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Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Spanish Grammar

Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Spanish Grammar
Author/Publisher: Gilda Nissenberg
Emphasis: Grammar
List Price: $10.95

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Product Description
Now beginners can master Spanish grammar with the proven Practice Makes Perfect method!

Combining clear presentation, exercises, and a focus on practical conversational skills has proven a winning formula for the Practice Makes Perfect workbook series. Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Spanish Grammar builds on the series' success with a similarly interactive approach, embracing all aspects of Spanish grammar that you need to master. This engaging guide offers:

  • An extensive grammar review, highlighted by illustrative examples
  • Dozens of exercises, including fill-ins, translations, and creative writing
  • Time saving thematic vocabulary panels to cut down on dictionary drudgery
  • Boxed summaries of key grammar points for focused learning
  • Detailed answer keys for progress checks

From the Back Cover

The effective way to master Spanish grammar

The only way to build your confidence in a second language is to practice, practice, practice. Featuring the proven Practice Makes Perfect approach, this workbook is an indispensable tool to practice and perfect all aspects of Spanish grammar.

From present tense regular verbs to double object pronouns, this comprehensive guide and workbook covers all aspects of Spanish grammar that learners need to master. Focusing on the practical aspects of Spanish as it's really spoken, each unit of Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Spanish Grammar features crystal-clear explanations, numerous realistic examples, and dozens of engaging exercises. Wherever appropriate, explanations include comparisons with English grammatical conventions, making it easier for learners to understand the basic logic behind the rules and to remember correct usage. And the exercises come in a variety of formats--including multiple choice, fill-in sentences and passages, sentence rewrites, and creative writing--designed for every learning style.

Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Spanish Grammar makes mastering Spanish grammar easy with:

  • Clear, down-to-earth, easy-to-follow explanations that make even the most complex principles easy to understand
  • Dozens of exercises in formats suited to every learning style
  • Time-saving thematic vocabulary panels that cut down on dictionary drudgery
  • "Running commentary" answers that help you avoid common mistakes
  • A detailed answer key for quick, easy progress checks

Offering a winning formula for getting a handle on Spanish grammar right away, Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Spanish Grammar is an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to learn to speak Spanish the way the natives do.

Also in the Practice Makes Perfect series:

Spanish Verb Tenses

Spanish Pronouns and Prepositions


Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (March 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071422706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071422703
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review:

    4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Great for Practicing!
This book has been really helpful for practicing my spanish while I'm living in Argentina. I would recommend this book if you already have a basic understanding of Spanish grammar and just need help practicing the grammar rules. I wouldn't recommend this book if you are a complete beginner as it is not comprehensive enough to teach you everything from square one.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Spannish Made Easier
A wonderful attack on the battle of learning Spanish. Extremely helpful explanations and makes learning a game almost


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Good supplemental source with reading guide
I used this book as a supplement to a "Reading Spanish" book I acquired, and found it to be very helpful. It has a large array of questions, and it was very easy to navigate through the book according to what my primary book was covering. Unfortunately, if you were to use this book from front cover to back cover, it teaches language in the same fashion that made it so difficult to learn in secondary school - starting with present tense, imperfect, etc. then on to participles and future tense. Learning the participles first is easier, as I found when using this book as a supplement. Grammar is incredibly well explained, and your mastery of the language will be quicker, and you will feel more confident when using this guide.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars - Sitting on the shelf
I have mixed feelings about this book. I bought it expecting a good and thorough workbook on Spanish grammar, which it is thorough. However, it's frustrating because some of the exercises don't seem to "go with" what the chapter is covering. There's a translation exercise at the end of each chapter and after dutifully translating as I had just studied, I turn to the back and the answers are completely different. There are some glaring errors in the book too. Example: "Mi hermano cumplio treinta..." is translated as "my brother turned twenty". If a beginner such as me can catch this - it's glaring. The frustration was so great that after struggling through 3 chapters, the book now sits on the shelf - a bad place for books. I've since purchased The Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice and am working along quickly with this user-friendly and consistent book.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars - Spanish Grammer
Practice Makes Perfect is good but being a beginner found it a little difficult to follow and understand all workbook assignment short quizes. The intermediate student would have no problem.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Great for the advanced beginner
This has been a great book for me. I have some knowledge of Spanish but I need to learn much more. The book is written at the right level for me. I have some knowledge and a basic vocabulary. The book provides a good review of various points of Spanish Grammar. I find the exercises really help but I have to actually do the exercises for the material to sink in. I like the translation exercises.

I have found a few minor errors in the answer section as a previous reviewer noted but nothing major so far. (e.g. making a word plural when it was singluar in the question.)

While I realize there have to be limits, I do wish the book had more questions and exercises. The more I do the better I become.

I found the order of the book is a little odd. All verb work is in the front. Chapters on nouns, adjectives and pronouns are in the back. While you could jump around, this sesquence means that most readers will understand nouns and adjectives well before they are studied in the book.

This is a good supplement for other text books. The explanations are concise and to the point. This book is a good reference book.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars - A little about a lot
I give this book 3 stars simply because it is a crash course in many of the topics that give learners of Spanish a hard time. It is very little information about a whole lot of subjects, but as with the other books in the series it does do a fantastic job given the crammed feeling of the book. I would recommend this book only after completing the other three titles in the series, or as a refresher course. There is simply too much information in this text and it is not covered as thoroughly as I would have liked for me to give it a higher rating. This text is not for the truly beginner Spanish student.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Great book for an Intermediate who needs to review grammar
This book is great, however it is not for an absolute beginner. One needs to have some vacabulary and some knowledge of grammar. It's great for grammar review and for someone who already speaks spanish but needs to brush up on skills. Also the book contains plenty of exercises with correct answers at the end of the book, so you can check your progress. In addition to just checking the grammar, some exercises involve translation.

Do not buy this book unless your spanish level is at least at lower intermediate level.

The structure of the book is a bit different from the books I am used to: It starts not with nouns, adjectives, numbers and prepositions, as most of the books do, but from learning the spanish tenses: present, preterit, imperfect, future, subjunctive. At the end, the book goes into nouns, prepositions, etc.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Not for real beginners
As a new learner of Spanish I found this book difficult to use because the vocabulary used in the examples and grammar exercises was unfamiliar. Once I learned enough vocabulary, the book became very useful in explaining, practicing and enforcing what I had learned. I recommend this book only if you already know some Spanish.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Great Supplementary Learning Tool
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.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Good but too hard for beginners
I purchased this book hoping it would be basic enough to use. Unfortunately, it wasn't, but it will be useful as my Spanish ability improves. Since I am still a beginner in Spanish, I do not have enough vocabulary and grammar background to fully utilize this book now. I think it will be exactly what I need when I become a high beginner or low intermediate Spanish learner. It contains in-depth explanations and many examples. There are also many practice questions to put the new material to use.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - No problems, exactly what I wanted
This is exactly what I was looking for to help my practice my Spanish skills and prepare for my college class.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Excellent Resource for Learning Spanish
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.


Rating: 2 out of 5 stars - Thorough but full of mistakes
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.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Really good tool for self-teaching
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.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Good review book
It's a good book, but I would go for Spanish Verb Tenses since the latter is better written and organized.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Practice makes perfect.
This is a great book for all levels. For beginners it is well written and has lots of excersises. For advanced students you can check all answers in the back making this a great self help book. The lessons are well set out and easy to understand.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Good work book.
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.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Better Than Barron's
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.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Practice Makes Perfect
All the books in this series are wonderful, especially if you're using them to supplement a course text. I would recommend buying all three, so when using this one and there is a particular grammar element which is tricky you can refer to either the 'verb' or 'pronouns and prepositions' books to examine the point more.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Excellent review for someone with previous knowledge
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 www.freetranslation.com 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.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Outstanding grammar review
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.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Awsome and Cheap
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.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - EXCELLENT
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.


Rating: 1 out of 5 stars - Missing Pages
All of the copies of this book I have looked at are missing large sections of pages. I would really like to have the book, it looks like an excellent review, but I don't want to buy if its missing half of the dictionary and some of the answers to the test questions. If they print another copy thats complete, I would surely buy it.




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