Italian Grammar Drills
March 10, 2013
Author Paola Nanni-Tate
Publication Date 2007
Skill Level Beginner, Intermediate
I am a big fan of grammar drills. I find them unbelievably helpful. In Italian Grammar Drills by Paola Nanni-Tate, I sometimes just jumped around randomly from section to section, working on whatever I felt my weakness of the moment was.
I am actually very fond of Ms. Nanni-Tate’s books. She has been quite prolific in the Italian grammar book market. I have learned a lot from her.
Italian Grammar Drills has wit, which I appreciate. I was amused by some of the sentences I encountered in her examples and exercises. On page 167: “Ci sono troppe persone in chiesa.” (There are too many people in church.) And on page 168: “L’Italia ha troppe chiese!” (Italy has too many churches!)
One caveat is that you should bring a little knowledge of Italian to this book. It covers a broad range of grammar topics, but it will also assume you know things (the imperfect verb forms, for example) before you actually encounter their official explanations in the text.
Finally, I have an answer-key complaint: there are sometimes multiple answers to questions when only one answer is given in the answer key. That’s not a huge problem, but I find it mildly annoying. An important principle of grammar-exercise design is that you should construct a question so that there aren’t too many answers, and if there is more than one answer, you have to provide all of them in the key. It is a subtle art!
Note: A new edition of Italian Grammar Drills came out in 2012; I haven’t seen that one. The comments here apply to the 2007 version.