb Manual is much smaller, thinner, lighter, more portable (in a backpack or suitcase, for example) and more complete than 501 Spanish Verbs because of the Spanish Verb Manual's use of a comprehensive index of lesser-used verbs cross-referenced to the large section of more-commonly-used verbs that act as models. The book is arranged in several sections each of which have red ink at the margin opposite the spine, making it easy to open the book to the section one wishes to consult.
In every important way I can think of, Spanish Verb Manual is superior to 501 Spanish Verbs, even though the latter is also a good book.
I have used many verb books (here are a couple of the more common that I've seen here): Kendris' (ugh, he arranged it so that it looks cute and simple, but it does NOT accurately illustrate the verb moods in spanish, i.e., indicativo should be grouped together not thrown into the soup of 14 subgroups of simples y compuestos), Living Language's 2,000+ (much closer to González Hermoso's book, but one of the biggest differences, among others, is the lack of color for irregularities -see below for more on this).
Simply put, if you want a desktop reference EACH and EVERY time that you need to conjugate a verb in spanish, buy Kendris' reference...on second thought, his book still can't compare; more about that later. But if you want a compact, informative book of verbs that will allow you to LEARN how to conjugate verbs in spanish on your own, buy this book. Gonzalez Hermoso's book delivers on what this student of spanish has looked for in a spanish verb book: it has about 80 tables of fully conjugated verbs (irregularities in red!); the tables are organized into 3 parts (-ar,-er,-ir verbs); approx 5,000 additional verbs that refer to the previously-mentioned tables; rules (yes, rules...in order to be able to actually learn verb conjugation, we must learn some basic rules) that break down how to work with the irregularities of many spanish verbs; tons of extras like commonly-used verb/preposition combinations (this is one of the keys to sounding like you get the language); verbs and their many expressions as they pertain to specific regions/countries, etc.,...
Word of advice for those with not-so-great sight: One of the reasons that I prefer this book is its size; it makes it very portable, unlike the others out there. Barron's mini verb book is super tiny but, blech, it's nearly identical to its biggie-sized brother. Without measuring, the smallest font in this book is found within the ~80 basic verb tables: it looks similar in style to Times New Roman with about an 8/9-point font. The rest of the book uses at least 3 different font styles and are larger, 10+. If you think this might be too small, I STRONGLY suggest that you at least take this book for a spin, especially side-by-side with the other books. If you are certain that the font is too small, try Living Language's book.