Practice Makes Perfect: Advanced French Grammar
March 10, 2013
Author Véronique Mazet, Ph.D.
Series Practice Makes Perfect
Publication Date 2008
Skill Level Intermediate, Advanced
This book by Véronique Mazet is full of grammar exercises, and I love grammar exercises.
I also usually love grammar explanations, but Practice Makes Perfect: Advanced French Grammar wore me out. The sentences explaining grammar in this book are sometimes really hard to understand. Here are examples:
- “The past participle agrees with the relative pronoun que when its antecedent…is the preceding direct object of the conjugated verb following que, including in questions with quel(le)(s).” (from page 26)
- “For the agreement of the past participle of a pronominal verb, consider the reflexive pronoun se (as well as me, te, nous, and vous), keeping in mind that se also reflects the subject. If se (always preceding the verb) is the direct object of the verb, and if it is the only direct object, then the past participle agrees with se (and/or the subject it replaces).” (from page 28)
- A section entitled “Sequence of verbs with multiple subjects” (page 45) begins mysteriously, “In French, when each verb has its own subject, several things can happen depending on the main verb.”
In addition, concepts are simply overexplained. Even the answer key has explanations. An advanced student is often at the point where less is more in terms of explanation, and where examples and practice are more instructive. Fortunately, despite its shortcomings, Practice Makes Perfect: Advanced French Grammar has plenty of both.