language learning book recommendations


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language learning book recommendations

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1jinyahuang Første besked:
okt 15, 2006, 7:46 am

Can any one suggest a good textbook on French grammar? Many Thanks

jan 19, 2007, 3:43 pm

Le Nouveau Bescherelle, l'Art de Conjuger
Librarie Hatier
Introduction a la linguistique contemporaine

available on

I hope this helps.

jan 19, 2007, 5:00 pm

>1 jinyahuang:

What book will fit you best might depend on what language(s) you speak, for depending on its target group, a text book might stress on different topics; i.e. : depending on your original language, quite "obvious" things might get less stress, and rather "strange" matter might get more explanation. This way, there isn't really a "one book fits all" solution. One top of this, advanced learners might want (and need) other books than do absolute beginners.

Advanced learners (and native speakers) might prefer e.g. Le bon usage by Maurice Grevisse. AFAIK, this is the French grammar reference book. It is commonly known as : "Le Grevisse". Le Grevisse is authority. It is the very best French grammar book.

Cf. i.a. : "C'est la meilleure grammaire française." -- André Gide

Redigeret: feb 8, 2007, 8:11 pm

I really like Le Petit Chardenal, personally. But I think it might be out of print...I don't know.

apr 21, 2007, 11:16 pm

I have been trying to teach myself Latin for years. I have Wheelocks, does anyone have any suggestions?


jan 20, 2008, 4:37 pm

There's a really good one called "Shaum's French Grammar" by Mary R Coffmann Crocker. It has detailed exercises with explanations and answers. It's well presented and starts with beginner to advanced work.

Depending on your level you can pick up a BLED which reviews grammar for grade school and highschool students. There's the "BLED CP/CE" and "BLED 5e/4e/3e" that are excellent but they are all in French unlike the Shaum that's explained in English.

The "Oxford Minireference of French Verbs" is very thorough and easy to follow in terms of conjugation.

"Le Robert Difficulté du français" is your grammar bible for all those grammar traps in French--but it's all in French and sometimes quite "linguistics" based. Someone recommended "Le bon usage" and it's also a good one. It's thorough like Richard Swan's "Practical English Usage"--the English version of grammar basically.

Hope that helps :)

jan 20, 2008, 8:44 pm

FYI : The first book mentioned by eastofoz is: Schaum's outline of French grammar by Mary Coffman Crocker.

I do not know this work--neither its quality nor qualities for that matter--, then again I have got some experience with other volumes of the Schaum's Outline series (wiki-en), i.a. in re mathematics.

My ancient math teacher told us that, in re mathematics, explanation wasn't the stronger feature of Schaum's Outline series books, but their excercises were (and are) great indeed, starting with quite easy ones and getting 'til highly advanced level, addressing thousands of fully solved problems and adding many thousands more problems and their final answers, thus providing the student to ability to check whether his final answer was right. All of this has been confirmed by my proper experience.

Remember however that I have got hands-on experience with Schaum's Outline series' mathematical and scientifical works only. Thus, I cannot speak out in re Schaum's Outline series' works on languages. Adding to this, Schaum's Outline series most probably is rather American or at least English language oriented. I have been learning some other languages, including French, before I ever started learning English, the latter being my 4th modern language. YMMV.

A magnificent LT feature is that you can ask Thingamabrarians who own this book for their advice. LT has retrieved some book descriptions from Amazon's, too (link).

At present, LT has got about 225 hits for the search string "French+Grammar", adding another 585 hits for "grammaire". That's quite a lot of choice indeed.

As I said before (Message 3), there is no single answer. It all depends on i.a. what you wish, what your needs are, what your level is and, when dealing with up 't intermediate level at least, what your native tongue is.

All this said, my personal favourite is Le bon usage by Maurice Grevisse. This is the ultimate and most thorough French language grammar indeed. Therefore, it is targeting at and used by advanced level and native speakers. 101 course students most probably will prefer some easier French grammar book first.

In order to get a more specific answer at your question, please specify what's your French language level, adding what's your native tongue and what other languages you are familiar with either are fluent in.

jan 22, 2008, 12:57 am

I've been having some good success with Church Latin with A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin by John F. Collins. It's good for someone who's a little clueless with Latin, but has had a little bit of grammar training.