Adventures in Reading

Libros de Español

Previously I posted that I have started yet another semester of Spanish and have also been enjoying Out of the Blue’s Spanish related posts. Though my blog may suggest otherwise, I really don’t spend all of my time reading lots of great and fun books. Really. I also spend an enormous amount of time grappling with Spanish – a language I love but one that certainly kicks my butt. Today I’m going to take a moment to note two very useful books I’ve found for learning Spanish.

English Grammar For Students of Spanish by Emily Spinelli has been an indispensable guide. I am someone that needs some type of direct correlation between English and Spanish grammar (even if this correlation is only hazy, indistinct, or suggested). Though I have never had any formal training in English grammar (thank you public education) and am very much self-taught, Spinelli’s guide helps the student traverse both languages. So once you figure out what you want to say, you can easily find out how to say it, and it also includes some great exercises and, perhaps best of all, some great study tips.

Mastering Spanish Grammar by Pilar Munoz and Mike Thacker is simply brilliant. This was a recent discovery in my continuing expedition of Spanish grammar. Mastering Spanish Grammar works in a somewhat spiraling fashion where, for example, the student is presented with the basic description and uses of all parts of speech. Each of these sections includes a pretty heft list of activities that I have found useful. After this first round, Munoz and Thacker’s book starts again going through all the parts of speech but at a more advanced level. I found the book completely non-threatening, with great explanations, and cute modernist illustrations.


I have been told on numerous occasions that Spanish grammar is not as difficult as English grammar. The pronunciation is what really stumps me. I dropped Spanish 1 twice in college because the fact that almost everyone in the class spoke a tad of the language made it so demoralizing for me.

Comment by Matthew

Hey, I have that first one!! I found it really useful for my full-semester-of-intro-Spanish-crammed-into-2-months class last summer!

Comment by raych

Matthew: While I wouldn’t say that Spanish grammar is exactly easy, it’s a bit tricky going into because some of the tenses that are widely used are barely used in English. While I love Spanish, I also hate it. I have dropped it and resigned up for Spanish classes so frequently… I can’t even tally a number!

raych: It’s the book that got me through Spanish 3!

Comment by bookchronicle

I had English Grammar for Students of French when I was in college and it was very helpful. My sister speaks Spanish (she wouldn’t agree–but she can handle her own) and I’ve been telling her to get this book.

Comment by Trish

Also check out this spanish learning website:

Comment by delpino

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