Sunday, August 26, 2018

Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar Paperback – April 11, 2017 by James B. Greenough (Author), J. H. Allen (Author), G. L. Kittredge (Author) (Martino Fine Books)

I started using this classic grammar online. When I saw how inexpensive it is on Amazon, even the hardback, I had to order one. I have enjoyed it ever since. Even the most bizarre constructions found in Latin documents are in there someplace. It is so full of interesting items, and lucidly explained, that I enjoy reading it regularly just to keep improving my Latin. I even find the historical explanations valuable. They don't necessarily improve my understanding, but I find it easier to remember forms and irregularities when I see where they came from. For example, I learned that the "ba" in the imperfect tense comes from the same Indo-European forms that produced the verb "be" in English.

I'm not in a position to compare it to other grammars, so I can't call it the "best", but it sure works for me. I just bought my second copy because I found myself in the United States without mine, and I needed to translate Latin documents.

This grammar is probably too advanced for someone who has not already studied Latin. It helps to know English grammar too, which unfortunately even English majors don't know anymore (and shamelessly brag about).

If this grammar is too advanced, Oxford sells a small paperback grammar of Latin by Morwood that is very good, doesn't require as much knowledge of English grammar, and is inexpensive.

This is a reprint of the 1903 Edition. It is a full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition software.   A venerable resource for more than a century, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar is still regarded by students and teachers as the finest Latin reference grammar available. Concise, comprehensive, and well organized, it is unrivaled in depth and clarity, placing a wealth of advice on usage, vocabulary, diction, composition, and syntax within easy reach of Latin scholars at all levels.  This sourcebook's three-part treatment starts with words and forms, covering parts of speech, declensions, and conjugations. The second part, syntax, explores cases, moods, and tenses. The concluding section offers information on archaic usages, Latin verse, and prose composition, among other subjects. Extensive appendixes feature a glossary of terms and indexes. Students of history, religion, and literature will find lasting value in this modestly priced edition of a classic guide to Latin.

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