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Practice Makes Perfect: The Spanish Subjunctive Up Close (Practice Makes Perfect)

Practice Makes Perfect: The Spanish Subjunctive Up Close (Practice Makes Perfect)
Author/Publisher: Eric Vogt
Emphasis: Spanish subjunctive
List Price: $11.95

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Get up close and master Spanish subjunctive

As you study Spanish you may see the subjunctive as an obstacle to your full understanding of the language. Learning the subjunctive can be one of the most frustrating aspects of Spanish grammar, but it is also one of the most important for being understood and understanding what others say. By adding Spanish pronouns to your range of language skills, you will open up a whole new world of communication.

With plenty of opportunities for practice, practice, practice, Practice Makes Perfect: The Spanish Subjunctive Up Close helps you better understand the nuances of this often-confusing grammar element and develop your skills and confidence as a Spanish speaker with:

  • Easy-to-absorb explanatory materials, examples, and exercises
  • Authoritative guidance on how to form the four subjunctive tenses and when to use them
  • A comprehensive answer key that not only gives you the correct solutions to the exercises but explains the why behind them

About the Author

Eric Vogt, Ph.D., teaches Spanish at Seattle Pacific University.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (July 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071492259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071492256
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 7.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review:

    5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Yes, you can now master the ever-elusive subjunctive!
I have been studying Spanish for years, and unfortunately I was never really taught the subjunctive. As a result, I've been struggling for years to understand it. Actually, that's not true: I've been avoiding it completely!

I am so happy that I found this little book. To start with, the author doesn't overwhelm you with material. He only includes easy-to-understand, concise explanations THAT MAKE SENSE! As with his other 2 books, he includes explanations in the Answer Key so if you missed a question, you know why. I don't know of any other author who does this. I have finally put my fears behind me and am learning the subjunctive.

I wonder if the author is planning on doing other "up close" books? I hope so! Until then, you must have this book (and his others). You can't go wrong.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Well Done!
This is a very impressive little book. There are two main reasons it works nicely for me:

* This author knows his stuff and has a knack for explaining the material logically, to the point, and without unnecessary extra baggage. The concepts are conveyed VERY well--probably better than any language instruction author I've read.

* A rather uncommon approach is taken (which should be mimicked by other authors!): he does not separate the four common tenses of the subjunctive mood. The need for the subjunctive is explained as a whole, and then the four tenses' usage is put into an almost mathematical "if ... then ..." clause format. It's all presented as a unified concept and the reader is given lots of practice with intermingled usage requirements: subjunctive/indicative, past/present, four subjunctive tenses.

This approach is very effective pedagogically, at least for me, and has really helped me to clear up and REMEMBER the subjunctive mood in general. Other books give you the four tenses of the subjunctive mood one at a time. There is no cohesion or review. Once you go through say the imperfect subjunctive, you never see it again and it's gone from your mind in a week. In this book, it's all presented and drilled together. This is great practice in sorting out the various subjunctive tenses/usage and also in knowing when the subjunctive should NOT be used.

So, yeah, buy it!


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Don't Cheat Yourself -- Buy It And Clear Up The Confusion
Here is a little book that will give you that close look at the subjunctive that you have needed for so long.

If you have been secretly harboring the following thoughts:

What is the subjunctive?
Is it a tense?
Is it a mood?
Does anybody care?
I quit!

Then you have found the right book.

Calm down. It is from Latin, friend. Spanish is not always like English. Remember?

Maybe we all need a close look at what the Spanish subjunctive actually is.

The Spanish subjunctive is a verb form that is REQUIRED in certain clauses. You cannot say that you know Spanish but you do not understand the subjunctive. That is an oxymoron.

Dr. Vogt explains the subjunctive more thoroughly than any Spanish teacher I know of, and I've learned from about a dozen.

Buy this book and invest a few hours. The payoff is enormous.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Incredible Book on the Subjunctive
I've always thought that the Spanish subjunctive was so complicated that it could be covered in a book by itself. I've always hoped for such a book, too. Following is its table of contents:

1. When to use the subjunctive and how to form its four tenses
2. Sequence of tenses and the subjunctive
3. Subordinated noun clauses
4. Subordinated adjective clauses
5. Adverbial expressions
6. Contrary-to-fact statements
7. Comprehensive exercises

The author states early in the book that many Spanish students assume that the subjunctive is all about doubt. The author is quick to explain that this assumption is problematic. The use of the subjunctive in doubt or uncertainty is only ONE of its many uses. I'm glad there's a book on the subjunctive that addresses this issue. I used to tutor a student in Spanish who thought the subjunctive was all about doubt. And trying to get her to understand that there was more to the subjunctive than just doubt was a difficult task.

The book explains how to conjugate all four tenses in the subjunctive, then it moves on to its uses. This book explains the uses of the subjunctive in the same order as many other books. First, it explains its uses in nominal clauses, then it moves on to adjective clauses, adverbial clauses, and contrary-to-fact statements. The end of the book has exercises.

I think this book is incredible, but I personally don't think it's a good idea to explain all four tenses at once. I think it's better to start out with the present subjunctive, learn how to use it, and then move on to the other tenses. The author mentions the future subjunctive and the future perfect subjunctive, but he doesn't explain how to use them. I wish he had; it's difficult to find reference materials that explain the future subjunctive.

I highly recommend this book. 5 stars!!!

Brandon Simpson


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