Size: 7. Mine is Essential Thai. Cherished copies of copies were being passed around, but by then, even those had all but disappeared I looked. Lucky for beginners, Jim reprinted Essential Thai in In Essential Thai, after a brief overview of the subject matter, you get a selection of vocabulary and useful sentence patterns to practice with.
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It is a very informative, dense book that is helpful to students ranging from beginner to highly-advanced. I would not recommend it to total beginners, however.
In order to get the most from this book and to avoid being overwhelmed, I would suggest that a student have at least a basic understanding of the Thai written and spoken language. So I will not attempt to review the book from beginning to end. The main reasons which I strongly recommend the Thai Reference Grammar are its thoroughness and wide-ranging topics covered, its focus on the modern, spoken language and its ease of use.
The authors do an excellent job covering most topics of the modern Thai language, including nouns, verbs, prepositions, classifiers, tenses, syntax, etc in great detail. Likewise, the examples focus on the current spoken language and on vocabulary which is relevant to most students. It also has a table of contents and detailed index which make finding sections simple and the book relatively easy to use.
For example, I would have liked more discussion of the different levels of politeness or formality in the language. Over the course of using the book, I have seen at least one discrepancy.
Lastly, the fonts, especially for the Thai writing, are quite small. Students with weak vision might have some difficulty reading it. Problem is, there is no word-by-word glossing, so you have no way of knowing which word means what I really recommend to read the Thai grammar by David Smyth.
But I was very disappointed!
Thai Reference Grammar. The structure of spoken Thai
Thai Reference Grammar: The Structure of Spoken Thai