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The type of person who is reading this is typically a novice student of Chinese, and therefore probably needs to know the tones and pronunciation of words. This is the problem: roughly half of all the pinyin in the entire book is either without a tone marker, or, more dangerously, with incorrect tone markers. Considering how important tones are to Chinese, this is baffling oversight.
I had read this grammar a few years ago and loved it, no problems. But when I got it for my kindle as a reference here in China, it seemed edited by monkeys. So perhaps if you're looking to buy this, don't, unless your chinese is already excellent and you don't need the pinyin. Wait until someone realizes how glaringly incorrect the pinyin is and edits it. Also the characters are quite fuzzy and unfocused. I don't know how one makes a kindle book, but I imagine it's scanned in, which would account for these errors.
And perhaps Rimmington should say "prepositions," which is what he means, rather than invent the word "coverb." It needlessly confuses, e.g. replacing the "verbs" with "actionwords." But I suppose that's more an issue with "A Comprehensive Grammar," which unfortunately doesn't exist for Kindle.
But other than those easily correctable issues, its an excellent book for what it is.
This book seems to be targeted between the basic and intermediate grammars and the comprehensive grammar.
I really wouldn't recommend it on the basis of the lack of characters. Nor would I recommend studying spoken Chinese without simultaneously studying the characters. As students of Chinese we should be aiming to be able to function *without* the pinyin.
That's not to say that the comprehensive grammar is perfect - I've got a short errata in the reviews of that book. But it really has all the information you need. The benefit of the basic and intermediate grammars is that they have exercises (complete with answer keys), whereas the comprehensive grammar does not. UPDATE: A new edition actually includes the characters. Updates like this can be annoying for those who buy just before the new one comes out. I got in a bit too early with my Fast Finder from Tuttle Publishers. A terrible mistake on the thumbnail index was fixed (which caused me to cut off one of the tabs) and an index was added at the back of the book. NOT an encouragement to go to Tuttle for language learning material. Routledge, on the other hand, does publish books with some mistakes (see my review of Chinese: A Comprehensive Grammar) but not as bad as that mentioned.
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I ordered the 2nd edition which has characters. After receiving it the cover says 2nd edition and says revised to include characters, but the contents are the first edition. Obviously I will return it.
I have the Kindle version of the 2nd edition but the characters are so blurred they forced me to by the book.
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