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Hammer's German Grammar and Usage, The Fourth Edition

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24.07.2011

Advantages:
Well Structured, Complex, Comprehensive

Disadvantages:
Complex, Heavy Reading

Recommendable Yes:

5 Ciao members have rated this review on average: helpful See ratings
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  1. Thehonesttruth
  2. duskmaiden
  3. TheHairyGodmother
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somewhat helpful by (20%):
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Overview

As a student of German pursuing a degree in Modern Foreign Languages, I understand the necessity of obtaining a book that clearly consolidates and extensively explains the use of German Grammar and syntax. Hammer's German Grammar and Usage is written by Martin Durrell, a Professor of German at Manchester University. It has been used by degree students across the world and has become recommended material to all German Degree students.

If you want to understand absolutely everything about the German Language then without a doubt this has got to be the book for you. It discusses every element of German Grammar that has ever existed; including archaic phrases, words and structures for comprehension. The book is structured like the typical university book but don't let that put you off because the it thrives with comprehension and richness.
The book covers the following topics in depth:

1) Nouns
2) Cases
3) Personal Pronouns
4) Articles
5) Determiners
6) Adjectives
7) Adverbs
8) Comparison of Adjectives and Adverbs
9) Numerals
10) Particles
11) Expressions of Time
12) Verbs: Conjugation
13) Infinitives and the Participles
14) Uses of tenses
15) The Passive
16) The Imperative and the Subjunctive
17) Modal Auxiliaries
18) Verbs (Objects)
19) Conjunctions and Subordination
20) Prepositions
21) Word Order
22) Formation
23) Spelling and Grammar (The New Spelling Reform)

My favourite sections were "The Imperative and the Subjunctive" and "Particles." The book has a table for the subjunctive form of every irregular verb in the German Language, which can rarely be found else where. It also gives examples in which contexts the mood is used in, formally, informally, written and verbally, which I found were essential in the development of my German fluency. People often promote the temptation to learn something complex and then use it in perhaps a colloquial situation, which ultimately makes you sound odd and out of place. However this book explains the "usage," hence "Hammer's German Grammar and Usage," in which certain elements of grammar and structures are used.

Admittedly, if your a beginner to the language then I wouldn't recommend this book to you, due to its sheer complexity and richness. However, if you are a comprehensive student, whether your implementing a Languages Degree or not then this book has to be on your shelf. I have learnt a vast amount about the German Language and the key to that is Grammar and with this book you have one of the most important tools a language student could ever have.

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Hammer's German Grammar and Usage, Third Edition - Martin Durell
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Comments about this review »

duskmaiden 31.07.2011 14:16

German grammar is pretty complex. I remember having to sit and learn lists of irregular verbs when I did it at school

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This review of Hammer's German Grammar and Usage, Third Edition - Martin Durell has been rated:

"helpful" by (80%):

  1. Thehonesttruth
  2. duskmaiden
  3. TheHairyGodmother

and a further member

"somewhat helpful" by (20%):

  1. angelboouk123

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