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case study

Review: An Introduction to Classical Greek

There are a number of ‘old school’ introductory texts on learning Ancient Greek. This introduction by Waite and Pragnell is an admirable attempt to freshen up the material principally for Common Entrance candidates.

Following an outline of the Greek alphabet, transliteration exercises and language nuances, the present tense of the verb is introduced. There are standard translation exercises to familiarise students with the vocabulary and verb endings, as well as novel crossword, sudoku and word search exercises which lightens the workload than a typical Greek textbook.

Articles and adjectives, the nouns and their declensions are well presented, with translation exercises in both Greek to English and English to Greek. Core vocabulary for students is used throughout and should build a student’s confidence and ability in the language relatively quickly.

The other verb tenses are introduced at a slower pace, core prepositions and phrases are presented well and there are strong vocabulary boxes for learning and revision. There are short practice unseen translation passages before moving on to harder grammar sections in the second half of the book. The aorist tense, irregular verbs, varieties of the third declension noun, numbers, expression of time, the passive voice, contracted verbs, as well as participles, comparative and superlative adjectives are all given due coverage. This pushes towards scholarship, GCSE and A Level material by the end.

The book finishes with a brief explanatory section on the use of accents, followed by an appendix of practice papers at the back with grammar summary and vocabulary list.

It is an accessible workbook and guide which will serve students well for their Common Entrance exam and beyond.

An Introduction to Classical Greek (and the answer book) is available to buy online. Plus, order our new Common Entrance 13+ Latin revision series here.

Adam Muckle is originally from Belfast and studied Classics at Durham University. After training as a Barrister, a chance conversation led him unexpectedly to tutoring. Over the past 11 years, Adam has tutored in London, throughout the British Isles, Europe, Asia and online. He is an Honorary Fellow of The Tutors’ Association, the professional body for tutoring in the UK, and served as its President from 2016 to 2019. For more information, visit his website.

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