Top critical review
30 people found this helpful
on 23 April 2012
This book is a very comprehensive and "exacting" book about all aspects of Spanish grammar. It covers 13 of the 14 verb tenses - I've never seen a book that covers that elusive 14th tense! It tells you whether a section is level 1,2 or 3. So from these points, it's a good reference book for people really serious about Spanish.
Be prepared to have to gen up on English Grammar, because it's full of things like: "psychological distancing from the referent", "enclitic", "periphrastic constructions", and "object pronouns are appended to the imperative form when it is affirmative". Why can't it just say: "object pronouns are added onto the end of a command when it's positive"?
Quite complex level 3 aspects are in sections which have been squashed into the least amount of space in which to explain them. As a result, for me anyway, they become unfathomable. I've then had to go find a Spanish grammar website to explain them more fully and in a more student-friendly manner. The section on the Imperative is THE worst explanation I've come across and as for the Subjunctive tenses, well, I gave up because my own notes are much better!
In short, much of this book is explained more simply elsewhere.
Buy it if you're serious about grammar, but use it with other sources and don't let it put you off Spanish. Let's face it - who the heck speaks English with perfect grammar thesedays?