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Mastering Spanish Vocabulary: A Thematic Approach (Mastering Vocabulary Series) 2nd Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0764123962
ISBN-10: 0764123963
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Spanish --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Spanish words and phrases are presented with their English translations according to themes reflecting experiences that we encounter in our everyday lives. This novel approach to words and their meanings allows both travelers and language students to find the related words that they need grouped together for fast and easy reference. Newly expanded, and categorized according to 41 themes, this bilingual phrasebook contains a total of more than 9,500 useful terms.

Phrasebooks in This Series:
Mastering French Vocabulary
Mastering German Vocabulary
Mastering Italian Vocabulary
Mastering Spanish Vocabulary
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Product Details

  • Series: Mastering Vocabulary Series
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 2 edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764123963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764123962
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book for a person who is, like me, passed the beginner spanish level and wants to increase his or her vocabulary. It lists over 5,000 words grouped into 41 subjects and includes useful bilingual phrases that reenforce learning. I don't recommend this book for beginners because some knowledge of the spanish language is required to use it. Everything is translated from spanish to english and there is no english to spanish guide.
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Format: Paperback
I find this book to be very good. It offers 5500 words or so for a person to learn which is more than enough to cover general conversation on any theme, explain any thought, and say anything that is not deeply technical. A typical person's vocabulary is between 12,000-15,000 words though many of them are not used. This book is great-it is organized by themes and has more advanced words in gray. I recently got this book and find that it rounds out my vocabulary. I recommend this one and 1,001 Pitfalls in Spanish by Barron's. Both are absolutely essential for native English speakers. In fact, those two books and a lot of reviewing is adequate in my estimation for anyone with very little background in Spanish to rise to a level of fluency achieved by a small percentage of the 'gringos' who try to learn it. I'd give it a '10' except I think it would be neat to have even more vocabulary-perhaps 8000 words to involve more technical and medical terms, etc. They also try to stick to fairly universal terms understandable in any Spanish-speaking country. Many of the words are more from Spain than, say, Mexico(in my estimation) but are universal enough to be used almost anywhere. I rank it to be a "Must-Buy."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...capable of producing some fairly alarming editing errors, for one. Things like "To abrigo es distinto..."
A second important item of note to potential purchasers is that the book assumes you have THE ENTIRE VERB SYSTEM down cold. Each of the 41 sections of the book has 'standard' and 'advanced' sections of vocabulary. But Word 1 in the standard list could fire off an example that features a sentence that combines conditional and subjunctive imperfect tenses. After all, it's a vocabulary - and not grammar - book. But just make sure you know that going in.
Third point - I can't figure out what make a word or expression worthy of 'advanced' vs. 'standard.' I'm just opening up to a random page (p. 338) as I write this review, and I see the words 'apenas,' 'mayor,' and 'menor' in the advanced section, while 'de ninguna manera' sits in the standard. Odd, huh?
Despite all these objections, this book is really a good edition to your library. Its triumph is the groupings of the words and phrases into 41 loosely defined categories. Despite what I think are three valid criticisms here, reading and re-reading this book is an effective way to increase your vocabulary. Which, after all, is its primary goal.
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I own many Learn-Spanish books, however I want to become more fluent. This means you should know 2000 words. This is where this book fills a niche. It may well be my best vocabulary book yet. Good features of this book include:

- Using the word in a sentence.
- Presenting words in logical groups,, business, dinning, etc.
- Basic words listed in white, and more advanced spanish words listed in blue. Very helpful because I can focus on the basic vocabulary, thus making better use of my learning time.
I would love to see more in the 'false friends' notes. I would like to see words that are spelled similar but are different, such as cansado and casado, encuentro, encuentra. Common words with similar spellings are a trouble spot for learners.
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Format: Paperback
Like my title suggests, this is a great book for the advanced student, but way too deep for the beginner. I first ran across this book during my sixth year of Spanish study in graduate school. It helped me a lot to build on an already extensive working vocabulary.
This would actually be a great book for beginners if the words were phonetically spelled out, but unfortunately, their not. If you're looking to build your existing vocabulary, give it a try, otherwise, pass for a more beginning-type vocabulary approach. Have fun and good luck!
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book to have if you're also pairing it with Breaking out of Beginner's Spanish, or something along that lines. Not for the one who is looking to buy Spanish for Dummies. However, it's categorized well, and very logical in its presentation.

If you ARE beginning Spanish study, this is a little too detailed for you. Get the major verb tenses and conjugations down first, and then buy this book after at least a year of class or self-study.

This is laid out for the older student - upper high school and adults. For the much younger student, Flip Flop Spanish is a good one for a simple approach as well.

Sra. Gose
Author of Flip Flop Spanish: Ages 3-5: Level 1 & Flip Flop Spanish: Ages 3-5: Level 2
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Format: Paperback
This is NOT a book to teach you spanish verbs. It does represent a vast amount of USEFUL terms and phrases. I love this book, and use it more than any other Spanish book I own. In my opinion, it is one of the most readable learning books out there.
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