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127 of 132 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2007
I have been studying Spanish for 7+ years and used this book as a text book in a college course that focused on the verb conjugations and tenses. We did about 90% of the exercises in the book. It's very thorough with the material that it covers, but the answers in the back are full of so many mistakes that the book almost isn't worth it. It was frustrating for us students to use the book and check our answers only to find mistakes. Eventually our professor stopped using the book.
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59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 24, 2006
Fantastic series!

What kind of learner am I?

I teach in a university-based adult education program, where many of my students are native Spanish speakers. My high school and college Spanish classes were a distant memory, but when I chose this book and its companions (pronouns and verbs), I DID remember enough to communicate at a basic level. I've found this series excellent for improving my Spanish enough for my students to comment enthusiastically after a relatively short time. I have no instructor, but I learn well from books, and I already knew how to pronounce Spanish words. For someone else in my position, I can't recommend this series highly enough--it's the best I found after extensive searching, library loans, etc.

Getting the most from this product:

I also recommend getting all three books (complete grammar, pronouns, and verbs) as I did. I've found that it's been helpful to work through a few sections in one book, switch to one of the others, and move ahead in similar jags through all three at once. I can tell when to switch by when I start to feel like I'm getting in over my head--I think it would be difficult to learn alone using just one of these.

Another tip: This series is pure grammar, but there's plenty of culture and literature available free online. I've supplemented the books by reading Spanish-language newspapers online (my favorite seems to be the BBC/Latin America), pasting the text into [...] to check my reading as needed. Often, I've translated these in their entirety for practice (the free translation's enough to understand, but not a particularly good translation). I also found a Spanish-speaking penpal by visiting Spanish chatrooms, and write back and forth frequently as a way to practice my written Spanish. These activities have provided the learning richness that simple grammar texts aren't intended to offer.

Who shouldn't use this?

However, if (for example) you know no (or almost no) Spanish now or remember very little vocabulary, this would be a poor choice. It definitely assumes some level of familiarity with the language.
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2005
This book is amazing. It really does contain ALL aspects of spanish grammar. There are clear grammar explanations, plenty of practice excercises and good vocabulary/idiom lists. Seriously, buy this book.

BTW: don't listen to the above reviewer. My copy is not missing a single page.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2005
This book deserves a 5-star rating because it is very comprehensive and it is very cheap. I love the exercieses because not only can you practice the grammar but also learn more new vocabularies.

However, this book is NOT for beginners. The author states in the preface that this book is for advanced beginners or above. You should have at least very basic knowledge of the lauguage. I started learning Spanish by listening to the Michel Thomas CD's (the complete 8-CD set). I really learned a lot, but the Michel Thomas course does not cover every thing. If you really want to be fluent or to be able to read Spanish, you should study more on your own. This book is a great follow-up.

My copy of this book does not miss anything. Don't listen to the other reviewer.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2007
First let me clarify by saying that if I could have given this 4 and 1/2 stars, I would have; it's ALMOST worth 5 stars, but not quite.

This book is an excellent learning tool if you already have a little bit of experience with Spanish going in. I bought it to use during a year off from school so I wouldn't forget the Spanish I had learned in my 100-level courses in college. If you do the exercises conscientiously and make an effort to really learn the material, this book can be an invaluable tool to your success in doing so.

That said, the only thing preventing the book from receiving 5 stars is that if you have no prior knowledge of Spanish, it can be a bit confusing going in, as the author completely separates the sections on verbs from those on nouns, adjectives, pronouns, etc. This is an okay idea, but it makes it difficult to complete some of the exercises in the earlier chapters if you don't already know how to use the more basic components of a Spanish sentence.

Still, I more than recommend this book, especially if you just want to brush up on Spanish you learned a long time ago and have since forgotten.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2007
My husband who is a Spanish professor picked this book out for me when I first started learning Spanish. In the very beginning, it was too difficult. But, after a few weeks into my Spanish class it became manageable.

It was an excellent supplement to my class and it really helped to reinforce the grammatical concepts. Also, my Spanish class was all in Spanish, even the grammar explanations, and I really appreciated how clearly this book explained the concepts in English.

I'm now moving on to more advanced Spanish exercises, but I will keep this book handy as a reference. The explanations are really, very good.

The vocabulary introduced in the book is also very comprehensive for the most common words and phrases in many aspects of daily life. However, there is an inclination toward Latin American Spanish vocabulary rather than Castilian Spanish.

The exercises are also good overall. But, each chapter and topic is isolated and the exercises do nothing to reinforce concepts learned in previous chapters. Therefore, this book is not the end-all-be-all program for learning Spanish. However, it's a great introduction to the grammar and could be an integral component of any beginner's study program.

Regarding the other reviewer's comment about the answer key being full of mistakes, I did find a few, but it by no means rendered the book useless. Perhaps he/she was using an earlier edition and the mistakes have since been corrected.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2006
I've been trying to improve my rather rudimentary Spanish for awhile now, and this book helped more than anything else so far. I thought it was much better done than the other two books in the same series. I would say it is meant for a "2 or 3 out of 10" speaker, and if you apply yourself to all the exercises and review them you could get to a "5 out of 10." For the money and time invested, that is simply unmatched.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2006
This book covers all parts of the spanish grammar exceptionally. It not only explains the focused topic in a chapter clearly and give a lot of exercises to let the reader practice, it also contains concepts from other chapters, which reinforces understanding of other chapters. The fact that this book can be covered in any order is also very good.

The vocabulary used in here is also quite complete, but only a fraction is in the glossary (the others should be mostly known at this level anyway). Be sure to have a spanish dictionary handy when learning, as always.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2006
Whether you've already used up the previous two Spanish guides in the Practice Makes Perfect Series (Spanish Verb Tenses, and Spanish Pronouns and Pronouns), or this is your introduction, this workbook is as good as it gets for the intermediate to advanced student of Spanish who wants to keep learning beyond the classroom. Complete Spanish Grammar has it all--friendly, down-to-earth language, exercises that could have been taken right out of Hispanic shops and streets and living rooms, and explanations of grammar components that actually make sense.

I don't know how many times I've heard the exact phrases I just saw in the workbook while walking down the streets of Mexican towns. And since it's soft-cover, it's easy to take with you and work with while traveling. Hey, at $10.95, you can even afford to buy and extra one to keep in the car.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2006
I bought this work book three years after my last Spanish course because I was going to retake Spanish and wanted to refresh my memory. Practice is definitely the best way to learn and remember a language, and this work book was sufficient and helpful. I actually enjoyed the exercises, although some are ovelry simplified. I'm not sure how good this book would be for someone without previous courses in Spanish, but it worked well for me. The explanatory sections are short and clear, and are followed by exercises pertaining to the lessons. The book builds upon previous chapters. I also tried the Barron's Spanish series, which are much thicker and somewhat clumsy. I liked both the "Practice Makes Perfect" and "Barron's" series, but I think that the former is more comprehensive and probably best for someone who is reviewing Spanish.
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