From Moodywop, Carlo:
CARLO'S LIST OF ITALIAN AND ENGLISH RESOURCES FOR LEARNING.
An Australian friend gave me permission to post here his list of the books he recommends, with his interesting comments:
"It occurred to me after reading your post that you may be interested - in my experience these are the two best English grammar texts out there at the moment -
The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language
I can understand what you mean about the Maiden/Robustelli text. I suppose it is bit academic/pesante and could be a bit daunting or tedious for some. But it is the most comprehensive.
The short answer is....there isn't one. It would depend on the individual, what background/education they had, etcetera. That said:
Of all texts I'm familiar with, this would probably be most likely to assist native English students. Plus it is portable - slim volume.
English Grammar for Students of Italian
The text explains and juxtaposes English grammatical concepts with Italian grammar. Excellent.
This is the best of those with a focus is on simplicity and (pocket sized almost) portability -
Oxford Italian Grammar & Verbs
This is widely used and highly regarded - more complex classroom type text, still very portable -
This one is a more substantial, non 'classroom-type' text but not as 'pesante' as Maiden/Robustelli -
Modern Italian Grammar
If you read the reviews there, you'll see a comment I agree with. The accessibility of the text in terms of indexing, conceptual layout etc leaves a lot to be desired - è un pecccato.
Notwithstanding your disagreement (and others on the Forum) regarding one of the anche examples, and I'm not sure what to make of that at this point, this text really is brilliant generally -
Using Italian - A Guide to Contemporary Usage
The emphasis here is on areas which are most likely to be problematic for English speakers. At the same time, it indicates 'registers' throughout - informal, neutral, formal and so on. Also regional. It's a serious text.
The text may be in error to some degree or other there, I don't know. I may even email Professor Kinder about it, if and when I have time.
This is considered a must-have for serious students -
Using Italian Synonyms
Anything from Cambridge on language is likely to be very good. Although another of their texts - Using Italian Vocabulary - isn't all it could have been.
I know you didn't ask, but this is a very good vocabulary text -
Mastering Italian Vocabulary
The recently issued new edition of the Oxford/Paravia dictionary (2006)(advertised underneath ) corrected the mistakes regarding "addirittura" and "qualsiasi". I've only browsed through it at Feltrinelli but it looks impressive. I recommend this dictionary. The Harper Collins is also very good but I'm told a new edition is about to be released.
As for monolingual dictionaries my recommendations are the "Sabatini/Coletti" dictionary (despite its misleading entry for "addirittura" it has excellent usage notes) and especially the new edition of "Devoto/Oli" - the best on the market, no doubt about it.
As for online momolingual dictionaries De Mauro/Paravia (http://www.demauroparavia.it/
) is excellent and up-to-date. Garzanti (http://www.garzantilinguistica.it/interna_ita.html
) is not as good but has etymologies (not provided in De Mauro).
As for online bilingual dictionaries I can only recommend the Garzanti/Hazon (same link as above - btw you need to register but it's free).