True to the title, this is indeed a nice reference book on
Chinese grammar, something I would like to keep on my
bookshelf next to the dictionaries. It is easy to read,
at least for a student with some experience of reading
grammar books and a prior exposure to basic linguistic
terminology. A large number of both positive and negative
examples are helpful in making grammar rules easier to understand.
Now, two minor complaints. First, if the authors were to prepare
a new edition, I wish they had used page space a bit more
economically. It seems that by slightly tightening spacing
between the words in the examples, many examples that
now stretch to 2 or 3 lines could be compressed into one or two.
Doing this could significantly reduce the page count.
Or, even better, the freed space could be used to give
parallel text in Hanzi (Chinese characters) next to each
example. One would think that with moder typesetting that
would not be too complicated, unlike in 1981, when the book
first appeared. While Hanzi are not strictly necessary --
tone marks and Englsih translation of every word allows one to
look any word in a dictionary -- printing them next to the
examples would provide additional visiual cues to those
readers who already know their characters, and an additional
opportunity to learn useful characters (e.g., the three
different "-de" suffixes) "by osmosis" to those who are still