Basic Persian : A Grammar and Workbook book cover
2nd Edition

Basic Persian
A Grammar and Workbook

ISBN 9780367209780
Published April 8, 2020 by Routledge
286 Pages

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USD $42.95

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents



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


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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,