Mechanics of Spanish


Non-Fiction - Education
546 Pages
Reviewed on 11/25/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Mechanics of Spanish by Robert Kapernick is an educational book for students and people who would like to learn Spanish. Learning a new language is never easy and many people find the Spanish language to be the hardest. Author Robert Kapernick has done a wonderful job of taking the language apart, making it easy to understand for the masses and giving them the tools to absorb the language. I have never been able to completely grasp the Spanish language because I never found any adequate help in understanding the basic structure of the language and how to use it. This book, however, is a perfect help. It starts out with small steps, taking you one word at a time and then expanding from there. Starting from basic words, basic structures, and basic constructions, the author paces the reader to absorb the information and makes it easier for them to build their understanding.

From there, the author makes it easier for the reader to understand more complex sentences, more complex words and then start making their own sentences. He encourages the reader to take the next step themselves and start making sentences on their own because you cannot learn a language just by reading it. The information the author provided was concise and complete, allowing the reader to gather the information they need to make use of it in a practical manner. I truly believe that delving a little deeper into the book, practicing what I read and trying to be more fluent in Spanish will actually help me a lot.

K.C. Finn

Mechanics of Spanish is a work of non-fiction in the form of an educational language guide and was penned by co-author duo Robert Kapernick and Thelma Witt Gonzalez. As the title suggests, the volume takes a structural approach to learning Spanish with a specific focus on how the mechanics of its grammar work. The work is split into three major units with different sub-sections, plus an extensive appendix that contains many more parts of speech and how they transform. Beginning at the simplest grammatical constructions and moving through to more complex creations, this comprehensive grammar guide explains each usage and term along the way.

Whilst casual learners may find the use of labels of parts of speech a little technical, this volume is absolutely perfect for high-level learners looking to really knuckle down and perfect Spanish grammar to a tee. Those with a good grounding in the English language will find the reading style very accessible, and I liked how co-author team Robert Kapernick and Thelma Witt Gonzalez combine their skills to illustrate their examples with clear context in both languages. The formatting is also excellent and very clear, which enables readers to easily reference the examples and structures they are looking for, with tons of examples as to how each one works. Overall, Mechanics of Spanish is a technically well thought out and challenging read for learners who want every single detail of their language usage to be perfect: an invaluable guide for the studious learner everywhere.

Jamie Michele

Mechanics of Spanish by Robert Kapernick and Thelma Witt González is a comprehensive non-fiction educational book that delves into the linguistic study of the Spanish language. Sectioned into two parts, the book begins with an analysis of the Spanish language. Within the analysis are three distinct and separate units: Principle Clause (which contains six further sections), Infinitive Verb - Second Clause (also with six further sections), and Haber, Ser - Estar, Comparisons (with four further sections). Part two is an extensive Appendix with its own three units: Noun Form/Article/Adjective/Preposition, Verb/Past Participle/Gerund/Adverbial Form, and Word Pronunciation and Accentuation, each with two to three sections and a further two to three parts within its vast, exploratory text.

Mechanics of Spanish by Robert Kapernick and Thelma Witt González offers sweeping insight into this specific linguistic system and the grammar and mechanics that drive it. The material is exhaustive and it's clear that both authors bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. I personally appreciated the last section of each of the units in the first part, all entitled Observations, where the entire unit is brought together with simplified examples. The 'me' and 'te' exception of reflexive and indirect object pronouns was helpful as I personally struggle with this. I felt the same with the section on accentuation in the Appendix. This is an extraordinary resource for anyone in the field of linguistics and is highly recommended for all who are studying or plan to study Spanish.

Ruffina Oserio

Mechanics of Spanish by Robert Kapernick and Thelma Witt González is a well researched and professionally written book that comes as a great tool for readers interested in learning the Spanish language. It works well for beginners and those who are already advanced in the language. The book starts with the simplest concepts and demonstrates the elementary sentence structure, something that is vital in the language, and moves on to show how readers can progress from constructing simple phrases to using those that are more advanced and complex.

Mechanics of Spanish features an appendix that provides information on the different parts of speech, including articles, nouns, adjectives, verbs, and prepositions in their varied forms and when and how to use them. The groupings of words and word groups in the appendix is one of the most skillful parts of this book. I studied Spanish many years ago in college and have never been able to use it. The verbs have always been very confusing to me, but Mechanics of Spanish has provided a roadmap that makes learning not only easy but enjoyable. The authors help readers build their vocabulary, understand why words are used in specific forms and how to construct sentences confidently. This is a book written by experts in the language, with explanations that are clear and examples that reinforce the clarity of the lessons. A wonderful tool for anyone interested in mastering the Spanish language and a book I highly recommend for learners at different levels.

Romuald Dzemo

Mechanics of Spanish by Robert Kapernick and Thelma Witt González is a comprehensive grammar book and guide to learning and speaking Spanish, and is an invaluable tool, especially for readers who are not familiar with the Latin languages and their structure. The way this book is written is explained in a succinct manner in the introduction: “The Mechanics of Spanish analyzes the Spanish language by viewing a sentence as being composed of a subject, a conjugated verb and complements.” So, from simple sentences, the authors show how readers can construct their own sentences. I enjoyed the fact that it starts with much simpler sentences and gradually, incrementally, introduces more complex ones.

The book covers a variety of topics, but it is intelligently written and includes an appendix structured to help readers understand the use of articles, nouns, and adjectives in all their forms. The appendix also presents the verbs, verbs derivatives of past participle and gerund, and adverbial forms, as well as how words are pronounced. For someone who understands and speaks two of the Latin languages and who has been meaning to study Spanish, I found Mechanics of Spanish to be one of the best grammar books to help. Robert Kapernick and Thelma Witt González come across to me as experts in their field and they have included a lot of knowledge that will help anyone speak Spanish and properly with far less effort. The book covers a variety of topics, including nouns and adjectives, prepositions, verb forms and how they are conjugated, and a lot more. This is a language tool that is easy to use and offers an effective path to understanding and quickly mastering the language. If you want to learn Spanish, start with this book.