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BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

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BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby sbletap » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:00 am

I am about take a placement exam that would give me credit for two semesters (intro and level 2) of latin. I'm kind of nervous. I taught myself most of what I know through this site and a couple of other books. I feel like I know nothing, but I've studied for two months. I just wanted someone that has taken college level latin to tell me what they learned in class so I could feel more prepared.

I think that as long as I know my noun and verb endings and purpose of each principle part and develop a strong vocabulary I should be fine. The test is about two weeks away. I can't review everything again so I just wanted a suggestion of things I should revisit. I would appreciate it if anyone that has been in a situation remotely similar could give me advice. Actually anyone has any useful tips can leave me a line.

Much Appreciated
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby furrykef » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:35 pm

Never had a Latin exam in my life, so I can't say I've been in a remotely similar situation. I don't even really know what the level of your exam would be -- the level of somebody who has completed the 40 chapters of Wheelock?

It also depends a lot on the course the exam is designed for. The book Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata, for example, starts with the assumption you know no Latin at all, and it has only 35 chapters. Yet if you've just finished Wheelock, you can't exactly just start reading it at the later chapters without the aid of a dictionary -- there'll be too many words you don't know. But now that I've read through Lingua Latina from the beginning, I'm on chapter 33 and I can understand it fine. Likewise, there are a lot of words in Wheelock that don't appear in Lingua Latina. Both are beginners' courses, so you'd have a basic-to-lower-intermediate level after finishing either one, but if you've got both under your belt, you'd have a greater command of Latin than you'd have if you'd just went through one.

If you don't know what text the exam is for, though, I'd highly recommend going through Lingua Latina if you can get a copy of it very quickly (you'll need as much of that two weeks as possible to get through it). Make flash cards (preferably use a program like Anki so you can easily memorize them over the long term) out of any sentences you think you should memorize.

One concrete tip I can think of: if you think the perfect subjunctive will be on the exam, I'd practice that a bit. Maybe it's just me, but I find I very often wind up using the imperfect subjunctive when the perfect subjunctive is called for.

Finally, I'm going to throw some random Latin sentences together to roughly gauge what your level is. A couple come from other sources, but most I just made up. (By all means, if one of you guys sees a mistake, correct it!) Then maybe we'll have a better idea of what you need to work on for your exam. See if you can translate these (remember, guys, these questions are only for sbletap...). Make note of whether you had to use a dictionary or other reference to figure it out, or if you don't understand why the subjunctive was used, etc. -- and don't worry if you don't get them all, many of these are pretty tough:

1. Iam vīdistī quanta esset vīs artium.
2. Ōdī eum quia mē pulsāvit.
3. Sī hoc intellegis, tolle manum.
4. Etsī nōn est facile, tamen necesse est id facere.
5. Puellīs rosae pulcherrimae dabuntur.
6. Cucurrī quam celerrimē ad lītus.
7. Herī quendam virum ibi vīdī, sed nesciō quis fuerit.
8. Tam magnus est exercitus noster ut nōn possit vincī.
9. Timeō nē abeās.
10. Hortor eum nē discēdat.
11. Urbe captā, Aenēās fūgit.
12. Tremēns, ille dīxit sē pecūniam nōn habēre.
13. Rōmam it vīsum amīcōs suōs.
14. Est ars etiam male dīcendī.
15. Id facilius est dictū quam factū.
16. Carthāgō dēlenda est.
17. Illa dīxit eōs eum laudātūrōs esse.
18. Id Rōmae fīat trēs diēs!

Let us know how you do with these. If they're too tough, I'll give you some easier ones. :)
Last edited by furrykef on Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby Episteme » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:49 am

Hi, Furrykef!

I'm not sure #5 works; passive verbs cannot take direct objects. Please let me know if I'm overlooking something. No offense intended; just trying to be useful.
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby furrykef » Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:02 am

Yeah, I guess I let English influence my thinking too much with that one. As I wrote it, I thought, "Wait. Can a passive verb take a direct object?" Then I thought, "Well, it works in English..." :lol:

But you're right, it doesn't work in Latin. I've revised it. (To anyone who was wondering, it used to be, "Puellae rosās pulcherrimās dabuntur".)
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby sbletap » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:56 am

I took a closer look and I'm definitely going have pull out the dictionary on these.

So far without the dictionary the easiest one:
11. Urbe captā, Aenēās fūgit.
The city being captured, Aeneas fled.

The hardest one:
9. Timeō nē abeās.
I know every word but have no idea how to put it together to make sense.

I can do a couple of other ones and some parts of others but I can't recognize about 40% of the words. :( My vocab sucks. Thanks for at least helping realize that. Do you know a place that has latin vocab?
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby thesaurus » Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:25 am

sbletap wrote:The hardest one:
9. Timeō nē abeās.
I know every word but have no idea how to put it together to make sense.


This one has what we call a "clause of fearing." As you might assume, you see such constructions with words like "timeo."

The way to handle these sorts of sentences is to think of them as two parts, with a verb in each part.

First you have, "timeo". Simple enough. "I'm afraid."

Second you have "ne abeas." Depending on how much you've studied the subjunctive, this may or may not make sense to you on its own. I'm guessing that it doesn't, otherwise you may have been able to figure out the original sentence. You can use the subjunctive by itself (without any other clauses, like when you have a "cum" clause) for orders or prohibitions. This is called a "jussive," which is to say that it's an order (from "iubeo, iubere, iussi, iussus"). When you want to forbid something, you use a "ne" instead of "non" (generally, use "ne" with subjunctives).

Jussives:
[Ut] Abeas! go away!
Ne abeas! Don't go away!

You can get also have jussives in the third person (Abeat! Let him go away!) and first person (abeamus! Let's go away!).

Now put the two parts together: timeo! ne abeas! I'm afraid! Don't go away! Or, taken as one sentence this becomes "I'm afraid that you will go away." (You see that in clauses of fearing you don't have a accusative+infinitive construction like with "dico eum abire" "I says that he goes".) Try to think of what the person is afraid of (that the other person will leave), and then you should be able to make sense of it.

Now to take this a step further, let's say you're afraid that someone WON'T go away. As with jussives, there is a construction with the subjunctive for wishing that something happens, the difference being that you use "ut". "ut abeat!" "[Oh!] may/that he go away!" Now when you combine with timeo you get, "timeo! ut abeat!" I'm afraid! may/that he go away! In normal language this becomes "timeo ut abeat" "I'm afraid that he won't go away"! The won't sneaks in here because the person and wants something to leave, so he's afraid that it won't go away.

I don't know if this all makes sense, but I hope it helps you with your test in some way.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby furrykef » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:26 pm

Have you made any progress, sbletap? If not, I can make you some easier ones to do before you go through those...
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby columbula » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:11 pm

Ooh, it's not my thread, but I have a question about number 15:

Id facilius est dictū quam factū.

When the verbs are the subject, are they supposed to be in the infinitive? And thus "dicere quam facere"? Or am I applying this rule incorrectly?

Thanks!
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby Episteme » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:08 pm

Please someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that dictu and factu are ablative forms of the supines of the respective verbs (think of Virgil's "Mirabile dictu"). This would be translated literally as "That is easier with respect to the saying than with respect to the doing."
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby Hampie » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:15 pm

Episteme wrote:Please someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that dictu and factu are ablative forms of the supines of the respective verbs (think of Virgil's "Mirabile dictu"). This would be translated literally as "That is easier with respect to the saying than with respect to the doing."

They're u-supines.
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby Gregarius » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:35 am

sbletap wrote:I am about take a placement exam that would give me credit for two semesters (intro and level 2) of latin. I'm kind of nervous. I taught myself most of what I know through this site and a couple of other books. I feel like I know nothing, but I've studied for two months. I just wanted someone that has taken college level latin to tell me what they learned in class so I could feel more prepared.


College Latin classes vary a lot. I would guess most are traditional grammar-translation classes, which is very different from the way that many self-taught people here learn (not that either is invalid). Usually, the first two semesters in college cover almost all of Latin grammar, and the third semester is mostly translation of original Latin works.

What I would do is figure out which text this class has used in the past, perhaps a previous semester's syllabus is posted on line? Once you've found that, spot check certain assignments at certain parts of the year, and see how you do. I might also check out the reading list for the third semester class, and see how comfortable you feel with it -- if it seems way over your head, perhaps you are better off just testing out of one semester.

That being said, I must honestly say that I think it is very difficult to skip two full semesters of college language based solely on two months of intensive home study. Memorizing vocabulary and paradigms is but one part of the puzzle. It is one thing to know that "puellis" means "girls", plural ablative (or perhaps dative); another thing entirely to know what those girls are doing in the sentence, and why they are ablative (or dative), where their modifying adjectives are, and perhaps most difficult of all, figure out all the "missing" prepositions and other words.
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby Imber Ranae » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:31 am

columbula wrote:Ooh, it's not my thread, but I have a question about number 15:

Id facilius est dictū quam factū.

When the verbs are the subject, are they supposed to be in the infinitive? And thus "dicere quam facere"? Or am I applying this rule incorrectly?

Thanks!


Yes, but dictū and factū aren't the subject. The subject is id, and facilius is subject predicate. Dictū and factū are supine II, which is adverbial and must always modify an adjective, though we can translate them with the English infinitive. They both go with facilius.

Id "That" facilius "more easy" est "is" dictū "to say" quam "than" dictū "to do".

Episteme wrote:Please someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that dictu and factu are ablative forms of the supines of the respective verbs (think of Virgil's "Mirabile dictu"). This would be translated literally as "That is easier with respect to the saying than with respect to the doing."


It can be interpreted as an ablative, yes, though it has a more restricted use than the ablative of nouns. Some just call it supine II, as opposed to the accusative supine I.
Ex mala malo
bono malo uesci
quam ex bona malo
malo malo malo.
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby furrykef » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:50 am

Well, let's not over-explain the sentences before sbletap has had a chance to figure 'em out. :lol:
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby sbletap » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:25 am

So sorry I've been busy getting ready to go back to school. But these sentences are harder than I thought they would be. I don't think that its a problem with not knowing the content. I think its that when I thought myself latin I never really learned the process of translating. I think its a bigger problem with syntax. I can identify the subject verb and modifiers, but piecing the sentence together is sort of confusing.
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby sbletap » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:31 am

Gregarius wrote:That being said, I must honestly say that I think it is very difficult to skip two full semesters of college language based solely on two months of intensive home study. Memorizing vocabulary and paradigms is but one part of the puzzle. It is one thing to know that "puellis" means "girls", plural ablative (or perhaps dative); another thing entirely to know what those girls are doing in the sentence, and why they are ablative (or dative), where their modifying adjectives are, and perhaps most difficult of all, figure out all the "missing" prepositions and other words.



Along with the two months I took two years of high school latin, but I do think this is the biggest problem. I can identify cases by the endings by second nature, and I know that modifers agree in number case and gender. I also know the purpose of each case. I think its the missing words and special rules specific to certain words and their usage that confuse me.
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby furrykef » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:36 am

Yep, we all go through that. It took me a while before I hit the point that learning Latin is almost as easy as learning Spanish or Italian, and I still have trouble with "real" Latin (lack of vocabulary is a bigger problem, but sometimes reading complex utterances is difficult even if the words are simple).
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby sbletap » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:15 am

Thanks furrykef, but easier sentences would still be much appreciated. And thanks for all the other input.
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby Gregarius » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:50 pm

sbletap wrote:Along with the two months I took two years of high school latin, but I do think this is the biggest problem. I can identify cases by the endings by second nature, and I know that modifers agree in number case and gender. I also know the purpose of each case. I think its the missing words and special rules specific to certain words and their usage that confuse me.


First off, I hope I didn't sound discouraging. While most here are self-taught, I think we'd all jump at the chance you have to take a real university class and meet frequently with a class and teacher who can answer the hard questions directly, rather than puzzling through by ourselves in the dark. I think often one small correction in real time can save hours of going down a wrong path. I hope that you will take whichever Latin class you test into.

So, my recommendation would be to ignore vocabulary until the test (perhaps the test will give you all the vocab you need?), and focus on grammar. Find an old syllabus for this class online, and review an hour's worth of grammar every day until the test, so you know, say, all the ways ablative absolute phrases can be expressed in english, the difference between dative of reference and the genitive case, the thing about deponent verbs, how sentences with multiple clauses work, and importantly, all (or most) of the uses of the subjunctive.

In any case, please keep us updated, let us know how your test went! Good Luck!
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Re: BIG BIG BIG BIG EXAM

Postby furrykef » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:23 pm

sbletap wrote:Thanks furrykef, but easier sentences would still be much appreciated.

Ah, well, then, why didn't you ask sooner? :) Nevertheless, I'd like to see what you've done so far on the others, even if you're having a rough time with them.

It's a bit difficult to make sentences that are targeted at your level, because I don't really know what that level is. (It's also hard to really put anybody at a "level" at all, because, for example, Wheelock puts some pretty basic concepts at the end of the book, while other books put them much earlier. For example, Wheelock teaches the question formula "Num...?" in the last chapter, but Lingua Latina teaches it in the first one! So, unfortunately, there's really no such thing as a standard "beginner's Latin" that everyone knows.) I worry a bit that I'll end up giving you sentences that are too easy and won't be much help for this kind of exam. I'm trying to avoid that, but then they might end up still being hard! Let's see how it goes, though...

19. Num eī crēdis?
20. Nōlī timēre! Vēnī ut tē servārem.
21. Utinam nē vērum esset!
22. Nisi vēnissēs, occidissem.
23. Fer mihi multum aquae!
24. Habesne satis pecūniae?
25. Magnās copiās mīlitum salūtāvī.
26. Quid est liber quem nūper lēgistī?
27. Quod nōmen est patrī tuī?
28. Quōmodo possumus id facere sī pecūniō carēmus?
29. Discipulus discat aut discedat!
30. Mārcō litterās herī mīsī.
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