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The Big Red Book of Spanish Vocabulary (Big Red Book Of...)

The Big Red Book of Spanish Vocabulary (Big Red Book Of...)
Author/Publisher: Scott Thomas
Emphasis: Vocabulary
List Price: $13.95

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Product Description

A new, and dramatically improved, three-pronged approach to learning Spanish vocabulary

The Big Red Book of Spanish Vocabulary is much, much more than a Spanish vocabulary reference! This unique and complete resource combines three complementary approaches to vocabulary building—cognates, root families, and suffixes—to instantly increase word familiarity and aid memorization.

Whether for active face-to-face communication or passive comprehension of written or spoken words, an in-depth knowledge of vocabulary is the key to foreign language mastery. The Big Red Book of Spanish Vocabulary makes acquiring this mastery simpler and more straightforward than ever before by providing:

  • An extensive thematic list of Spanish cognates and an alphabetic glossary of Spanish root families—both with more than 14,000 entries
  • A comprehensive listing of the 130 most common Spanish suffixes, with 4,000 common examples
  • A frequency index listing the 5,000 most frequently used words in Spanish
  • An alphabetic index cross-referencing every entry in the root, suffix, and frequency sections

From the Back Cover

The easiest way to add more than 30,000 words to your Spanish vocabulary!

You know the basics of Spanish, but if you really want to develop your language skills, you need to have a larger cache of Spanish words that you are comfortable using in conversation or in writing. The Big Red Book of Spanish Vocabulary is a remarkably effective tool that will help you add thousands of words to your Spanish repertoire by organizing them into logical groupings, making memorization a snap.

The 30,000 Spanish vocabulary terms are divided into the following sections:

  • Cognates: These words are similar in Spanish and English, making them the easiest to learn. This section contains 14,000 cognates thematically arranged into twenty key topics.
  • Root families: Another easy way to expand your vocabulary is to become familiar with related word families that have the same root. This section contains 14,000 terms grouped into 2,200 root categories.
  • Suffixes: More than most languages, Spanish relies on suffixes to denote parts of speech and convey nuances of meaning. This section contains 4,600 terms grouped into 130 of the most common Spanish suffixes.

The Big Red Book of Spanish Vocabulary also includes a Frequency Table listing the 5,000 most commonly used words in Spanish and an Alphabetical Index cross-referencing every entry in the root, suffix, and frequency sections.

Whether for school, business, travel, or just for fun, The Big Red Book of Spanish Vocabulary will give you the major boost in vocab you need!


Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (August 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071447253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071447256
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review:

    4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - best I've ever seen
I teach German and I wish that there were one of these BIG REDs for German! I just love it. The frequency list of words alone is worth the price of the book.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Great Textbook / Reference
This book is extremely thorough and written very clearly and concisely. Unlike other verb books, it provides many examples of the verbs and their tenses used in context. It also gives very good explanations and examples of when each tense is used in Spanish. I have purhased several books on studying the Spanish language; this book is the one that I would recommend above all the others.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars - Interesting but..
I think this is a super interesting idea for a book and provides a great deal of useful information. Unfortunately, it also contains a large number of errors - especially in the section with the top 5000 words. Some definitions are simply wrong (e.g. cocer is "to cook" not "to sew" - coser is "to sew") But, there are lots of mistakes in this section. So, ¡Ten cuidado!


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - A great tool for systematically improving your vocabulary
Trying to increase your Spanish vocabulary? Do you favor a logical approach that improves your understanding of how the language works? Not sure where to start? This book might be what you're looking for. It is organized into four major sections:

ROOT DICTIONARY: contains over 14,000 words organized by root. Each root and associated word includes a brief definition. Grouping words by root makes the relationship between words readily apparent, and makes it easy to learn and remember new variants. For example, the root "bajo" lists 23 words formed from it, including: abarjarse, bajar, rebajar, bajo, bajeza, bajista (bass player!), abajo, cabizbajo, etc, all of which relate to some low thing, act, or condition. Each derived word also shows its frequency-of-use, if it happens to be among the top 5000. Of the bajo-derived words, bajar, bajarse, bajo, and abajo are all commonly used... being in the top 1800. This makes it easier to sharpen one's focus.

SPANISH FREQUENCY TABLE: actually a dictionary with headwords ordered by frequency-of-use. Each headword is followed by fairly complete definitions and examples. Like English, most of the Top-40 words are articles, adverbs, conjunctions, and pronouns. The top verbs are haber(18), tener(21), estar(22), hacer(24), fue(25... yes, it includes conjugated forms of verbs as well as the infinitives), poder(26), decir(28), dar(37), deber(43). Again, a useful tool for someone who wishes to prioritize their study.

THESAURUS OF SPANISH COGNATES: begins with more than 100 high-frequency Spanish-English cognates, and then groups thousands of cognates by category, much like a standard thesaurus.

GUIDE TO SPANISH SUFFIXES: another useful way to study cognates.

Overall I think the book is a terrific tool for anyone who is interested in learning more about the language, while improving vocabulary.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars - Remember 'Murdoch' from the A-Team?
This is his 'Spanglish'. I'd say that 85% of the vocab presented could be spoken just by speaking english with your best spanish accent. When buying this book i guess i focused too much on the 'frequency of use section' and not enough on what the bulk of this book contains - cognates? Not saying there aren't people out there with a need for an exhaustive list of cognates, I'm just not one of them.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - A well-thought out aid to increasing vocabulary
I already had several vocab books before I bought this one. I think this is my most useful one yet. It would be great for one section alone - one which gives you the 5,000 most commonly used words in a Mexican newspaper. I used to find it very difficult choosing which words to select for my daily increase in vocabulary. I always had to think, "Would they use that word much?" Now I don't have to think about that. I am simply working my way through the 5,000. What is encouraging is I have started reading Spanish newspapers, and lo and behold, a word I have just tried to learn the day before, is there in print. That Spanish word, for example, for "bird bath" that I got from elsewhere, never seems to appear!

Also I use the roots section of the book to see if my new words have similar words in common. This helps to remember more vocab.

Another section looks at the endings of words, and how you can get a feel for the language from them. It looks very useful and is written by Dorothy Richmond who has written a couple of other Spanish language-learning books that I have.

Finally there is a massive dictionary of cognates which I will get into when I have got my 5,000 words, and there is a good index at the back linking to the different dictionaries the book is comprised of.

All in all, my favourite book for improving my Spanish vocabulary.


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