Workbook for Wheelock's Latin



When Professor Frederic M. Wheelock's Latin first appeared in 1956, the reviews extolled its thoroughness, organization, and conciseness; at least one reviewer predicted that the book "might well become the standard text" for introducing students to elementary Latin. Now, five decades later, that prediction has certainly proved accurate.

Workbook for Wheelock's Latin is an essential companion to the classic ...

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When Professor Frederic M. Wheelock's Latin first appeared in 1956, the reviews extolled its thoroughness, organization, and conciseness; at least one reviewer predicted that the book "might well become the standard text" for introducing students to elementary Latin. Now, five decades later, that prediction has certainly proved accurate.

Workbook for Wheelock's Latin is an essential companion to the classic introductory textbook. Designed to supplement the course of study in Wheelock's Latin, 6th Edition, Revised, each of the forty chapters in this newly updated edition features:

  • Transformation drills, word and phrase translations, and other exercises to test and sharpen the student's skills
  • "Word Power" sections that focus on vocabulary and derivatives
  • Reading comprehension questions and sentences for translation practice
  • Perforated pages for hand-in homework assignments and space for the student's name and date
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060956424
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/2000
  • Series: Wheelock's Latin Series
  • Edition description: 3RD, REVISED
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 91,993
  • Product dimensions: 8.96 (w) x 7.36 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul T. Comeau is a retired teacher of Classical and Romantic languages, as well as the author of many books on French, Latin, and Greek. He lives in La Cruce, NM.

Richard A. LaFleur is Franklin Professor of Classics Emeritus and former Head of Classics at the University of Georgia; he has served as Editor of the Classical Outlook and President of the American Classical League, and is a recipient of the American Philological Association's national award for excellence in the teaching of Classics. Among his numerous books are Scribblers, Scvlptors, and Scribes and the revised editions of Wheelock's Latin, Workbook for Wheelock's Latin, and Wheelock's Latin Reader.

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Read an Excerpt

This workbook was first published in 1980 as part of the College Outline Series and was intended as a companion to the highly respected Wheelock's Latin, by then in its third edition after its initial publication in 1956. The book should not perhaps have been the brainchild of a French teacher with no real credentials in classical languages; and though the venture has enjoyed a modicum of success over more than 15 years and, I believe, been well received in the classical teaching community, I have always felt a certain inadequacy as the author, though always enthusiastic about the endeavor and fully captivated by it.

My initial contact with Latin, as with many of my generation, came through the pre-Vatican II Catholic liturgy in a French-speaking parish as a youngster in the late 1930s. Still vivid are my memories of innumerable Holy Mass or Vesper services recited or sung in Gregorian chant, with much of the text not fully understood. My true introduction to classical Latin and Greek, however, took place on the benches of a typical Quebec boarding school at Joliette, near Montreal, in the early 1940s, where endless hours were spent for more than four years (even on Sundays) translating the ancient languages to and from French, using four-inch thick dictionaries. It was a true "immersion experience" — although, in today's language-teaching community, that term usually applies more to listening and speaking skills than to the reading and writing skills that were so paramount in those days to the teaching of Latin. When I left Canada in December, 1944, and was drafted into the US. Army only a few weeks later, I truly felt that my exposure to the classical world hadended.

Little did I know at the time that fate would lead me to earn graduate degrees in French at Princeton University, to spend six years on the faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and, upon my retirement from the Air Force in 1975, to qualify for the position of Head of the Foreign Languages Department at New Mexico State University. One of the first requests made by my new Dean of Arts and Sciences, just a few days before the beginning of classes for the 1975-76 academic year, was that I establish a Latin program. Needless to say, I was not at all sure that I was up to the task. Nevertheless, my first action was to obtain and consult all the available bibliographies for Latin textbooks, and then to select several and quickly order examination copies. After a perusal of the four or five best options, it immediately became evident that none matched the thorough coverage, the efficient and logical organization, and the clear and concise explanations of Professor Frederic Wheelock's text, and so "Wheelock's Latin," as everyone called it in those days, literally became part of my life.

Not only did I have to stay ahead of the students, trying to revive grammatical principles which had lain dormant for years in my subconscious, but I also had to accustom myself to comparing Latin words to English, rather than to French. It was truly amazing, however, that paradigms of declensions and conjugations drilled into my memory some 35 years earlier could be successfully recalled. Thus began a new phase of my academic life with Latin, which lasted from the late 1970s through the 1980s. Within a few months of beginning my first course, I felt a strong need for some device to force my students to commit to learning the grammatical elements by illustrating their newly-acquired knowledge in an ordered, concise format, complete with practical exercises. Out of that need, the workbook project was born.

As I look back, I am delighted that so many students of Latin have diligently used and, I hope, benefitted from the first two editions of this Workbook for Wheelock's Latin. I wish to reiterate my debt of gratitude to my wife Ruby, to my editors, first at Barnes and Noble and then at HarperCollins, to my many Latin students who patiently suffered through the loose-leaf phase of the project from 1976 to 1979, to my colleagues who worked with the preliminary version in their classrooms at the University of Texas at El Paso and at New Mexico State University, and finally to the staff members who typed and proofread the manuscript. I am especially grateful and indebted to Professor Wheelock, who, though initially reluctant, later agreed to let his outstanding book be "accompanied." My wife and I had the unique privilege of spending a few hours at his lovely country home in New Hampshire as luncheon guests one summer day in 1981, and I often fondly recall the experience to this day.

I firmly believe that the workbook's existence is now at a crossroads. Professor Richard A. LaFleur, a scholar of stature and Head of the Department of Classics at the University of Georgia, has assumed the task of producing this revised and much improved third edition. It will serve as a fit companion for the recently published fifth edition of Wheelock's Latin, also revised by Professor LaFleur and the subject of extremely favorable reviews in the classical language teaching community.

When I retired from active teaching as Professor Emeritus of French, I felt that my professional life was, for all intents and purposes, at an end, and that the list of my publications—mainly in French literature and literary history—would stand undisturbed. I am deeply grateful to Patricia Leasure, Executive Editor at HarperCollins, and her assistant Rob Amell for promoting and pursuing this new edition and especially for persuading Professor LaFleur to accept the role of revision editor. The primary objective was to make the subject matter of each workbook chapter agree with the new, fifth edition of Wheelock's Latin, and to integrate its new vocabulary into the workbook exercises. Professor LaFleur has done so much more, however, that what had been an adequate work has now become an outstanding one. The Workbook's new editor has been creative and innovative, improving nearly every feature, from the new Latin titles for the sections of each chapter to the redefined objectives (the Intellegenda), the recast grammar questions (Grammatica), the varied types of drills (Exercitationes), the more challenging practice sentences and reading comprehension items (Lectiones), and the exciting "Word Power" items of the new Vis Verborum sections.

This revised workbook is so improved that it should appeal to the harshest critics, should play a capital role in imparting the knowledge of Latin to today's students, and should convince its teachers to consider Wheelock's Latin an attractive, indispensable textbook/workbook package. I consider it a privilege to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Professor LaFleur on this new edition, though my personal contribution has been decidedly meager, and I look forward to the continued resurgence of interest in Latin among American students that the new Wheelock's Latin is certain to inspire.

Paul T. Comeau
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Summer, 1996
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2003

    A must-have for independent students

    After struggling somewhat with the various conjugations and declensions in the Wheelock text, I decided to purchase the workbook. A quick email to Camille at HarperCollins explaining my independent status was, in fact, all that it took to obtain the password for the key--and I received it within 24 hours. The workbook exercises, I've found, provide valuable reinforcement of key points that didn't strike me as terrifically important when I was working solely with the Wheelock text, and the variety of drills in each of the workbook's chapters offers ample opportunity to practice Latin grammar. In addition, the workbook is less intimidating in its use of grammatical jargon, and the exercises are therefore less frustrating than those in the text's optional exercises section dealing with the same technical matters. Overall, I feel that the workbook has greatly improved both my Latin skills and my confidence in my ability to pass the Latin language exam next semester. Highly recommended!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2003

    To access the key, just email

    salvete! I'm very sorry for any less-than-positive experiences you may have had in obtaining the answer key for the Workbook for Wheelock's Latin. I assure you that we are very happy to assist independent students in gaining access to the key--all you have to do is email and let me know that you're an independent study student, or a homeschool teacher, or whatever you are. I'll give you the username and password for the key, which is accessible on The only reason the key is password-protected is to keep lazy high school students (such as myself, six years ago!) from peeking at the answers when they haven't done their homework. :)) gratias, Camilla

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2002

    Buy the Dale Grote book instead

    When I received this book, I found that the answer key was not included. The inside cover says that independent students like me only need to contact HarperCollins and follow the procedures to receive the answer key. Unfortunately, this is just not so. I've contacted HarperCollins three times now over a period of four months. I've offered to send to them any documentation they request in order to receive the answer key. First, they told me that they would not send it to me unless I could prove I was a teacher. I told them I wasn't a teacher, that that was the point. Since then they have continued to refuse to send the answer key and have also refused to even allow me to file the documentation that the book itself says is available from HarperCollins for independent students. So I'm disastified with HarperCollins for selling a book with a promised answer key they never intend to deliver. If you're an independent student like me, don't buy this book -- instead, purchase Dale Grote's study guide to Wheeler's Latin.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wheelock is confusing

    The book includes too many things for a student to learn Latin at one time. Also, the sentences at the end of every chapter are not good for first-year students. The sentences are from stories and poems and there is no context for students. So sometimes the sentences do not make sense regardless of what word choice is made.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2001

    Not much use

    The workbook would be OK if it had answers in it! They expect a person, if he or she wants the answers to the exercises, to write the publisher a letter and prove 'independent study status.' I can only suppose that this is because some lazy Latin teachers just like to have their students turn in the pages so as to absolve themselves of the responsibility of coming up with things for the class to do on their own. At any rate, if you like to do drills with no feedback and, therefore, no benefit, then you have found a real gem in this one. If you want something that will supplement the Wheelock text's exercises so you can practice on your own you are barking up the wrong tree because this book is a waste of money, paper, and time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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