Learning Latin 101 – Latin Style Guide

In literature, writing style is usually the way of expressing idea in literature characteristic of a specific person, time, genre, or school. However, style is not just about what you write but also about how you choose to write it, as well as the audience you intend to write for. As a writer, you need to know how you are going to express an idea while keeping the ideas and spirit of your piece in the literary style that is appropriate to the intended audience.


There are four main types of literary style. The most familiar style, known as narrative, employs a clear and precise grammar, perfect tense, and an understanding of the role of the verb in the sentence. The second style, which is called descriptive writing, involves the use of vivid description, simile, and other figurative forms in order to describe things instead of simply describing a thing. A third style, called narrative, is very similar to the first style, except it involves the narrative description of events rather than objects. The last style, called abstract style, makes use of vague or illogical notions and describes situations without providing any definite information.

In addition to the above mentioned styles there are several others. The technical style, popular in scientific and technical writing, combines subject and object pronouns with active voice, an object and a verb for the purpose of describing events. Formal style, sometimes called the classic style, is a style that describes style, subject, and object. This style requires the assistance of great care in order to maintain a clear and precise literary syntax. The reflective style uses fancy words and adjectives to describe things abstractly; it is an ideal style for creative writing and is closely related to the formal style.

The six style guides are the subject, verb, object, style, mood, and tense guides. In the subject style guide, the writer must use the subject as the main verb in the sentence, and he must always use the object as a complement of the verb. In the verb guide, the main verb must be in the past tense and the object always completes the sentence. For example: I saw the star down to the bowl of jelly yesterday. In the mood guide, all tense forms must be in present; i.e., “I am seeing Mary today” and “I am eating my supper on the table.”

An example of the subject-verb-in-adjective style would be “John’s rock, containing Mary’s teeth, is situated on John’s rock.” A similar example in the verb-verb-mood category would be “The lady’s smile is like the smile of a child.” The mood guide utilizes positive words and phrases such as happy, sad, fearful, excited, etc., while the etymology guide employs mainly negative words and phrases. There is also a free version of the etymology style, which is used for learners and parents who do not have sufficient knowledge of Latin.

The classical style is considered the style that originated during the Roman period and it emphasizes traditional values. The etymology style belongs to Ancient Greek, and the esthetic style was introduced later in the period of the Renaissance. The classical style can be categorized as rational, whereas the rational style emphasizes facts, figures, illustrations, and experimentations, whereas the aesthetic style stresses creative creation and ideals. The classical style of writing consists of three main elements–the verb, the object, and the action or intention of the writer. This type of style was used in books throughout the medieval period and up to the introduction of the novel in the nineteenth century. The esthetic style, on the other hand, has three basic elements–the language of the writing, the audience, and the person writing about.