My Favorite Latin Grammar

Every question I have ever had about the inner workings of Latin I have found right here. In this amazing book. It’s just…incredible. (And I am sure they don’t make them like this anymore!)

The maximum information is presented in the most concise way. It feels like everyone involved in creating this work really, really loved the Latin language. It is bursting with helpful charts and examples. Everything is explained, from the Latin alphabet and the parts of speech, to roots and stems, all the way up to the intricacies of the myriad of rules for the different kinds of clauses.

Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges, 1888 (1931)

(It is brutally clear that someone once used this masterpiece as a coaster. Eheu!)

It has three parts. Describing them, the book begins thus:

Latin Grammar is usually treated under three heads: 1. Words and Forms; 2. Syntax; 3. Prosody. Syntax treats of the function of words when joined together as parts of the sentence; Prosody of their arrangement in metrical composition.

Every grammatical point subsequently addressed is given a thorough overview (usually in very tiny type!), before exploring all the details systematically, with the charts. Everywhere there are lists, charts, and more lists–and they are so helpful: Nouns found only in One Case, all the rules for expressing Time and Place, everything there is to know about Moods of Verbs, conventions of Direct vs. Indirect discourse, and how Word Order does apply to Latin, in a limited way…and much, much more.

Don’t miss these sections:

  • Top (91!) Rules of Syntax, pp. 387-392
  • How ancient Roman names worked, p. 45
  • Latin prepositions and how to use them, pp.130-136
  • Most common Interjections of Latin, p. 139

Certainly bookmark that webpage, everybody! But I would recommend to each of you seeking diligently until you find a paper copy. This is a resource not to be missed, and not to leave your side during your Latin studies!

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P.S. By the way, I’m not the only one who thought this was book was so great. Back in the day, entire Latin textbooks were written based on this particular grammar (e.g., R. F. Leighton’s Latin Lessons). Classical Latinists have a great resource there, too!

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