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Chinese: A Comprehensive Grammar (Routledge Comprehensive Grammars) Paperback – December 24, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0415150323 ISBN-10: 0415150329

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Product Details

  • Series: Routledge Comprehensive Grammars
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (December 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415150329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415150323
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #898,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Yip Po-Ching was Lecturer in Chinese at Leeds University, and Don Rimmington is Emeritus Professor of Chinese formerly at Leeds University.

Customer Reviews

I learn something important every time I look at it.
Jittoku
This is an outstanding grammar reference book, advisably for upper-intermediate to advanced students.
An Rui
As for the content of the book, it is organized logically and clearly.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a very comprehensive book, with many well-explained examples. The book makes full use of simplified chinese characters (as used on the Chinese mainland), pinyin, and in some cases literal translations, as well as full english translations.
Key language concepts are well explained, and emphasis is placed on features which may pose an extra challenge to the learner of chinese as a foreign language.
This book treats the language from a fairly academic point of view. Thus it is excellent for those wishing to attain a deep understanding of the language, rather than to learn a few superficial phrases as is too often the case with travellers' phrase books.
However, this book 'is intended for readers who have some knowledge of the (chinese) language and are at ease with its written form'. This is certainly the case, as the book employs a wide range of complex vocabulary right from the outset. Thus, not for beginners.
Overall, an excellent reference book for those who already have at least a basic knowledge of chinese. Not recommended for beginners, but a separate book by the same authors entitled 'Basic Chinese' is a superb book for those new to chinese.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James Lane on November 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a grammar most deserving of its title. It is truly comprehensive in every sense of the word. The grammar is explained along lines that a Westerner with even a pinch of grammatical knowledge can understand.

It is probably a good idea that the examples of erroneous grammar are included, complete with an asterisk to indicate that it is an error. However, I can't help feeling that they'll remain in my memory and I won't be able to tell the difference between a sentence that's been hailed as a grammatically correct example and one that is incorrect. I can't really think of any alternatives to the way the authors have done this though.

It would be great if there were just a few exercises at the end of each chapter, complete with an answer key. That really wouldn't add all that much to the total page count of the book, but would greatly add to its overall usefulness. After all, most of us who actually buy/read this book are students of Chinese who need all the exercises we can get - aren't we?

Lastly, here are a few errors I found in this book:

In the index, on page 417 xiang3 points to a non-existent 8.1.6. It should be 18.1.6 (page 284).

ning4ke3 and ning4yuan4 (section 22.3.8, page 342) should have exactly the tones which I have indicated. In error, this book introduces both words with the correct tones, and then proceeds to give examples with the wrong tones.

Duo1 is confused with dou1 twice on page 181.

The index has an entry "causative sentences - 20.1". There are no causative sentences at 20.1.

I'm not sure whether the below should be classified as errors or shortcomings:

On page 46, section 2.14 should be cross referenced to chapter 7.

Hai2shi0 (or) is explained in section 23.4. But there's no reference made to huo4zhe3 at all, which is exceedingly relevant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am a high school student in his fourth year of Chinese learning. My teacher is Chinese, and is not the most proficient English speaker in the world, which occasionally leaves my grammatical questions hanging. I purchased this book to solve that problem. I will say that it is rather expensive, but I believe that it was well worth it.

It seems as though the diction the author uses in the main text is geared towards more advanced speakers of English, ones who are familiar with in-depth grammatical terms. I've tried explaining the more complicated aspects of Chinese grammar to my classmates - who have been studying just as long as I have - using the most accurate grammatical terms as in the writing of this textbook, and I receive blank stares in return. It is likely, based upon my experience, that the average high school student (and maybe also a good number of college ones, as well) will not easily understand the information in this book. The type of student who will get the most out of this book is the one who studies grammar in his free time.

As for the content of the book, it is organized logically and clearly. There is a detailed table of contents to help in finding exactly what needs to be found. Note: another reviewer has pointed out that there may be some cross-referencing issues, etc. in it, and I have noticed these, but I haven't found any mistakes which make the content difficult to understand (beside the fact that some of the content is difficult to understand in the first place). There are a few inconsistencies in the labeling of the pinyin which I've noticed, but they are few and far between, generally speaking.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By T. N. Turner on August 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book, recommended only for serious learners of Chinese. This is a book you can use during your whole life of learning Chinese. The only reason I did not give it a 5 star rating is the author is so pedantic. The author should use language to speak to real people, not other linguists. However, this is a wonderful, very technical book. I still need a more simpler book on Chinese grammar, but do not regret having this book.
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Chinese: A Comprehensive Grammar (Routledge Comprehensive Grammars)
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