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Paperback Wheelock's Latin Book

ISBN: 0060956410

ISBN13: 9780060956417

Wheelock's Latin

(Book #1 in the Wheelock's Latin Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

The latest edition of a classic Latin textbook offers students forty concise chapters with thorough explanation of the grammar, self-tutorial exercises, an extensive dictionary, and much more. Original.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Kind of Brutal

I just finished the book after 3 months of very disciplined self study. I lost many hours of sleep, doing latin until 3 am having to wake up just a few hours later. I used 1. This book 2. The workbook 3. Grote's notes. I do not think that this book on its own is enough for self study. You definitely need all three books. Then, you just have to plow ahead until you are done. And, do I mean plow ahead. Forty identical in format chapters that inexorably and mercilessly introduce a point, then translation drills, then some text. Some "fun" material has been added, but you have better things to do: the next chapter. You see, this book I find is for people who have an enormous left brain hemisphere. If you are into inductive learning, stay away! This is not the book for you! So, yes, this book is the best as far I am concerned, but it is not for everyone. No, it is not difficult, but unless grammar is a favourite pasttime of yours or have some natural inclination for it, this book will be boring. So, do I feel that I know latin now? Hmmm.... Tricky question. Latin grammar I know like the back of my hand, but I feel that my reading level is not at the same level (which makes sense, if you ask me). I think that this is quite a common remark when it comes to this book. But, for this reason, he has the second book in the series where you hone your reading skills. One goal at a time. Guess what I am doing next?

This is the Real Deal

If you're serious about learning Latin, this is the book for you. If you just want to flirt with the language and waste your time and money, buy one of the other slick, superficial courses. But if you want to be reading Latin in a year, Wheelock's is the only option. Bolchazy-Carducci have an entire line of books, CDs, software, and flashcards to support this course. It makes the whole process so efficient and productive.

A great way to learn Latin

I first learned Latin using Wheelock's text (as have many, many students over the years) nearing 30 years ago, with the 3rd edition. While going through the text, the teacher or professor would add many items of consideration not in the text, as the text to be as comprehensive as it should be would need to be twice the size. When I picked up my copy of Wheelock years later to refresh my knowledge of Latin, I discovered just how valuable the instructors' input had been been, as I kept coming across questions of grammar, tense, declension, etc. that were not fully explained, or clearly explained, in Wheelock. For a good eighty to ninety percent, the Wheelock explanations were sufficient, but for those who need a mastery of the language, eighty to ninety percent is not enough. The sixth edition, which I bought to see what improvements had been made, is essentially the same text with additions. It is still divided into forty chapters, with each dedicated to one major grammar section; it has sentences (often from original sources) that need to be translated (without a key in the back), and other sentences (often constructed sentences) with a key in the back. The sixth edition has additional readings from primary sources in Latin above and beyond what were included in the third edition; also, the page layout and size of the book is different (and I must confess, I preferred the smaller format book to the workbook-size of the sixth edition). If using Wheelock as a self-study, I particularly recommend Grote for assistance when Wheelock is talking about the various voices and verb conjugation issues, and the spelling/vowel changes that occur in conjugation or declension, Grote's notes are very valuable. Also, Grote seems to have more a sense for the modern student, adding little flourishes in the text, both in the description as well as the examples, to make things more fun and interesting. Sometimes I wondered in Wheelock if the only thing Latin was good for was writing funeral dirges or speeches about duty (I wonder how Gilbert & Sullivan would sound in Latin, since they are all about duty? But I digress...) As Grote says in the introduction to his book, students are having increasing difficulties with mastering Latin grammar because they have less training (it seems) in English grammar. Studying Latin becomes a formal training not only in the foreign language, but also in general language structures. I must say I am envious of his students, having two semesters to get through the forty chapters of Wheelock; when I took the course, we did the whole thing in one semester, and it was an abbreviated summer term at that! One very useful piece of Wheelock is that students learning Latin from it will simultaneously learn English grammar structure much more thoroughly. Wheelock is one of the better books available as a base text for the learning of Latin, in any edition.

The best

Wheelock's Latin has been around for over 40 years, and for good reason. It is the best introductory grammar of Latin that I've come across.People bring to the study of a foreign language different expectations, different levels of linguistic sophistication, and different learning styles. So it's no surprise that there are a wide variety of reactions to Wheelock's text. I think it's the best for the following reasons:1. It doesn't assume you know a lot of grammar - they don't just drop 'demonstrative pronoun' and 'subjunctive' on you; the concepts are explained clearly.2. Lessons contain one or two grammatical points, with many examples of their proper use.3. Practice exercises (and answers!) are given in the rear of the book. You could also buy the companion exercise book if you want, but caveat emptor! - the answers are not included. (I wrote to Harper Collins, and they sent me the URL and password for the website that contains the answers.)For my money, it's the best and gentlest introduction to Latin available, and it's suitable for all ages, from high school on up. With Wheelock under your belt, you'll be ready to take on annotated readings, and hit some of the more advanced grammars.


It would be hard for me not to give five stars to the single series of books (all the wheelock collection) which enabled me to attain fluency in this extremely difficult and complex language. I consider myself very qualified to write a review on the book in that I have very slowly and arduously digested all 40 chapters of the book over a period of five years and the concepts I learned from this grammar have been reenforced repeatedly through readings of original authors. While the grammar may not be as completely comprehendsive as other more advanced grammar books it is extremely practical, essential, and straight forward. The books main strengths are 1) Its very informal, non technical language and lucid explination. Some reviewers have expresed a feeling that the book pre-assumes knowlege of english grammar in order to explain latin grammar. This is to be expected and is perfectly rightly so. As a matter of fact, if you havent learned the grammar of the language you speak, how can you ever hope to understand an explination of the grammar to a language you dont speak? We would have to call nouns "those things that are names for things" and past participles "those words you use to refer to a verb that has been done already" You see many of the detracted stars this book has recieved are not due to faults in the book but in its readers. This book does a very good job of making the explination understandable without overloading you with technical grammatical terminology. I own 8 grammar books some of which date back to the early 1900s and by far this one is the most expressive.2)It contains extra practice exercises and material that many other grammar books dont such as a large selection of original latin litterature in the back and a dictionary that is both latin english and english latin. Some people have moaned about the fact that the book dosent contain much cultural/historical info on ancient roam. This is beause the book is already about 1.5 by 7 inches of pure unadulterated linguistical and lexical magnificence intended for one purpose only, teaching you the fundamentals of the latin language. While it is good to learn of the culture you can do this elsewere in other books and if your learning a language you should never use only one text anyway.3) it gives detailed etymological info and even a humorous bit called "latina est gaudium et utilis" in which the reader understands how latin developed into the romance tongues and how it has effected english. There are many cheesy jokes in the gaudium and utilis bits but these are a noble attempt to lighten the already onerous burden of bearing the weight of complex grammatical constructions. And if the reader consideres this material to be extraneous or superfluous he can always simply skip them with no detriment, I dont understand why some reviewers have actualy taken off stars for this. where else can i learn interesting things like "malo malo malo malo" (id rather be in an apple tree than a bad
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