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How to SOV and Translate a Latin Sentence

sample sentence: pueri puellas hodie vocant.

"SOV" means to identify the Subject, Object, and Verb of a Latin sentence, the words that make up the core of the sentence.

1. Identify the verb in the sentence: vocant

2. Identify the person and number of the verb: 3rd person plural

3. Translate the verb, for the moment using the appropriate pronoun: "They call".

4. Look for a possible expressed subject (a word in the nominative, especially if you have a 3rd person singular or plural verb). Make sure that if the verb ending is plural, the nominative word is also plural: pueri

5. If you find a suitable match, replace the pronoun "they" with the noun in the nominative for your subject/verb combo: "the boys call"

6. You have now identified the subject and verb of the sentence. Now look to see if there is a Direct Object, which will have an accusative ending. To check your choice, ask this question to see if the translation makes sense: "The boys call...what?" "Puellas" is in the accusative case and the sentence makes sense. It is correct: The boys call the girls.

7. Account for other words in the sentence. "Hodie" is an adverb meaning "today."

8. Now put the sentence together:

The boys call the girls today = pueri puellas hodie vocant.

copyright 2001 Janice Siegel, All Rights Reserved
send comments to: Janice Siegel (jfsiege@ilstu.edu)

date this page was edited last: 06/29/2005
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