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Good textbook with all the most important grammar and collocations?

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Wicker West

I've been learning Chinese in college for over three years now. My level is pretty good although, despite having learned a lot of advanced grammar, I still regularly use very simple grammar, and sometimes, when I'm writing assignments I'm lacking the ideas on how to make my grammar less repetitive. The thing is, in college I have learned a lot of different grammar, but didn't review them except when preparing for exams.
So I'm looking for a way to review some commonly used grammar. The other problem are collocations, which I regularly forget.
I'd like to have the collocations and all the grammar gathered in one textbook, so I wouldn't have to dig through dozens of notebooks. Preferable level would be HSK5, HSK6.
Anybody have some recommendations? It makes me feel unsatisfied with my progress if I keep using the same simple grammar despite having been learning for such a long time. Thanks in advance :)

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I would recommend Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar (A Practical Guide) by Claudia Ross and Jing-heng Sheng Ma.

ISBN 0-415-70010-8


It also has a workbook, which is one reason i would recommend it, ISBN 0-415-70011-6


I think it is very comprehensive and covers a large amount of useful grammar.

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Re: collocations

I think it might be difficult to find all important collocations in a single textbook, unless by textbook you mean a dictionary with example sentences?

Maybe you could compile your own list of collocations by reviewing your notebooks and typing down a master list of the collocations that your teachers judged "important".

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I have Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar  that I bought few years ago, and now that I learn chinese at school, everytime I want to look for further information in this book, it's useless. So I only use the website "Chinese wiki grammar" something. Maybe it's because my level is not better than HSK4 yet but that's my opinion.

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I never really found one grammar book I'd say is complete. Different books have different explanations, some more oral in nature, some more formal in nature.

The grammar wiki is excellent and very easily understood but lacks the rigour of yip po Ching basic / intermediate Chinese grammar books.


Furthermore I found that although I eventually knew almost all HSK6 ones they would never come to mind when speaking. Even simple colloquial ones like 他叫什么来着 I would never think of using and opt for something like 我忘了,他叫什么


I decided to make an anki deck of grammar patterns and colloquial sentence structure. I didn't go into depth with all different variations , just have the front of the deck showing a pattern / word and I'd have to form my own sentence.


The biggest advantage was that anki would present them at random thus allowing one to keep  most grammar structures fresh in ones mind. I didn't pay  lmuch attention to the SRS feature and frequently "reset" the deck. Grammar books are written logically so for example two full chapter on the use of attributes etc but ankis ability to randomly show cards is very helpful in daily speech. 


The downside of such an exercise is creating the deck. The data came from a wide variety of sources. It's time-consuming no doubt, but the actual act of creating is a learning exercise in itself.

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I'm unsure if this will meet your needs, but "Helen and David in China" covers a lot of collocations.  The level is officially below yours though the audio and collocations might make up for that. 

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