A Student Grammar of Spanish
A Student Grammar of Spanish is a concise introduction to Spanish grammar, designed for English-speaking undergraduates. Assuming no prior knowledge of grammatical terminology, it explains each aspect of Spanish grammar in clear and simple terms, provides a wealth of glossed examples to illustrate them, and helps students to put their learning into practice through a range of fun and engaging exercises. Clearly organized into thirty units, each covering a different aspect of the grammar, the book functions both as an essential reference guide and as a comprehensive workbook. Individual topics can be looked up via a user-friendly cross-referencing system, and concise definitions are provided in a useful glossary of grammatical terms. The exercises, which include paired and group activities, are suitable for both classroom use and selfstudy. Each unit is split into two levels, basic and intermediate, making this grammar the perfect accompaniment to any first- or second-year undergraduate course.
Ronald E. Batchelor has now retired from the University of Nottingham, where he taught French and Spanish for forty years. He has also held teaching posts at the universities of Besan¸con, France, and Valencia, Spain. He has published ten books, including Using Spanish: A Guide to Contemporary Usage (with Chris Pountain), Using Spanish Synonyms, Using Spanish Vocabulary, Using French and Using French Synonyms (all published by Cambridge University Press).
According to the very latest estimates (2004), Spanish is the native tongue of well over 350 million people, 100 million of whom live in Mexico and 24 million in the USA. It is therefore a major world language, the fourth largest in terms of speakers. Its study thus offers all students a meaningful and attractive prospect of establishing contact with a very wide range of Spanish speakers coming from numerous countries. Any student of Spanish will benefit, both personally and culturally, from communication with such a vast array of people bound together by a common language. Spanish as a mother tongue unites countries as far apart as New York or London are fromPekin, but distance does not necessarily entail intractable difference. Surprising as it may seem, it is often as easy for an English-speaking student of Spanish to understand the Spanish of Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Peru or Ecuador as it is for an English or American person to understand the language of some parts of Scotland, for instance, or for a Spanish speaker to understand the language of some regions of Andaluc´ıa.
Any learner of Spanish will need, certainly in the early stages of contact with the language, a grammar book which assists her/him through the initial maze. Such a volume needs to appeal both to the beginner and to the student who has acquired some basic knowledge. The present book is designed precisely to cater for these differing needs, while bearing in mind the North American reader and his/her British counterpart. Furthermore, it must aim to include both Iberian Spanish and the Spanish of the Americas. This balancing act is not as delicate as it may first appear. Long experience has taught the present author that there is much more in the field of Spanish grammar that brings Spanish speakers together than separates them, while the differences between the English of the United Kingdom and of the United States need not be exaggerated.
This book on Spanish grammar has therefore a general appeal which deals with most aspects of the grammar in a straightforward and uncomplicated way. It treats the grammatical structures of Spanish as expressed in Spain and Mexico.Mexico is taken as a model for the whole of Spanish America, since to attempt a comprehensive coverage of all Spanish America would serve little purpose, especially since the grammar, as apart from vocabulary, of Spanish differs little from one country to another. Mexican Spanish is one of the standard variants, partly due to the exportation of movies and telenovelas (soap operas), while it is unquestionably the most prevalent variety found in the SouthWest of the United States.Mindicates that the word or structure is specifically Mexican while it may be confidently assumed that, where M does not appear, usage is Iberian but will be understood and even used in Mexico, as well as in most of the other Spanish-speaking countries in the Americas. A simple illustration of a Mexican alternative may be seen in some of the headings to exercises where to fill in blank spaces is translated as rellenar los blancos for Iberian Spanish and llenar los espacios for Mexican Spanish.