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Customer Review

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A concise and well thought-out grammar for modern Dutch., 15 Aug. 2000
This review is from: Dutch: A Comprehensive Grammar (Routledge Grammars) (Paperback)
Of all the Dutch-language-learning books available today, most of which are fairly basic and/or badly set out with respect to grammar comprehension, this is by far the best. It is written by a man who has a thorough knowledge of modern Dutch, but also a clear understanding of its linguistical history, by which he is able to explain archaisms and anomalies still extant in modern spoken Dutch. Tricky areas of Dutch, such as co-ordinating and subordinate clause word order, are clearly explained, and truly difficult aspects such as the particle "er" are made almost quite simple - I have struggled through many books to understand this in particular. It should be noted, however, that this is a grammar book, and not an exercise or phrase book; he also expects a rudimentary understanding of grammatical terms, but by doing so he doesn't need to waste time by explaining terminology, instead he gets to grips with the grammar. His explanations of Dutch prepositions, adjectival suffixes, and verbal prefixes (both fixed and movable) are clarity itself. I have long sought for a book which was able to clearly, though not necessarily simply, describe the Dutch language in a logical and comprehensible manner. Where phrase books, and learn-in-three-months books, have better information on vocabulary, and offer you phrases to suit the situation, it takes a book as good as this to really help you make sense of the language, so taking us out of the role of a parrot, to a comprehending user of Dutch.
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