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Showing 1-10 of 24 reviews(5 star)show all reviews
73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2001
This is a wonderful little book. You need to be at a point in your Japanese studies where working with verbs is a problem before you even bother. And you need to know the hiragana to make best use of the handbook. (Everything is written in romaji in addition to kanji though.)
Now if you know a fair amount of Japanese and if you know your kana, you might think you aren't going to need a book that deals only with verbs. Unlike a (proper) English sentence, a Japanese sentence can comprise nothing but verbs (although some of them might be acting like nouns). If you know why you say kawanai, but kaimasu, then you don't need this book. If you know the difference between sumitai and sumitagaru, then you don't need this book.
But if verbs are giving you a problem or if you are moving from a purely auditory learning system to the written language, then you will want this book. I found the "pattern" treatment of Type I or u-dropping verbs particularly helpful. (I learned it in about half an hour.) Also, since I am working with written Japanese more than spoken Japanese, I am finding the comprehensive list of patterns (over 150) extremely useful. But if I were concentrating on the spoken language I would still need to know which form goes with which auxiliary. And it's all here, presented systematically for easy digestion.
My only complaint is that the practices give too much help with the auxiliaries. It really needs two levels of practice -- one that reinforces verb endings and one that reinforces verb ending + auxiliaries.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 28, 2002
This very friendly little book is a fantastic tutorial in the proper use of Japanese verb forms in nearly all their conjugations and uses. Sample sentences are throughout, most of them quite useful and suitable for memorization verbatim, and workbook style drills accompany every section of every chapter.
This is, however, more of a workbook than a reference; for the latter, look no further than Naoko Chino's "Japanese Verbs at a Glance". For a workbook, however, this has (in my experience) no peer.
"Language learning is overlearning", and with that in mind, Kamiya offers lots of practice and sample bunkei which, when worked through, will offer a truly impressive insight into the mechanics of Japanese verb USAGE (not just academic conjugation).
My last class (I'm a second year student at the Geos School in NYC) taught me the '-nagara' verb ending. By using Kamiya's book at home these past few days I feel confident in my usage of what amounted to no more than a footnote in "Japanese For Busy People II" textbook. Excellent. Now I can tell my girlfriend not to talk with her mouth full!
A fun, fine, and ultimately indespensible book for any (that means all) verb-challenged intermediate students. Kamiya is one of the best teachers I've studied - try to get a copy of her "Japanese Particle Workbook" - another five star title on a stubbornly difficult subject.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
This is not a "user friendly" book for the casual learner of Japanese. This is nothing more or less than a small, pocket-book sized grammar text for using Japanese verbs. "Te" forms, "tara" forms, "hoshii" forms are all covered, along with pretty much every other possible conjugation. This is no dictionary, however, so do not expect to learn any new words. Just expect to make better use of the verbs you already know.
The sections are broken down well, and there are very small practice sections at the end of each chapter. For what it is, it is an excellent resource. I would recommend this book to serious, college level learners of Japanese.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2002
I like the book for three things. Firstly, it is really systematic. Each section begins with the sentence pattern, followed with several examples, and then the exercise section. Secondly, this book comes with Kanji and Romaji. As Kanji is the so-called life-application form of Japanese (i.e. used in Japanese comic books, newspapers, novels etc), the use of Kanji in the book helps me to recognise written Kanji in my favourite Japanese magazines (for eg.). The use of Romaji helps me to know the pronunciation of each word, so it saves me the trouble of having to check the dictionary. Romaji also helps with my listening. Lastly, its syllabus closely resemble my Japanese class materials, and hence it was a great refresher for someone who has learned Japanese for three years (i.e. but that was four years ago).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2007
Like all of Taeko Kamiya's books, this one is simultaneously dull and vital. You get no gimmicks, no shiny drawings, no funky catchphrases or adorable characters. It's a book you trudge through rather than treasure and read amidsts oceans of giggles.

Still, I like it. There's no BS. The material is presented as straightforwardly as possible. The emphasis is on the examples rather than on the explanations. And this is stuff you just HAVE to know about if you're going to ever speak Japanese.

Arguably, though, you'd be better off buying Kamiya-sensei's Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication, which is similar but more comprehensive. Neither of these books is going to light up your day, but nobody ever said learning Japanese would be easy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2012
I've been studying Japanese for 4 years now and this is probably the most helpful book on Japanese grammar I've ever bought! While there are practice sections for each grammar pattern, I would not recommend this book for someone who is just beginning Japanese. However, as a supplement for students who have already been studying the language and want to take their writing and reading to the next level, this product is a must have.

The sentence pattern index in the back is just amazingly helpful. You can look things up by either the Japanese conjugation or the English equivalent - both things that are necessary for a book to really be helpful for reading and writing, as I can easily look something up. It is also really nice to be able to just look up a conjugation, especially "Te-form" and be able to see ALL of the grammar patterns that go with it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2007
I have been studying Japanese for almost 2 years now in a classroom with Japanese for busy people. Although these are good books they lack detail in certain aspects such as verbs and particles. If I had Handbook of Japanese verbs from the start I think I would be almost fluent by now or well on my way to be. The book breaks down verbs to an easy to understand format with exercise and answers in the back so that you know if you got it correct. Overall a really good book and you can't beat the price for this kind of help.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2013
I had a couple of years classroom study in Japanese, many years ago, and have been learning on my own for the last year. This book, and Kamiya's other manual on pattern sentences, have been useful especially as integrative works that bring together lots of scattered information approached differently in textbooks. I think it would be less successful as a first-learning tool, but I'm not in a position to judge. The verb handbook is a very nice reference and summary of verb groups and conjugations, and clarifies the systems by which the various forms are derived. Short exercises with answers let you know whether you've really "got it".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2008
Excellent grammar handbook. The field of "verbology" in Japanese seems at first sight a jungle (especially for those - like me- who do not master yet Japanese writing -especially kanjis- or grammatical structures), with this book you will find a trailblazer for future explorations. It provides a clear and systematic approach to the subject, the use of romaji characters is also of much help - hiraganas could have been used instead but that's not a necessity. Indexes following the main parts of the book give you a detailed map of your whereabouts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2006
I recommend this book to everyone who is studying Japanese. It's a compact, well organized, easy to understand grammatical reference text about verbs. When I purchased the book I had just completed my first textbook, and could only use the polite, -masu form of verbs. This book taught me how to conjugate all verbs, and taught me many grammatical constructions related to verbs. Each verb construction lesson has three examples (written in romaji and kanji, and translated into English), which are very helpful.
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