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The Best Spanish Grammar Books – All Levels

Updated on October 2, 2017
Virginia Matteo profile image

Virginia has a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and English Literature.

These days, you can access grammar exercises online for free. Still, the convenience of having all grammar lessons in one place is a good reason to get hold of a good grammar book.

As a graduate in Spanish, I have used many grammar books over the years to complement my studies. I especially recommend two series: Practice Makes Perfect and Gramática de uso del español.

Comparison

 
Practice Makes Perfect Complete Spanish Grammar
Gramática de uso del español
Explanations
Clear, concise, in English
Clear, concise, in Spanish
Answer key
Yes
Yes
Focus on practice
Big
Small
Level
For beginner and intermediate students only
Covers all levels - from A1 to C2

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect Complete Spanish Grammar features both theory and practice. I bought the book when my Spanish was at intermediate level to revise and practise the grammar lessons given in class. But the book is suitable for self learners and beginners, as the explanations are in English. That said, you still should know some basic Spanish to be able to complete the exercises.

The explanations are plain and limited to a minimum, as the focus is on the practice. Apart from the grammar explanations, the book also provides vocabulary panels and advice on how to avoid the most common mistakes.

Practice Makes Perfect features many types of exercises, such as multiple choice, fill-in sentences and passages, sentence rewrites, and creative writing. There is also an answer key for self learners.

What I Like About Practice Makes Perfect

The book is well-organized with 26 units progressing from the easiest to the most difficult grammar problems. Its descriptive table of contents will allow you to quickly refer to any grammar lessons you need to revise.

The grammar explanations are to the point and illustrated by numerous examples. The practice part distinguishes the book from similar resources available on the market with an impressive number of exercises.

Practice Makes Perfect has thin, newsprint pages, easy to tear away. In addition, the answer pages are perforated, so I tore them away from the book and put them in a folder. This way, I didn’t have to constantly flip through the book to check the correct answers.

Thanks to Practice Makes Perfect, I picked up lots of useful vocabulary without much effort. The book features glossaries of basic vocabulary, which you then use in practice.

Practice Makes Perfect is also very cheap – you can get the third edition for $16. It’s a bargain for the number of exercises it offers.

Some Drawbacks of Practice Makes Perfect

Although the book is advertised as “complete grammar”, I found that more advanced grammar problems have been left out. So if you are an advanced learner, this book may not be for you.

The low cost of the book is partly due to the cheap, newsprint paper used. It didn’t bother me much, but I imagine it could get nasty if you put answers in pencil and wanted to erase them later on.

Gramática de uso del Espñol

Gramática de uso del español comes in three parts, tailored for all Spanish levels.

Gramática de uso del español A1-B2 takes you from beginner to intermediate level.

Gramática de uso del español B1-B2 is for intermediate learners.

Gramática de uso del español C1-C2 is for the most advanced learners.

Each book has the same layout. Each grammar point is presented on a double-page spread – one page is with explanation and the other with exercises.

The books are entirely in Spanish, so even the A1-B2 volume isn’t suitable for complete beginners.

Gramática de uso del español has fewer exercises than Practice Makes Perfect. I complemented Gramática de uso del español with Practice Makes Perfect and online practice. But the series is a perfect grammar reference resource.

What I Like About Gramatica de uso del Espanol

It’s an excellent resource for organizing and expanding your grammar knowledge in an orderly manner. You can follow all lessons from start to finish (difficulties increase throughout) or treat it as a grammar reference book. I have completed all lessons and now I keep the books as a writing aid.

Gramática de uso del español is unique among other Spanish grammar books, as it offers grammar explanations at advanced level. There are few grammar resources at C1/C2 level. This series will allow intermediate and advanced learners to polish their language skills to achieve native or near-native fluency.

The books are entirely in Spanish. Thanks to it, I could immerse myself in the language and expand my vocabulary. The series will also enhance your reading skills.

Each explanation has at least one corresponding exercise so that you can check in practice if you’ve understood the lesson. There is also an answer key.

The layout is very handy. On each double-page spread, there is theory on one page and practice on the other. Thanks to it, you can refer to the explanations while doing the exercises without having to flip through the book.

Some Drawbacks of Gramática de uso del Español

I found that are too few exercises for my learning style. However, it can be easily remedied by searching for more exercises online on particular topics.

At approximately $30 per book, Gramática de uso del español is quite expensive.

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