A276 – Learning Latin – Targeting Grammar – Tip 1
What can you deduce about bonarum puellarum?
Well, remember the word ‘sect’ and think of it as an acronym: S. E. C. T. Learn that this stands for the following:
‘Stem’ ends in ‘m’ and ‘m’ is for ‘meaning’. So the stem of bonarum is ‘bon-’ and its meaning is ‘good’. The stem of puellarum is ‘puell-’ and its meaning is ‘girl’:
Knock out the vowels from ‘ending’ (ENDING) and you’re left with NDNG. Count the ‘N’ just once and put the consonants in alphabetical order and you get DGN. These stand for Declension, Gender and Number. The ending of bonarum and puellarum is ‘-arum’. This is first declension Declension), feminine (Gender), plural (Number):
The ending ‘-arum’ also tells you the Case is ‘genitive’. This case Signifies ‘possession’. The Explanation of this is that means ‘belonging to’ or ‘part of’:
The ‘Trigger Term’ for the genitive case is ‘of’. So the Translation of bonarum puellarum is ‘of the good girls’
You can remember ‘Tea for Two’ i.e. there are Two things to remember to do with ‘t’: the ‘Trigger Term’ and the ‘Translation’. Or remember ‘t’ for ‘Three’ or ‘t’ for ‘Triple’ to remind you that there are Three words starting with ‘t’ to remember: ‘Trigger’, ‘Term’ and ‘Translation’!
Try to get this (or your own version/understanding of it) lodged in your brain:
*someone/thing being spoken to will always happen as direct speech and so the vocative case is found used within speech marks (quotation marks). Often an order/command/warning is being given and so the presence of an exclamation mark (!) can be a give-away. The old fashioned use of ‘O’ to indicate who/what is being addressed/spoken to (as in ‘O blossom, how fragrant thou art!”) isn’t much used but it makes the point and may help you remember.
This gives you a method of working logically through the grammar and translation of any noun or adjective you will ever meet. The challenge is memorising everything: the basic meanings (from the stems – that’s all vocabulary); the extended meanings (from the endings – that’s all grammar); and the terminology itself and what that all means (more grammar!). I’ll look at tackling that next time.
Steven Havelin (14.01.18)