Barron’s Mastering Italian Grammar

3 Italian, Books

March 10, 2013

Author  Beatrice Rovere-Fenati
Series  Barron’s Mastering Grammar Series
Publisher  Barron’s Educational Series
Publication Date  2007
Price  $12.99
Skill Level  Beginner, Intermediate

I have mixed feelings about Barron’s Mastering Italian Grammar by Beatrice Rovere-Fenati. I find the grammar explanations responsible and thorough, but there are annoying popout bubbles that interrupt the larger grammatical narrative and brightly tell me things like, “The adjective bello behaves like the definite article before masculine nouns. Its form thus depends on the first letter of the following word.”

Or there’s vocabulary in the margin, or tips such as, “Always memorize nouns together with their associated articles!” 

Please, just give me my information in a linear fashion, and I’ll be happier.

The exercises in Barron’s Mastering Italian Grammar are okay, but they are pretty much fill-in-the-blank and circle-the-right-answer types of things, with virtually no English-to-Italian translation practice. Blah.

I am not studying languages so I can match a sentence in the left-hand column with the corresponding item in the right-hand column.

I used Barron’s Mastering Italian Grammar in 2009, and I see a new edition was published in 2012 with a new author, Marcel Danesi. My complaints in this review about the 2007 edition are relevant less to the author’s content than to the format that Barron’s consistently uses across languages for this particular series. Barron’s would have had to reconceive the series design for all my concerns above to be assuaged.

A Confidently Titled Italian Grammar
A Confidently Titled Italian Grammar

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