You know what, Bridgid? You turned on the CD player so now dance.
It's that time of the semester again - midterms. Not only does that mean that I have stopped wearing makeup and doing my hair and otherwise caring about my appearance, it means that I have tests to take.
Oh no! you say.
Oh yes! I reply.
Namely, I have a Latin midterm tomorrow, and while I've been studying for a few hours I don't feel any more prepared than I did a few hours ago. So I'm going to try out that theory that the best way to learn is to teach, and all of you are going to get a lesson in Latin!
Since my test is only going to be translating sentences from Latin into English, that's what we're going to focus on in this lesson. The most important thing to look at when translating from Latin to English is the main verb of the sentence, which is typically at the end. For example:
Magister numquam errat.
Errat is the verb, and it tells you a few important things: firstly it tells you the number and person of the subject, and secondly it tells you the tense. The number and person of the subject is important, because it's not always clear in the sentence. Here we know that the -t on errat tells us that the subject is singular and third-person (he/she/it). We also know that it's in present tense, because there's no fancy -ba- or -bi- in the verb (and I'm a really bad teacher, because I'm haven't touched on the principle parts of verbs or the different conjugations and I'm just assuming everyone already knows them).
Anyways, once you've got the verb figured out, the rest of the sentence is easy. Magister is in the nominative case, so it's probably the subject, and numquam is an adverb. All set!
Magister numquam errat = The teacher never errs.
Okay, so now I think I've been going about this lesson all wrong. I haven't talked about declensions or conjugations, I've just jumped right into translations.