Essential Dutch Grammar: A Teach Yourself Guide
March 10, 2013
Authors Gerdi Quist, Dennis Strik
Series Teach Yourself
Publication Date 2010
Skill Level Beginner, Intermediate
It’s not as though there are hundreds of Dutch grammars out there for English speakers to choose from. There just aren’t all that many English speakers looking for grammar books on Dutch. So Essential Dutch Grammar: A Teach Yourself Guide is useful to have, and I would overall recommend it, just not with great enthusiasm.
There was a lot of helpful grammar information in here that I needed to know, but I didn’t always find it in the order I needed it. For example, authors Gerdi Quist and Dennis Strik teach the formation of the present perfect on page 93, but I needed it for exercises starting on page 91. On page 174 I was taught stuff I needed for page 173.
The exercises in Essential Dutch Grammar were sometimes too easy, and sometimes they involved too much mindless copying without thought. They were not useful enough overall in building actual language skills.
There was also a little too much basic grammar, rather than actual Dutch instruction, such as in Exercise 16F, where I was asked to indicate in several Dutch sentences “the function of the underlined adverbs or adverbial phrases, i.e. are they adverbs of frequency or degree or sentence adverbs?” That kind of exercise I find completely useless. Can we please focus on Dutch?
The binding is cheap. The book fell into pieces when I was partway through.
Nonetheless, I was dependent on Essential Dutch Grammar: A Teach Yourself Guide because I wasn’t aware of many good alternatives. In my rating I might be grading a little on a curve.