2nd Edition

Basic Persian A Grammar and Workbook

By Saeed Yousef, Hayedeh Torabi Copyright 2020
    286 Pages
    by Routledge

    286 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This fully revised second edition of Basic Persian: A Grammar and Workbook comprises an accessible reference grammar and related exercises in a single volume.

    This book presents twenty grammar units, covering the core material which students would expect to encounter in their first year of learning Persian. Grammar points are followed by multiple examples and exercises which allow students to reinforce and consolidate their learning.

    Key features include:

    • a clear, accessible format

    • many useful language examples

    • jargon-free explanations of grammar

    • abundant exercises with full answer key

    • a glossary of Persian-English terms

    • a subject index

    Rigorous yet engaging, Basic Persian is suitable for both class use and independent study, making it an ideal grammar reference and practice resource for both beginners and students with some knowledge of the language.



    Unit 1

    The Alphabet

    Unit 2

    Nouns and adjectives

    Singular and plural

    The connector ezāfe

    Unit 3


    Demonstrative adjectives

    Demonstrative pronouns

    Unit 4


    Present tense: to be and to have

    Unit 5

    Simple present tense: other verbs

    Present progressive with dāshtan

    Unit 6

    Definite and indefinite (1)

    Attributive -i suffix

    Unit 7

    Transitive and intransitive

    Direct and indirect objects

    Definite and indefinite (2):

    Compound verbs

    Unit 8

    Comparison of adjectives

    Adjectives as nouns

    Question words

    Telling the time

    Some distributives / quantifiers

    ‘Double negative’

    Unit 9


    Unit 10

    Infinitive - its uses

    Past and present stems

    Unit 11

    Future tense

    Unit 12

    Simple past tense

    Past progressive tense

    Unit 13

    Past participle

    Perfect tenses

    Unit 14


    (Present or simple subjunctive)

    Unit 15

    Perfect (or past) subjunctive

    Unit 16

    Conditionals and wishes.

    Unit 17

    From prepositions to conjunctions

    Unit 18

    Tense in complex sentences:

    Time clauses

    Unit 19

    Relative clauses

    Unit 20


    Key to exercises

    Persian-English glossary



    Saeed Yousef is Senior Lecturer of Persian at the University of Chicago, USA. He is also a poet and has published books of literary criticism and translations.

    Hayedeh Torabi was a Lecturer of Persian at the University of Chicago, USA. She is a published writer, essayist and translator.

    'As with English, there’s a lot more to Persian than meets the eye, or ear. It needs an all-round practitioner to teach the subtleties of this apparently easy but eloquently idiomatic and multidimensional tongue. Saeed Yousef fits the bill: an experienced teacher, a connoisseur of his own and several other languages, and a poet. His book is an essential vade mecum for all who have decided to make Persian their own.'

    John Perry, Professor of Persian (Emeritus), The University of Chicago

    'When I started, I knew about five words of Persian and had a very shaky grasp of Arabic script, which still looked like squiggles if I wasn't really concentrating. I opened the book and began to read. And wow, after a while the squiggles turned into letters which I could see even when I wasn't concentrating, and then lines of letters turned into words, and then lines of words turned into sentences.'

    Manny Rayner (April 2019), Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17054287-basic-persian