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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 26 January 2014
As a British expat living in Portugal for nearly 5yrs and still struggling to learn the language, this is by far the best 'teach yourself' book I have bought so far - and I have many. I have learnt more from this book than I have from the weekly classes I have been taking for years. The famously complicated Portuguese grammar is explained in a way that has finally made it 'click' and I feel more confident in using the language and understanding conversational Portuguese with all it's idioms and colloquialisms, thanks to the dialogues in the book.

I love doing the exercises. They help you to ensure that you have not just read the chapter but also taken it all in and know how to apply what you have learnt. I actually ENJOY learning from this book and I can't say that about any of the others in my collection.

I would give it the full 5 stars but it didn't come with a CD and apparently the CD is no longer available which is a shame and the book still refers to the CD at the beginning. Not too big an issue for me as I hear Portuguese being spoken all around me but might be an issue for others who need to hear and practice their pronounciation.

Although I would highly recommend this book, I very much doubt you could achieve any degree of fluency in any language, much less Portuguese, in 3 months if you're an absolute beginner. However, if you do already have a degree of competency, perhaps to intermediate level, this book will help fill in some gaps, consolidate the basics, clarify the dreaded subjunctive and improve your confidence with the language.
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on 20 October 2012
I first bought the Hugo Portuguese course in 2000 and found both books - basic and advanced to be well written, very clear and well paced to build on a learners skills. I lost these books when my houseboat sank this year and am delighted to have been able to replace them. The size and format of these little books is excellent as they fit into a handbag or pocket for convenience - essential, if like me, you want to study while commuting to work! Highly recommended if you want to understand how a language works.
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on 14 April 2013
Great book. Lots of information and exercises were really useful to see if you had taken it all in. However, it is hard work, particularly the last few chapters.

I learn well the old fashioned way as this is what I was used to at school. It is really a Portuguese text book and to benefit alot of effort is needed. I cannot fault it, but it is not a quick fix to learning Portuguese.
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on 27 August 2013
As a senior learner coming to a foreign language late in life, this is a great tool, very clear in the differences in Portugese and English punctuation etc, a great help to me. really good
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on 22 April 2006
The "In Three Months" range of books by Hugo, tends to be more grammar-based in its approach to language learning. This isn't 'old-fashioned', just as much as learning by rote isn't 'modern'. Each person will have a preferred way of learning a language. Some people like to learn by reading about every day situations that they might find themselves in and all the associated vocabulary and phrases; other people prefer to learn the grammar rules and the nuts and bolts of a language before learning new vocabulary.

Just because this book takes the grammar approach doesn't make it bad in any way. I think the "In Three Months" range by Hugo is really good for getting to the nitty gritty of a language and giving you the essential information for you to be able to understand a language thoroughly. If you're not used to a grammar approach this book can seem dry, overwhelming or detached from what you would consider useful vocabulary or phrases.

When you're looking for books to help you learn a language be aware what approach is best for you and then look for books that use that approach. That way, you'll have less chance of being disappointed with a purchase.

I, for one, think this book is great and recommend it to any other language learners with a preference for grammar.
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on 9 December 2016
Very poor. The CDs seem to be no longer available, which of course makes the book completely useless unless you have another source like the Pimsleur or Michel Thomas course to learn pronunciation from. But even when supplemented by good audio material, the book is poorly organised. Furthermore, it does not state (or if it does, it's hard to find) whether its focus is European or Brazilian Portuguese. (It matters - the difference between European and Brazilian Portuguese is much bigger than the difference between US English and British-Commonwealth English).

I gave it 2 stars rather than just one, because there are not many alternatives. For Spanish, French, German etc there are lots of excellent courses, and an inferior course like this one would quickly disappear. For European Portuguese there isn't a lot of choice. If you find a better book than this for beginners, please add a comment to this review.
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on 6 May 2013
Bought this to back up the m. Thomas language cd's I was using. Am older so although the Thomas method is excellent I need to write things down to truly remember everything!! Bought 2nd hand so did not get the cd but even on its own it leads you through the grammar really well. A great partner to the Thomas CD's
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on 12 December 2016
Didn't come with the referred to CD but had an idea it wouldn't having read other people's reviews. As such I haven't made a start on it yet as I do need to hear the words uttered because I am OCD like that when it comes to languages.
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on 4 September 2008
I am a bit of a language nerd, so I enjoy getting to grips with the intricacies of grammar. However, this book will not suit everyone...it is as dry as toast, so I have given it a 4 and not a 5. I have many books on my shelf for learning Portuguese and whilst this one isn't my favourite, it is still a very useful addition indeed, especially for referring back to when you are trying to quickly find an answer to a grammar query. I wouldn't be without my copy, but I think other books out there got me speaking Portuguese quicker.
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on 15 April 2011
I've had this book around 2 weeks and I have to say that it is a good book. It explains everything very well - the pronunciation is a little difficult without CD's but I found a good guide on the net for it. I speak a few languages, and I have to say that even if you do, or don't you only get out of a language what you put into it - if you invest the time and revise (yes like you used to do when you were 16) then you will develop your vocab and grammar quickly.
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