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Essential Italian Grammar (Dover Language Guides Essential Grammar)
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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2001
Olga: I have the 1962 version and it's been back and forth to Italy with me numerous times. It's the clearest most brief summary i have seen. The short 100 page small format book is a natural for those who like to pack light. Take it on the plane and refresh your memory on major verbs, key tenses, agreement patterns, whatever you need to review. Would work equally well as a reference of essential grammar for beginners working with other learning materials.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2006
I love the entire Dover Essential Grammar series, and I actually own most of them. I used Ragusa's Essential Italian Grammar in my language preparation for a trip to Italy last year, and it works extremely well.

It isn't going to teach you enough vocabulary for true facility with the language, of course, but that isn't its function -- it's meant to encapsulate all the basic grammar of the language in a very clear and concise form. Because of its size, I was able to go through it numerous times -- and each time, a little bit more sticks. A far superior approach to going through a large, padded, overly wordy grammar full of redundant exercises and dialogues just once. It also works very well as a quick reference guide which you can easily and quickly open up to precisely what you need to refresh yourself on.

It goes without saying that you're still going to need a good dictionary or other book(s) to help you acquire vocabulary. But for the basic grammar, this one slim volume is all you really need.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2004
if you want to know how to speak italian, this is the guide for you. you'll learn about italian grammar in easy to understand and concise language.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2008
This review book is excellent. Most books concentrate on travle related phrases which you must memorize and PRAY that you remember. If you want to learn Italian stay away from travel books. They really do not work becuase the nature of the language is not explored- just sentences to help you find the bathroom or order food. My travel to Italy is both family and business related so I have had to spruce up my Italian. I carry it with me everywhere and while I have time I read, re-read and work on my language skills. I have also used it to teach others. What is nice is that she covers every topic, translates the entire sentence literally- in the order of the Italian language and then provides the English equalivent. Because of the ordering of words is so different (pronouns, negations etc..) it may be difficult for someone to grasp the learning of Italian. Other books simply give the phrase and then translate it but the ordering of words is out of whack. Sometimes the meanings are changed! This book is clear, easy to follow and easy to take with you. When I taught my husband I used the following- Italian in 10 minutes a day ( to reduce the fear factor and make it smooth) then Michel Thomas's tapes (they work), a good verb book, dictionary and the Idiots Guide... Worth it!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A great book to get extra practice with for serious students. It explains things in an easy way to understand. Don't forget that PRATICA, RIPETIZIONE, and PAZIENZA will be the winning combination to learn this musical language!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2006
If you want a good reference book for Italian grammar, this is the one to buy. Ragusa manages to get lots of information on every page with no wasted space or words. Also, and very important to me, she gives literal translations as well as common usage for those who are trying to learn the lanuage. I just wish the book would be updated. You will find "egli" for he and other outdated words. That's like using "thou" in English. "Egli" hasn't been used in decades. Still, if you are interested in an excellent book on grammar, this is the one to have.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2006
I love this reference guide. It's perfect for the beginner or intermediate learner of Italian.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Just by glancing at it I realized that this book is not only useful for students of Italian, beginners or ohterwise, it serves me in my reversed translation also. A nice by-utility to have.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2009
This book will provide you with a good overview of Italian Grammar, but for the serious student interested in attaining fluency it just isn't detailed enough. Many grammatical topics are entirely omitted, topics of extreme importance if you are interested in using the language for more than traveling. If you are looking to be able to communicate on a trip to Italy, this plus Rosetta Stone or Drive Time Italian should work, but if you are really interested in learning Italian this will not take you far enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2010
Small paperback easy to carry. Good Italian Grammar book but what happened to the old fashioned grammar books where they just list the conjugations and you were expected to learn them. Now the emphasis is on conversation and if you want to know how to conjugate something you must search the book over or have a fantastic memory. Great review book but not basic.
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