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Fourth Form Latin - Word Order

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    Fourth Form Latin - Word Order

    A little background (probably isn't necessary): I've never been a fan of reading and struggle to sit through lectures. Enter in my husband who LOVES learning and would be a full-time student if he could. I want my kids to have a deeper love and appreciation for learning than I ever had. This classical approach to learning completely overwhelms but I'm determined to at least provide it for my children. We are now entering our 5th year with MP.

    My daughter is in 8th grade and has always been a self-starter. She has learned Latin using the DVDs and books. I admittedly stayed way too hands off, even though she has excelled in Latin and loves it, because she's naturally intuitive and smart. I simply made corrections to her work with the help of the teacher's manuals. Now I feel nowhere near equipped to talk her through questions this far into Latin (she's on Fourth Form). I would say the main issue we're running into (only on week 2) is the order of translations. I can't remember where I read about it, but it got in my head that the order of words can be somewhat subjective. She probably gets the endings of words correct 98% of the time, but the word order only matches the teacher's manual 80% of the time. I always have her re-write it the way the manual has it, just in case, but shes' really confused on the specifics of word order. Is there somewhere you could point me that directly answers this question? Are there particular rules about word order?

    Thanks in advance!

    #2
    Good afternoon,

    Latin word order is highly flexible, so if the endings are correct, the translation is correct. There are generalizations that can be made about word order, and I will list a couple below, but violating these does not make an answer incorrect. In fact, the Romans themselves would break these for rhetorical or other effects!
    • The verb is usually the last word in the clause/sentence. The to be verb, sum, however, can appear anywhere.
    • Adjectives of quantity (e.g., parvus, small) and numbers generally precede the noun they modify, while adjectives of quality (e.g., bonus, good) generally follow the noun.
    You can view additional generalizations in the Henle Grammar that accompanies Fourth Form Latin. See ยงยง460-469. Generally, a student should try to follow word-order guidelines, but students should not be marked wrong for differing from them (or the key). The only exception would be a child who consistently and purposefully flaunts these generalizations for the sake of being silly or difficult.

    HTH!
    Michael
    Memoria Press

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