Introducing my favorite Chinese grammar reference book!
Hello friends! Today I’m reviewing my favorite book for Chinese grammar. It’s called An A to Z Grammar for Chinese Learners. Before I continue, please take note note: this book is written using Traditional Chinese. If you don’t know the difference between Traditional and Simplified Chinese, you can take a look at this blog post I wrote!
If you decide to buy it, note that nothing is in simplified and all examples are relevant to Taiwan. In a recent Instagram story I posted a page from this book and many people asked what it is, so I thought I’d make a full post about it.
I bought this book in Taipei when I visited Taiwan two years ago. The book comes from the Mandarin Training Center at National Taiwan Normal University, and it’s amazing to have if you’re a grammar geek like me! Please note that a book like this is not a substitute for a textbook that teaches you how to speak and learn how to read and write Chinese. This is at least for intermediate learners who want to learn grammar patterns and use them correctly, so don’t expect to learn how to speak Chinese from zero through this (although, of course, learning these structures will improve your speaking)!
The book works like a dictionary, in an A to Z format. There are plenty of useful example sentences and it’s very clear to understand! I haven’t found a lot of good resources for Traditional so I’m very happy with it.
The beginning of the book goes through basic grammar rules and helps you understand the word order, similarities and differences to English. This is a good base to have before diving into grammar structures.
After the grammar introduction, it starts from grammar structures beginning with the “A” sound, then “B” and so forth. Each grammar pattern starts with explaining the function, then going through structures and then usage. The book also carefully explains negations and question forms of the grammar point.
At the back is an English to Chinese index. For example, if you are looking how to say “almost” or “definitely” or “let alone” or “each and every” in Chinese, you can look these up in English first and then turn to the relevant page.
This post is not sponsored. If you would like me to review another textbook, or if you’re using this one, please let me know in the comments!
What's the verdict?
This book is for you if you are:
- Learning traditional Chinese
- Familiar with Taiwanese culture or at least interested in it
- Looking to improve your grammar
- Unsure about specific rules surrounding grammar structures and need a reference
- Looking to learn grammar but not with a heavy focus on vocabulary.
This book is not for you if:
- You are a beginner still learning how to have basic conversations
- You are only learning simplified Chinese
- You hate boring grammar explanations and are looking for something interactive and fun
- You need audio files to accompany your books