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A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish

Posted by Dreamer

The definitive reference book for Spanish grammar, A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish clearly and succinctly gives intermediate to very advanced students of Spanish a comprehensive look at the intricacies of the Spanish language and provides a thorough panorama of the Spanish language as it is written and spoken today around the world.

Most people are rightly bored stiff by the idea of a grammar book, and in fact, the very word “grammar” send shivers up a lot of spines; nevertheless, as its title makes plain, this is a reference book – you know, one of those things that usually gathers dust on your bookshelf – but when you need it, it will handily resolve your Spanish-language doubts.

A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish is for students of Spanish who have already had some formal language training (i.e. they didn’t pick up the entirety of their Spanish skills from hanging out in bars) and are not scared by the sight of a whole chapter devoted to the uses of the infinitive or Spanish word order. On the other hand, dedicated language geeks might be tempted to read the whole thing straight through.

Every grammar point is illustrated by bilingual Spanish/English examples, with many coming from authentic literary and journalistic texts and dialogues from both Spanish and Latin American sources – think Gabriel García Márquez and Jorge Luis Borges. This is one of the book’s real strengths.

Another strength is the book’s inclusion of national, regional, colloquial, familiar, and popular Spanish usage, offering the Spanish-language student a good understanding of a variety of styles. Regardless of whether the student should personally decide to put certain grammar patterns to use or not – some of which may be controversial or tricky – it’s definitely an advantage that they’re presented so you can learn to understand subtleties of Spanish not found in other books of this type.

En fin, if you’re a serious student of the Spanish language, you should have this book already.

A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish, 4th edition by John Butt and Carmen Benjamin. McGraw-Hill, 2004. 576 pages.
Buy the book in Europe or buy the book in North America.


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The definitive reference book for Spanish grammar, A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish clearly and succinctly gives intermediate to very advanced students of Spanish a comprehensive look at the intricacies of the Spanish language and provides a thorough panorama of the Spanish language as it is written and spoken today around the world.

A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish

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