Book Review - Korean: A Comprehensive Grammar

Cover of Korean: A Comprehensive Grammar

Korean: A Comprehensive Grammar by Jaehoon Yeon and Lucien Brown is one of the most useful, if not the only, comprehensive Korean grammar books available in English. The book starts with a very complete refresher on honorifics and the complex pronunciation rules of the Korean language. The rest of the book has one chapter per class of words in the Korean language. The structure of the book goes as follow:

– Chapter 1: Introduction to the Korean language 
– Chapter 2: Nouns, nominal forms, pronouns and numbers
– Chapter 3: Particles
– Chapter 4: Verbs
– Chapter 5: Auxiliary, support verbs
– Chapter 6: Clausal connectives
– Chapter 7: Modifiers
– Chapter 8: Sentence endings
– Chapter 9: Quotations
– Chapter 10: Other word classes

Some of the best thing about Korean: A Comprehensive Grammar:
– The book contains most if not all grammatical formations in Korean. 
– The book structure is very clear and straightforward, each chapter has a clear purpose.
– All speech/written registers are covered, from the most familiar sentences to very formal written language.
– There is a bilingual index at the end of the book to quickly find a specific construct.
– When relevant, the book mentions whether a pattern is common/uncommon, and more used in writing vs. speech.

The only drawback of this book is that verb patterns are only anecdotally covered, and rather hard to find (e.g., -에 대해(서) is mentioned in the section about the particle -에).

Overall, this book is highly recommended as a reference book for Korean learners of all levels.