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A Practical Chinese Grammar (Paperback)

A Practical Chinese Grammar (Paperback)
Author/Publisher: Sze-yun Liu, Li-lin Shih, Samuel Hung-nin Cheung
Format: paperback
Emphasis: Grammar
Level: Beginning - Intermediate
List Price: $67.5

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Detailed information
Editorial Reviews
Book Description

In fifty lessons, the authors examine both structural patterns and morphological features characteristic of Mandarin Chinese. The book describes cultural idiosyncrasies in language use as well as gives discoursal strategies for forming sustained conversations.

Language Notes
Text: English, Chinese

Product Details
  • Paperback: 534 pages
  • Publisher: The Chinese University Press; 1 edition (January 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9622015956
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 4 reviews.


Spotlight Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

Excellent resource!, November 30, 2002

Reviewer: Richard A. Weaver (lawrenceville, GA United States)

This large (500+ pages) paperback is a companion volume to the 'Practical Chinese Reader' series. PCR, which is available with accompaning cassette tapes, is said to be one of the more popular teaching / learning series for Mandarin Chinese. (I'm enjoying it a lot!)

The grammar explanations in PCR leave a lot to be desired, however. (They're terse to a fault; obviously intended to be fleshed out by a teacher.) This book matches the first two books of PCR, lesson by lesson, and supplements them by giving clear, detailed explanations of the grammar points brought up. There is a wealth of sample sentences provided (simplified characters, pinyin romanization, and English translation) that clarify the grammar.

Sophisticated analysis, yet accessible to beginners - this grammar shouldn't be missed.


Customer Reviews


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

A great find, October 29, 2003
Reviewer: A reader
I am an American studying Mandarin in Shanghai. Another student in my class found this book and recommended it to the rest of us. The book covers the questions that I have as a beginning student of Mandarin, and that our Chinese teachers don't always explain fully. I have found the explanations in this book to be clear and concise.


3 of 9 people found the following review helpful:

Over-rated, October 13, 2003

Reviewer: Spark Lau

This book has been rather over-rated. It isn't really that well written, and the examples and explanations, though decent, aren't too well organised and chosen, at least to the eyes of a native Chinese speaker. I don't know if there're better books in the market, but this isn't entirely satisfactory.


25 of 25 people found the following review helpful:

The Best Chinese Grammar Book I've Found, January 18, 2000
Reviewer: A reader
I highly recommend this book. Having pored over numerous Mandarin grammar books in Chinese language bookstores throughout California, Taipei and Beijing, I believe that "A Practical Chinese Grammar" is by far the best Chinese grammar book for beginners on the market (or at least the best that I have been able to find so far).

Most Chinese textbooks that I've seen do not provide adequate grammar explanations, and most stand-alone Chinese grammar textbooks are overly complicated, tedious, difficult to understand and painful to digest.

In contrast, "A Practical Chinese Grammar" provides refreshingly simple and straightforward explanations along with fairly comprehensive coverage of the basic grammar patterns of a first year university level Mandarin class. The text is geared toward students rather than grammarians, and thus much of the grammar gobbledygook terminology you normally find in other grammar books is mercifully left out. Each basic grammar pattern is accompanied by a (relatively) plainly worded explanation and then followed by several useful examples (the examples are written in simplified characters, followed by pinyin, followed by the English translation).

Although this book was written as a companion for "Practical Chinese Reader", volumes 1 and 2, the explanations would be helpful for anyone who is using a textbook that does not provide adequate grammar coverage (in fact, almost every Chinese language student I've shown this book to - including those not using PCR -- immediately wants to go out and buy a reference copy).

I only hope that Samuel Cheung and his team are working on a sequel to "A Practical Chinese Grammar" for advanced Chinese language students.


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