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I have been struggling through Spanish I in college, and learning the basic verb forms and how prepositions are used has been such a challenge with the textbooks used in the courses I'm in. But this book, which I picked up during the break between semesters, has been a life-saver! I had to get used to the fact that Spanish-language natives use "that which" a lot (lo que) in sentences, whereas in English that formulation would be considered antiquated or stuffy in ordinary speech or writing. This book EXPLAINS differences like that. I love that it has done that kind of analysis for me, not leaving me to have to figure that out -- rediscover the wheel -- my college textbooks force me to "catch on." So maybe I do, and maybe I don't.
This book is really terrific! After you learn something in a chapter, then you get a chance to put it into practice with exercises. And, best of all, the answers are in the back of the book. And so are alternative answers many times.
OK, what's wrong with the book? No glossary. If you go step by step through the book, she builds on vocabulary you learned in previous lessons, but if you forgot a word you learned in a previous lesson, you'll have to have a dictionary. Other than that, the book is perfect for giving you a basic grounding in the language.
One final comment: I read the review entitled "Beware," and feel the need to comment on that. The writer complains that the book covers the subjunctive but not the imperative. I did learn in my Spanish I classes (I just started Spanish II at the end of January) that Spanish speakers use the subjunctive with high frequency. We English speakers have gotten sloppy and use the indicative for just about everything. Nobody's fingers get hit with a ruler anymore for saying (or even writing, for goodness' sake!), "Ï wish I was in Florida," even though we should always be saying, "Ï wish I were in Florida." "Was" is incorrect, because it's the past tense; "were" is correct because it reflects a wish, not something that is true. Spanish speakers are much more attuned to the subjunctive mood than we are, and apparently don't put up with the kind of sloppiness we've come to allow. So I disagree with the "Beware" writer: it is imperative (please pardon the pun) to learn the subjunctive mood in Spanish!
Now let me let loose on my college textbooks: disorganized! They teach you part of a concept, and then three chapters later they teach you the rest! Give it to me straight! I can take it! In fact, I'd rather learn a concept once and learn everything about it than get it in these piecemeal doses. Also, they spend a lot of ink on "culture." Hey! I don't care! I'll read a travelogue if I want culture. Just teach me the language so I can go to Guatemala or Peru and speak to the natives there! Also I'd like to be able to pass a standardized language test. Also, I'd like to be able to speak to people right here in New York who have limited English skills. Get with the program, you textbook writers!
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 19, 2006
Fastest way to Master Spanish
Excellent form in which Spanish elements are introduced, progressive and effective. I have used many books to try to teach Spanish, but now 'This Is The Book', I don't have to search any more, my students learn faster and have plenty of exercices to practice. Self-learners have an excellent resource in this book. If you have tried to learn Spanish before and founded daunting, try this book and you'll see how natural and progressive Spanish could be. My students love it.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
A good text book
There are two approaches to learning the language, one is a classic text which you describe all the language components, and the other is to start to speak the language as soon as possible, and fill in the blanks later such as complete conjugation of all tenses. This is a text book that does an above average job of teaching you to speak the language as you progress. I skimmed through it, and use it as a reference to complement Spanish Behind the Wheel, which is designed to help you speak Spanish as quickly as possible, but is light on grammar. I like the condensed text book of Spanish Behing the Wheel vol 1 and 2 more than I like the CDs that come with it. You can read what's on the CDs in the back of the book, to prepare to listen to it while driving down the road.
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Posted December 20, 2014
I would have included the present progressive in this book, but
I would have included the present progressive in this book, but it does appear in the second in the series ("Advanced").Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 4, 2014