Recommended Dutch grammar books
I'm wondering if anyone here has come across any great Dutch grammar books that I could invest in. I really want to take my Dutch to the next level, but I can't do that without more than just Duolingo.
Thanks in advance, everyone :-)
I'd recommend Nederlands In Gang, although ideally it's used with a teacher and a group of people who have the book, I've been using it as self study (occasionally asking my other half to help with some exercises, but even then I still try to do the exercises on my own) and it's really improved my Dutch. It comes with two audio cds (for dialogue exercises), a code that you can put in on their website which has a vocab list for all the words in the chapters, extra exercises, pronunciation clips and video clips.
It also has sections at the back of the book that explains grammar for each chapter more extensively if you need more help (and it has a sort of verb conjugation table too with strong and weak verbs if I'm correct). The book is written in Dutch so it really immerses you into it, I've had no trouble understanding the exercises so far and I'm already on Ch 5 out of 18 since buying the book off of Amazon.co.uk for around £28 (make sure you buy directly from Amazon though and not through a shop on there otherwise you'll incur large delivery charges).
I really like Nederlands In Gang because it gives you more than just the basics and it really gives you the freedom to think for yourself in Dutch rather than just 'translation exercises'.
I've been using Dutch in Three Months. It's not too detailed, which, for me works because I can get really bogged down in all the minutia. It has lots of exercises and comes with a 3 very helpful DVDs. The DVDs have all the vocabulary words and exercises and follows the book exactly. The course stresses correct pronunciation from the start including the Dutch alphabet and works its way through all the consonants, vowels and diphthongs. For the first couple of chapters it has ''imitated pronunciation' which I find helpful. Its been around since 1983 but there is a newer version published in 2003. I ordered it from http://www.bookdepository.com/Dutch-3-Months/9781405391573
I started using this back in April, and although it helped me a lot with understanding conjugation some of the words and phrases are known to be slightly outdated even with their 2003 version. For example it teaches you the outdated spelling of 'librarian' in Dutch, and some things it's not really clear on (it can be quite elusive with some grammar that even my Dutch other half found frustrating to explain to me using their book).
Also the exercises were too much of the same thing over for me, it got boring to use by the time I got to 'week 4' chapter it was so repetitive I literally became bored of learning Dutch so I switched to Nederlands in Gang (slightly more money but I think it's worth it) which was first published in 2010, is made by the lecturers of Groningen Uni in The Netherlands that actually teaches their Dutch course which feels very refreshing, and they change their exercises up in the chapters so it's not doing the same thing over and over.
It's rather technical, and has no exercises. If you're a student looking to make progress, it might be too hard. On the other hand, if you are advanced and you need a reference, it seems like the best one out there.
The basic and intermediate texts from Jenneke Oosterhoff seem better for learners. Though not well presented, they have good questions.
iRef Guide: Dutch Grammar
This one is cheap - 99 cents - but digital only at Amazon.
Their description: "The iRef Guide: Dutch Grammar, Kindle Edition, is the perfect “Quick Reference Guide” for quick and easy access to basic Dutch. With an overview of Dutch Grammar that gives "Just the Facts" without all the fluff, it makes a perfect study guide for your next test, as well as a great quick reference for reading, writing, and translating Dutch. This guide also includes a list of several hundred of the most common strong and irregular verbs in Dutch, with principal parts for each, making conjugating difficult verbs quite simple. Since it’s mobile, it’s always easy to access no matter where you are, with your Kindle, tablet, smart phone, or computer. Those laminated study guides are sooo 20th century!"
My take on it:
I have found it useful so far. It's basic and handy, and serves as a good companion to DuoLingo. I tend to do a lot of Duolingo lessons, especially reviews, on my phone when I am out walking, so it's nice to have a quick reference guide with me in place of the tips and comment threads here on the Duolingo website.
The same author, Scott Shay, has produced similar guides for Spanish (as co-author) , English as a second language and German.
According to his bio on Amazon, he's a linguist with a special interest in Germanic languages and a PhD candidate at Berkeley.