[Korean Textbook Review] Korean Grammar Practice for Foreigners – Advanced Level – English Version

Korean Grammar Practice for Foreigners - Advanced - English Version

Korean Grammar Practice for Foreigners – Advanced – English Version

This is a review of Korean Grammar Practice for Foreigners – English Version – Advanced Level, published by Yonsei University, which is merely my personal opinion, not really objective or scientific or backed with data.

I bought this textbook years ago because I was curious about advanced level grammar, and this was before the textbook Korean Grammar In Use – Advanced was published, and TOPIK was still divided into 3 levels.

Grammar Explanation - 을지언정

Grammar Explanation – 을지언정

Usage in sentences

Usage in sentences

Practice questions for each grammar.

Practice questions for each grammar.

In my opinion, this textbook (Korean Grammar Practice for Foreigners – English Version – Advanced Level) is meant as an additional textbook, and based on the old type of TOPIK – Advanced level. I think it was written for learners who want to do a review, meaning you must already learn the grammar rules from somewhere else, and then, using this book, you can have a refresher course and more practices for grammar. Why? Because from my experience, it is impossible to really have good understanding about each grammar from this textbook only, because there is just minimal explanation, only 1-2 sentences (both in Korean and somewhat broken English).

List of Grammar

List of Grammar

Basically, the book consists of 3 parts:
in the first part, you can find explanation for each grammar in English and Korean, with example sentences, and bit of exercises.
The second part, you’ll have plenty of old-TOPIK-like practice questions to make sure you really understand the grammar rules. This is the main part of this book as the title says “Korean Grammar Practice”.
The third part, the complete answer keys, even sample answers for ‘please make your own sentences’ type, plus English translation for questions with long passages.

Multiple choice questions.

Multiple choice questions.

This textbook from Yonsei University covers a lot more grammar rules than Korean Grammar in Use – Advanced from Darakwon. This is because Korean Grammar in Use – Advanced only covers grammar that is commonly used in daily conversations, but Korean Grammar Practice for Foreigners – Advanced covers many old Korean grammar patterns that are used in Korean literature, historical drama, and historical novels (the book uses the term ‘traditional grammar’).

So many practice questions.

So many practice questions.

But TOPIK test has changed,intermediate and advanced level are combined into one, which could mean there are old grammar patterns that now are not tested anymore (not sure, though). Besides, literature and historical stuff is just not my cup of tea, so I doubt whether I need to learn old Korean grammar or not. Personally, I think I’m fine with modern Korean grammar only. When I’m done in 3 years or so, I think I’ll learn Busan dialect instead so if I meet Jung Yong Hwa in a fan meeting, I’ll make him laugh with my Busan accent (#망상중).

I can see why it's useful for TOPIK.

I can see why it’s useful for TOPIK.

Complete this conversation.

Complete this conversation.

Answer key available. Good for self-studying.

Answer key available. Good for self-studying.

Conclusion? Even though I like that the book is meant for self-studying, I don’t think I can recommend this textbook. For starters, the practice questions just look so boring and now they don’t seem very useful anymore due to changes in TOPIK test. And you also will need at least another textbook for clearer explanation about advanced level Korean grammar. ###

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17 thoughts on “[Korean Textbook Review] Korean Grammar Practice for Foreigners – Advanced Level – English Version

  1. Thank you for your detailed review. I have this book too but I cannot finish it because it is kind of boring. I don’t like the way its grammar points are arranged according to the alphabet. I prefer grammar books that have grammar points categorized by the usage and show us how to distinguish the similar grammar.

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  2. I got this book from a friend. They don’t use this in class in Yonsei and that she only bought it to practice what she learned. She liked it a lot while I don’t. I find it boring and I feel like the explanation is not very detailed.

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    • If you know Japanese, I will just say 신경 쓰다 means 気を使う, and 신경 쓰이다 means 気になる.

      신경 is ‘nerves’, 쓰다 is ‘to use’, so 신경(을) 쓰다 literally means ‘to use your nerves’, which means ‘to use your nerves to pay attention to something or to be really careful about something.’
      신경 쓰지마세요=Don’t bother yourself with it.

      쓰이다 is the passive form of 쓰다. 신경 쓰이다 literally means ‘my nerves are used’, which is a way to say ‘something or someone is bugging you, in your mind, and you can’t help but paying attention to it or thinking about it.’
      이거 정말 신경 쓰여요.=This is really bugging me.

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    • Thank you for your explanation~^^

      I ubderstand from your text that 신경 쓰이다 can mean “to bug”, “to bother” or somewhere between those lines.

      But I’m still a bit unsure about 신경 쓰다. 😣 Sorry!

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    • It’s one same concept. It’s interesting that Koreans use “nerves” or “신경” to say that they are paying attention to something or something is troubling their minds. Which part of it that you don’t understand? Maybe give me the sentences?

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  3. Pingback: Korean Vocabulary & Grammar Practice for Foreigners | Korean Vitamin

  4. Hi, I’ve been learning Korean for 5 months, taking lessons and also doing extra study using Korean Grammar In Use – Beginning. I’m looking for another Korean grammar textbook and also workbook for practice. I was considering this book but from your review it seems like this book is too boring. Any book you can recommend me? I prefer one with more practice questions, or a workbook by itself. Thank you!

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    • Well, we have our own preferences… if you’re looking for practice questions for revising what you already learned maybe you’ll like Korean Grammar Practice for Foreigners. I never had the chance to browse the basic level and intermediate one. They could be good. Why don’t you ask your teacher whether he/she could recommend or lend or show you some workbooks that suit you? Good luck!

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  5. Hi
    I began to study Korean this month by myself and for that I bought the book of Korean grammar in use- beginning but this book it’s a little poor in vocabulary and excersices, what book (or books) do you recommend me to complement this one?

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    • I’ve heard people say good things about 2000 Essential Korean Words for Beginners from Darakwon. But I don’t really know because actually I don’t have any vocabulary book or workbook for basic level. I preferred reading grammar books and phrasebooks. After finishing my textbook, I just studied with TOPIK basic level problems, and then I moved on to intermediate level textbooks.

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