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Basic Chinese; A Grammar and Workbook (Routledge Grammars) (Paperback)

Basic Chinese; A Grammar and Workbook (Routledge Grammars) (Paperback)
Author/Publisher: YIP PO-CHING
Format: paperback
Emphasis: NA
Level: Beginning
List Price: $35.95

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Editorial Reviews
Book Description

Written in a reference-and-practice format, Basic Chinese introduces beginners to the fundamental elements of the language. Comprehensively written, this book covers simple sentences and elementary grammatical categories. Basic Chinese is the first volume in a two volume set; learners may follow with Intermediate Chinese. With keys to the exercises and a glossary of lexical terms, this grammar and workbook is perfect for individual or classroom use.

Product Details
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (October 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0415160375
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 8 reviews.

Spotlight Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful:

A great way to learn Mandarin, January 3, 2001

Reviewer: Jeffrey Chapman (Louisville, CO United States)

This slender tome, organized as lessons, is a fine way to learn the basics of Mandarin grammar. Virtually jargon-free and fleshed out with many examples and exercises, including English, Pinyin and Chinese characters, it could hardly be a clearer or more painless plan for beginning study. Of course, there is an answer key to the exercises in the back of the book.

The book does not contain a complete description of Mandarin grammar, since its intended use is as an introductory textbook. Together with its companion volume, Intermediate Chinese, or Chinese: An Essential Grammar, both by the same author, it represents a complete course in the grammar of modern Mandarin. Highly recommended.


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful:

Basic Chinese A Grammer and Workbook, March 14, 2004

Reviewer: Jean R Henzel Jr (Zhongshan China)

This book and its companion book "Intermediate Chinese" are very instructive for serious students of the Mandarin Chinese language. The books provide an excellent reference on the various component parts of the language. However, these texts are not for the uninitiated. Some basic knowledge of the language is imperative if you are to get the most out of these texts.

Being stationed in Zhongshan China, it was imperative for me to learn the language and learn it quickly. I waded through at least 10 books and tape courses on the subject. My recommendations after much experimentation are as follows:

1. Chinese The Easy Way - Philip F.C. Williams - Ph.D. and Yenna Wu - Ph.D.. This book will ground you in the grammer and pronunciation essentials quickly and in my opinion is the best beginners book on the market for this subject matter.

2. Transparent Languages "Langauge Now - Mandarin Chinese" software. Allows you to actually speak and grades your pronunciation.

Following, this, use these two texts to round it all out. The texts would definitely be a bit easier to use if they had an index but this isn't a show stopper at all.


Customer Reviews


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Excellent study material, February 4, 2006

Reviewer: K. Zagers "Ectoplasm" (Breda, The Netherlands)

I was able to browse through this book in the bookstore. I study Mandarin Chinese for one and a half year, speaking fluently, and I own quite a few different study books, so I can judge them easily. I was impressed with this book and certainly plan on buying it - just it's a bit pricy. Clear presentation of the grammar, AS it is used by the native speakers, advanced English without mistakes, and use of Hanyu Pinyin romanization *without mistakes* (as often seen as an obstacle in Chinese study books). The other book(s) from this author has the same but I suppose more advanced (as a follow up course). These are not books for the absolute beginner, though! It is not the kind of friendly course book with stories and all vocabulary laid out for each chapter, no it is not. It is, however, all presented in a very clear way.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Great review / reference, February 13, 2005

Reviewer: M. Lansing "Sojourner" (China)

Having completed 270 hours of study, I bought both this book and the intermediate level book to review and build upon what I had learned. I found the book very suitable for these purposes. Both books together provide comprehensive coverage of all essential Chinese grammar concepts, and there are helpful cross references between chapters. Each grammar point is illustrated with several examples, and possible sources of confusion are clarified. At the end of each chapter are a variety of self-checking exercises and an answer key in the appendix.

My only complaint is that the pinyin is in boldface, which distracts my eyes away from the characters. Any serious student of Chinese learns literacy along with speaking skills, so pinyin should not dominate.

Even here in China, I have not found a comprehensive reference/self-study grammar book. These books are a must for any person who endeavors to master Chinese. These books should not be used alone as model sentences do not provide full context for the language. These books are an excellent supplement to an integrated textbook.


6 of 9 people found the following review helpful:

be careful, June 12, 2004
Reviewer: A reader
make sure you have already another method of learning Chinese before you get this book, because it is strictly grammar, not a learning course.


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Probably the best textbook for begginers, August 19, 2002
Reviewer: A reader
It's clear and concise. It includes tons of exercises in each chapter, and explains the fundamentals in a very friendly and easily understandable way. Intermediate Chinese, written by the same author, is also a must for serious Chinese language students. I highly recommend these books.


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