A Guide to the Usage of HSK Vocabulary

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Oh, I love this one so much! It helps you learn how a word can be used and which grammatical constructions are possible with this word.

Main entries are given with pinyin (not included for example sentences) featuring parts of speech (nouns are followed by their most commonly used measure words!) as well as their English translations.

All usage notes are in Chinese only without pinyin but grammatical terms are translated and also explained in the preface. So instead of going back and forward in the book, I recommend making a copy of this list of grammatical terms to put it right next to you to facilitate reading. It’s a reference book, so again no exercises included.

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I got this one in China but you can also get it through websites offering Chinese language products (e.g. http://www.chinabooks.ch).

A Chinese Grammar for English Speakers

There are several books on Chinese grammar but there are only a few that go into detail and really compare the Chinese structures to the ones in English. This book here explains the grammar really well by starting to give an overview and focuses also on showing the differences between expressions that are similar in meaning. It is for mere reference only as they are no exercises. A big plus is the massive amount of example sentences and that every sentence comes with pinyin and English translation, so even beginners can use this book to clarify grammar points they feel unsure about.

Chinese Grammar – Broken down into 100 items

This book covers the most important grammar points for beginners and intermediate learners. Explanations are in both Chinese and English. All Chinese entries come without Pinyin. The example sentences are not translated, so you need to already have some basic knowledge of Chinese. The answer key comes in a separate booklet that is included in the package when you buy the book. The answer key also provides a short grammar overview in the beginning.

The book is fairly big (210 mm x 285 mm), so it’s not suitable for reading in bed or on the sofa.