Millions of people have read my review on Gordon and Cynthia Smith-Durán’s “Demystifying the Spanish Subjunctive”. Okay, it’s a lot less than that, but I loved that book so much that I just had to buy this one– “Pocket Por and Para”, which was released in December, 2015.
I purchase my copy from Amazon.com in Kindle format for $9.99 USD.
The book covers exactly what you’d think it covers by reading the title– Por and Para in depth. If you are a student of Spanish, you have experienced having to figure out when to use either Por or Para to say “for, to, around, by” etc. This is the book you need.
I began studying this book systematically on January 25, 2016, shortly after finishing “Demystifying…”. I continued my disciplined Spanish study routine of at least an hour every morning until I finished the book, going through it’s explanations and exercises. I completed the book on February 15. I was impressed!
Gordon and Cynthia have done an excellent job putting this book together. The book consists of 177 pages of clear and simple explanation of these two Spanish prepositions. They take you on the road to an enlightened understanding of Por & Para and by the time you finish the book, you will be well-versed in the subject!
“A systematic non-boring approach”
As a language learner, I have used so many different grammar books. There are good ones. There are not-so-good ones. This one is great– one that uses a systematic non-boring approach to language study. The book contains 40+ sections, including an explanation of the authors’ system, a sort of a placement test, and an account of how Gordon got started speaking Spanish. The authors explain the many uses of Por & Para, such as deadlines, destinations, the meanings of “working for”, comparisons, Por’s use in the mathematical context, exchanges, asking for things, usages in the context of time– and a lot more.
This book explains so much on the subject that if you study this book diligently, you will surely be fluent in Por & Para by the end.
One thing that I look for in a language book is how well it expounds on it’s subject and how it goes about doing it. The layout is systematic. The explanations are well thought out. There are lots of practice questions– but they come in bite-size chunks, which will keep you from getting bored or feeling overwhelmed. Instead of just simple explanations and very short examples, this book makes you think about these words in way that just makes them stick in your brain. You get boat-loads of really good example sentences and, again, lots of practice sentences.
I like how the authors have the “short” answers in the back of the book as well as the “full-sentence” answers. Gordan and Cynthia also use mnemonic devices in this book to help you remember better. (Mnemonic devices are techniques we can use to help us improve our ability to remember something.) For example, in the section “This for That exchange”, they use the word XCHANGE to help you remember that when you are wanting to talk about making an “xchange” you will use “por”. Por is also used for multiplication, or “X”. The book explains it very well in this section.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this book if you are serious about wanting to speak fluent Spanish. Por and para can be tricky, and if you don’t want to be have to stop and think about which one to use when your using the language – buy this book. You won’t regret it!
How to get it
I’ll be writing book review in the future on the Duráns’ other book, “Perfecting the Past in Spanish“.