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Translating ablative absolutes and participles

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    I doubt that most teachers would disallow the use of a subordinate clause, because, once you get into reading The Gallic War, it will be fairly obvious that when is not the most precise word for all cases, and students can self-correct with a little coaching. There are many times when the AA seems causal and could be introduced by Because, and at least a couple of cases where the AA clearly is conditional and should be expressed with if. It becomes much easier to see in Caesar's context, so I think most teachers accept a clause at the lessons stage, once it is clear that the student is not just winging it and actually understands the Latin literally – and knowing that the reading of the AA will be refined when reading actual literature.

    I do think, on the whole, that the AP Exam is a wonderful thing – encouraging students to read Caesar and Virgil. The SAT exam is a more general Latin exam and could be taken after learning the constructions that Caesar uses. You don’t need the advanced knowledge of The Gallic War and the Aeneid required in AP (but you do need some scanning ability). You could always do both exams.



      Thank you all for taking the time to write out these extremely helpful answers!! This forum has been so very helpful to us as we plod along. I can't pretend to thoroughly understand everything written, but it sounds like we're on the right track and that it is good to aim for literal translations, which my dd prefers to do anyway. Thank you all!

      Dd 12: MP 7A and First Form Greek
      Ds 10: MP 5M
      Ds 5: MP K