Spanish Grammar Drills
March 10, 2013
Author Rogelio Alonso Vallecillos
Publication Date 2007
Skill Level Beginner, Intermediate
“If you’ve picked up this book,” writes Rogelio Alonso Vallecillos (fabulous name!) in Spanish Verb Drills, “you know that to learn a language well—to read and write and to understand others and be understood yourself—at some point you just have to buckle down and deal with the grammar.”
I totally agree. As with most books that have the word “drills” in the title, you should bring to this one at least some knowledge of Spanish. I say this because, for example, in Chapter 1, “Ser Versus Estar,” you are told the differences between these two Spanish forms of “to be,” but you are not given a table of the forms, and the exercises for that chapter assume that you have an understanding of present progressive and that words such as cortinas (drapes) and maravillosa (wonderful) are in your active vocabulary.
Spanish Grammar Drills contains numerous English-to-Spanish translation exercises. I love those, though I occasionally found the length of the exercises a little overwhelming. There were 25 to 40 sentences to translate per exercise! If you buy this book, I recommend you check your answers after every 10 sentences, because if you go down the wrong path on a certain grammatical issue for 40 sentences’ worth of translations, you will have just reinforced a lot of mistakes.
Some of the vocabulary is not what I am used to. The author is from Spain, and I learned mostly Mexican Spanish, so that may account for my troubles.
Note: This review is for the 2007 edition of Spanish Verb Drills. A second edition was published in 2012.