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Schaum's Outline of Chinese Grammar (Paperback)

Schaum's Outline of Chinese Grammar (Paperback)
Author/Publisher: Claudia Ross
Format: paperback
Emphasis: Grammar
Level: Beginning - Intermediate - Advanced
Note: Simplified Chinese & Traditional Chinese with Pinyin
List Price: $17.95

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Detailed information
Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Schaum's Outline of Chinese Grammar is designed to assist beginning and intermediate students of Mandarin Chinese develop and enhance their knowledge of Chinese grammar. Chinese morphology can be intimidating to students. By simplifying the learning process, this practical book enriches the student's understanding of the Chinese language. The accessible summary of the major features of Chinese grammar complete with clear explanations of terms and usage is especially helpful to students. The book features 200 sets of practice exercises as well as Chinese-English and English-Chinese glossaries. It serves as a much-needed supplement to textbooks and class materials currently being used in first-and second-year college-level courses.

About the Author

Claudia Ross, Ph.D. (Worcester, MA) has been teaching Chinese as a second language for 20 years.

Product Details
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (February 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0071377646
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 10 reviews.

Spotlight Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful:

Should be a required ancillary to your main learning medium, April 17, 2005

Reviewer: David Malik "professordavid" (Zionsville, IN USA)

It took four years for the best grammar accompaniment to appear. That's when I started learning Mandarin. Like many of you who are satisfied with Pimsleur, you still needed more. I sat through classes in a university, used various software packages, and read books all contributing in different (and needed ways). The grammar problem though is recurring. I still have problems with guo/le that even in a classroom are not totally resolved. The Yip/Rimmington et al. grammar books just didn't resonate with my learning style: too formal, too detailed, too structured, and only in simplified (not to mention how much vocab you needed to understand well the examples).

Ross' treatment in the Schaum book is great. Lots and lots of examples (pinyin, simplified/traditional, English) with slight variations in usage illustrated. As has been pointed out in other reviews, having at least a year of study already improves its value. Actually there were distinctions made between some words I didn't know needed distinctions, such as zai/shi. Excellent treatment of other situations like the various unlike-English section on positional words (inside, outside, above, below, etc.). Another aspect is the exhaustive nature of some groupings or lists, for example, all the variations on these positional words and the possible combinations. Another example would be numbers/money/percentages etc. Almost more than you want.

This has been very helpful to me as a reference grammar that is excellent. In some cases, it would be helpful to have more descriptive text: like most Schaum's, text is terse. Also, time expressions, duration, etc. would be nice to be in a single place. Most are there, but you need to look for them.

It's inexpensive and worth the investment.


27 of 27 people found the following review helpful:

An excellent resource!, December 23, 2004

Reviewer: Constant Reader (Tucson, AZ)

I had worked my way through all three of Pimsleur's Mandarin Comprehensive CD sets (each excellent its own right) and was looking for something to answer a few lingering questions. (Pimsleur is fantastic on giving you great pronunciation and practical speaking skills but often leaves you wanting to know a little more of the WHY behind the grammar.) This book was the perfect solution. It summarizes the core grammar accurately and succinctly and is very easy to work through once you've completed a course like Pimsleur. I also ordered a $50 reference grammar of Chinese from Routledge and found it almost useless in comparison. Just a really nice book that does exactly what it sets out to.


Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

One of the better Chinese language books on the market., March 11, 2006

Reviewer: Diane B. GOODPASTURE

There are some really bad ones out there, especially one called, Modern Chinese by Peking University. The only thing modern about that one is that they keep updating the picture on the cover. It was written during or shortly after the Cultural Revolution and contains nouns and phrases no one uses anymore. One of my complaints about other books is that many of them concentrate too heavily on the pinyin, the alphabetized Chinese, the implication being that characters are unimportant. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was in Beijing in 1999 and every sign, menu, train ticket, etc. was in characters. Moreover, because Chinese is a tonal language with a zillion homonyms pinyin really isn't very helpful except as a tool for pronunciation and filing. Perhaps it's because the characters came from pictures most people, once they develop some fluency, find them easier to read than the pinyin.

Ross' book is modern and the format is reader friendly; print is decent sized, not too busy, and the book can lie flat open. It covers many grammar points and has exercises. I like it that it also contains both the simplified and traditional characters. It has a couple of minor mistakes and needs a tiny bit of updating but, overall it's an excellent book.


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Excellent content and price., February 11, 2006

Reviewer: Christopher Pung

If you are like me, trying to figure out where to begin studying Chinese, I recommend purchasing a grammar early on. I have been studying Mandarin for a year now with a private teacher. I recommend a grammar book, dictionary, and a teacher to beginners.

This book is excellent. I like that it uses simplified and traditional characters and I agree with other reviewers that a glossary would be useful in future editions.

One typo: p. 7 top of page "kuai"[fast] should be "kuai"[piece]


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

A very useful book, October 10, 2005

Reviewer: Vanessa Hutchinson (Melbourne, Australia)

I bought this book to use as a grammar reference book for use in my job. This book is certainly helping me improve my Chinese. The grammar exercises are helpful and having the answers at the back make it a good choice for self study. It's great that the characters appear in both traditional and simplified form as well as pinyin.

I do feel that linguistic terms were over used which could have been substituted with more user friendly terms. It is obviously a book designed for university students who are already familiar with these terms. Yet I think it is probably not as bad as others. I would just like to see a glossary of the terms used.


0 of 11 people found the following review helpful:

nice!, September 15, 2005

Reviewer: L. Ung "lazydaze" (Los Angeles, CA USA)

this outline is pretty helpful...not to mention i received the books pretty fast in 4 days


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