Experience has shown that Question 3 on the Common Entrance paper can be "make or break": it really separates the Greeks from the Persians!

Once again here are some handy hints to make sure that Qu. 3 isn't your Thermopylae...

This time it will make more sense to deal with the 3 Levels one at a time - although there is a question common to all three which we will look at first. 

There are a lot of topics to cover for this question - use the 'links-box' below to find what you most need to revise!

Quick Jump Links

Follow the links below to move quickly to particular sections of this page:

Derivation Question

Top Tips for Qu 3 

Level 1 Questions:  Find from the Passage

                                                      Noun questions: Cases

                                                      Gender questions

                                                                    The Preposition "IN"

                                                      Verb Questions

                                                      Subject & Object

English into Latin (all Levels)

       Top Tips

                              The "Marking Out" Method

                      Adjective Agreement

Extra Details for Levels 2 & 3

               Level 2

               Level 3

 

 

 

 

 

The DERIVATION question

              All 3 Levels always have an 'English derivation' question, usually picking one of the Latin words from the passage and saying something like:

       "dormiverunt" (line 5): What does this word mean? Explain the connection between 'dormiverunt' and the English word 'dormitory'. 

       Often there are as many as 3 marks at stake for a correct answer. But it's not as easy as it might seem to score all 3 -and not even all that obvious what each mark is for!

        You may be sure that at least one mark - possibly two - will go on the first part of the question. Most people will know, of course, that 'dormio' means 'I sleep'. But that's not what 'dormiverunt' means, and tough markers won't give you the full 3 unless you translate the word precisely.

       SO - the FIRST point: TRY TO TRANSLATE THE WORD INCLUDING ITS ENDING (if there is one):    Our answer (so far!) : 'They (have) slept'.  

        Now, what about the connection with 'dormitory'? One thing you could say is that they share the same letters as a stem: 'dormi--';

      SO - the SECOND point we could add in is: 'THE WORDS SHARE THE SAME ROOT-STEM (quoting those letters), and the original vocab word.

         That still won't get you the full three marks however. What they really want is for you to explain the connection of MEANING, in this case the idea of sleeping. So - should you just say: "They both mean something to do with 'sleeping'"? Well, you can still go further; after all, what is a dormitory?

       Here's the THIRD point, then: TRY TO EXPLAIN THE MEANING OF THE ENGLISH DERIVATIVE USING THE MEANING OF THE LATIN WORD - 'A ..... is someone who/something which/somewhere that...' and then mention the vocab meaning again as well.

       Putting all three points together now, our answer should end up like this:

   "Dormiverunt" means "they (have) slept"; 'dormitory' in English shares the stem  "dormi--' (from dormio - I sleep), and a dormitory is somewhere like a largish room where a group of people sleep.

         I defy even the toughest marker not to give you 3 marks for that!

 

 

 

Question 3: TOP TIPS

1.  TRY TO TRANSLATE THE PASSAGE ROUGHLY IF YOU CAN.

         If you can get a general idea of the meaning, this will help with answering some of the grammar questions; you will at least know which parts need looking at in more detail.

2.  EXPECT TO BE ASKED ABOUT THE LEVEL'S PARTICULAR GRAMMAR POINTS.

         Watch out again for the 3 "I"s, PICSI'S and HIQUPPPS!

3.  KNOW YOUR GRAMMAR DEFINITIONS.

          If you can't tell a case from a gender, or an infinitive from a preposition, you'll be in big trouble.

4.  TAKE SPECIAL CARE WITH THE ENGLISH into LATIN SENTENCES.

          These are usually worth close to 10% of the entire paper, and doing well here can really boost your score.

 

 

 

 

          LEVEL 1 QUESTIONS

 

1. FIND FROM THE PASSAGE.....

        All 3 levels usually start with a question like this. You have to find an example of normally up to 3 grammar items: an adverb, a conjunction, an adjective etc.

        There is unfortunately no getting round the fact that you have to know your Parts of Speech and Grammar Definitions for this. The Vocab pages on this site are laid out (helpfully!) in colour-coded tables to help you recognise and remember the more straight-forward ones; here below are a few hints about the most common words to look for.

       ADVERBS:  look for "NON" (the most common of all); otherwise some of the likeliest include SUBITO, DIU, MOX, TANDEM, DEINDE, MAGNOPERE....

       CONJUNCTIONS: by far the most common is "ET"; then SED, UBI, QUOD, TAMEN.

       VERBS:  they may ask for a particular tense; remember that Present tense will probably only appear in Direct Speech. Otherwise, it could be an IMPERATIVE, INFINITIVE, or PART of "SUM": brush up on the 3 "I"s!

        PREPOSITIONS: sometimes they make it harder by specifying one which takes the ACC, or the ABL. It is worthwhile again knowing the most common:

+ ACC: AD, PROPE, PER;    + ABL: E(X), A(B), CUM.

             One useful 'trick of the trade' is to remember that apart from AD and PER, all prepositions of THREE letters or less take the ABLATIVE, and those of FOUR letters or more take the ACCUSATIVE (this is a lucky coincidence, not a "rule"!)

              WHAT ABOUT "IN"?  See below - for now, just beware!

 


 

 

2.  NOUN QUESTIONS

   a)  CASE questions 

                The likeliest question is usually one such as this: 

         "agricolae" (line 5): in what case is this noun, and why is it in this case?

       To answer properly, there are two stages to go through:

                    1. What POSSIBLE cases could it be?

                    2. Which one actually is it in the context of the sentence? 

    Sometimes you strike lucky and there is only one possible answer: e.g. "equos" could only be ACCUSATIVE (plural). Otherwise, you must once again LEARN YOUR DECLENSION ENDINGS! Our original example ("agricolae") for instance could be 4 possible cases from the 1st declension.

    The cases are only used for words for particular reasons. Here is the KEY LIST:

CASES

NOM  -  MUST be the subject of a verb in the sentence

VOC  -  MUST be the person, in Direct Speech, whose name or title is being called

ACC  -  EITHER the object of a verb;  OR after a preposition which takes the ACC

GEN  -  MUST have the meaning "of......"

DAT  -  MUST have the meaning "to......" or "for........"

ABL  -  EITHER meaning "by...", "with...", "from...";   OR after a preposition which takes the ABL.

                                                            

       If you can translate the sentence that your noun is in, it should be possible to follow the chart above and name the case. This is of course the "official" and best way of answering the question.

       There are however some "tricks of the trade" that can help to narrow it down if there is more than one possibility. Take the "agricolae" example once again: the 4 POSSIBLE answers are:

            GEN (SING), DAT (SING), NOM (PLUR), VOC (PLUR).

        It will not be Vocative unless it is in Direct Speech. If it isn't, Nominative is quite likely, but since it has to be Nom PLURAL, ask yourself if there has been more than one farmer in the story - if you are sure there's only one, that eliminates Nom as a choice, and you can concentrate on working out whether the sentence means "of the farmer" (Gen), or "to/for the farmer) (Dat).

       One last "trick of the trade" works very often. I have left it until last here, but it is worth trying first of all when you are answering this question! Look at the word in the line: IS THERE A PREPOSITION BEFORE IT? If so, this immediately narrows your choice to ACC or ABL, and if you know which case the preposition takes, you have the answer to both parts of the question straight away. It is surprising how often this "trick" works! 

         TO SUM UP:                                   

  1. LOOK FOR A PREPOSITION (must then be ACC or ABL).
  2. NO PREPOSITION? DECIDE ON THE POSSIBLE CASES (it's pointless writing down a case that can't possibly be right!)
  3. ONLY ONE POSSIBILITY? There's your answer; now USE THE CHART above to explain why it is that case.
  4. SEVERAL POSSIBILITIES? Use the common sense "tricks" to narrow it down; but really now you must decide by its meaning in the context of the sentence.

 

   b)  There is another type of CASE question. This involves changing the ending on a noun given from the passage into a different specified case: 

            e.g.: "gladio" (line 3): this means "with a sword". Change the ending on the word so that it will mean "with swords". 

        As you can see, this basically involves changing a word from singular to plural (or vice versa!). The only way to get this right is to KNOW YOUR DECLENSION ENDINGS! Sorry - no "tricks" can help you with this one!

 

   c)  GENDER questions 

             They used to ask this question quite regularly, but it doesn't come up all that often any more (it made a rare appearance in a practice paper in 2009). The question then was:

 "Spes" (line 5). What is the gender of this noun? 

       You of course have a one-out-of-three choice: masculine, feminine or neuter. The words you have learnt so far follow pretty general rules:

             1st declension: usually FEM., except for words referring to men's jobs - e.g. NAUTA, AGRICOLA, POETA (also INCOLA)

             2nd declension (-us or -er): all MASC.

             2nd declension neuter (-um): all NEUT. (surprise surprise!)

         But they have been rather tricky with this example. "Spes" is not a word you know: they did give you the meaning in the vocab help for the passage (it's used here as a Proper Noun, the name 'Hope') - but no gender was supplied! So how are you going to tell?

          The answer, surprisingly, has nothing to do with the word itself, or its ending (although if you knew the 5th decl., you might have a better idea...). Here it is all down to an ADJECTIVE which agrees with it in the line. The sentence actually read:

"Spes sola in cista mansit."

          The adjective "sola" must describe our word, which is the subject of the sentence; and the ending on the adjective is "-A". So, being obviously singular (mansit) this must indicate that our word is FEMININE, since adjectives of this type use 1st declension endings only to agree with feminine nouns. Likewise, they use 2nd decl. masc endings to agree with masculine nouns, and 2nd neuter ('bellum') endings to agree with neuter nouns.

         This question actually demonstrates very well the overall general rule here - IF YOU WANT TO BE SURE OF THE GENDER OF A NOUN, LOOK AT THE ENDING ON AN ADJECTIVE WHICH AGREES WITH IT. 

 


 

 3.  The PREPOSITION "IN" 

            This is certainly one of the commonest prepositions, and it is always tempting to pick it if you are asked to "Find.." one "..from the Passage". This is fine, as long as they don't specify a CASE to go after it - if they do, you need to be much more careful.

       "IN" is the one preposition that can take both ACC and ABL: 

                 When it takes the ACCUSATIVE, it means "INTO" or "ONTO"

                 When it takes the ABLATIVE, it means "IN" or "ON".

       A useful trick to remember this is to look at the actual LENGTH of the words:

"ACCUSATIVE" is longer than "ABLATIVE", and "INTO" is longer than "IN".

          So, in this type of question, you need to be certain you've got it with the case they want. In particular, if the passage contains "IN" more than once, you may have to give either a line-reference for your answer, or (better still) also write the noun after it - this may help you to check visually that you are using a word with the right case ending.

e.g.  "Find....a preposition followed by the ACCUSATIVE CASE."

    WRONG ANSWERS:  1.  IN.  (There may be more than one "IN" in the passage)

                                       2.  IN (line 2) (....if it actually says IN AGRO on line 2: this is + ABL!)

                                       3.  IN AGRO (line 2) (even worse - you've written an ABL ending too!)

     RIGHT ANSWERS:    1.  IN (line 2) (...if it really says IN AGROS on line 2)

                                       2.  IN AGROS (line 2) (Yes - you've proved it has an ACC noun after it!)

WHO WOULD BELIEVE THAT SUCH A SMALL WORD COULD CAUSE SO MUCH TROUBLE!

 


 

  4. VERB QUESTIONS

        a)  What PERSON, NUMBER & TENSE...?  

   This is one of the most common of all the questions, and is probably also one of the most straightforward; but you do need to make sure you understand the Grammar definitions and how to answer in the correct way.

             PERSON:   you can only write "1st", "2nd" or "3rd": NOT "I", You", "He" etc. 

            NUMBER:  very often misunderstood; it only means "singular" or "plural": NOT the conjugation number.

             TENSE:  for Level 1 this can only be PRESENT, IMPERFECT or PERFECT.

      The first two of these are often combined ("1st plur.", "3rd sing." etc.) Here is a chart to help you tell which is which. There is only really any variation with the 1st & 2nd person singular.

      LATIN ENDING                       PERSON

                -O,  -M,  -I                        1st person singular 

                  -S,   -ISTI                        2nd person singular

                        -T                              3rd person singular

                  -MUS                           1st person plural 

                   -TIS                            2nd person plural

                  -NT                              3rd person plural

             As far as TENSES are concerned, if you know your grammar, it makes it a lot easier to tell...! Here however are a few extra hints:

           PRESENT:   the verb will have the original stem (unchanged) and short endings.

                             It is also likely only to be found in Direct Speech.

          IMPERFECT:  look for the giveaway letters  -BAT, -BANT, etc. as the ending.

          PERFECT:   if the stem has changed at all, it will be Perfect.

        Don't forget it is just as likely to be tenses of "SUM", which of course is highly Irregular. 

 

 

  b)  A common variation on this question is just to ask you something like this:

"cepit" (line 3) What tense is this verb? What is the 1st person singular of its Present tense?

          It may be rather obvious, but this gives you a pretty big clue that it is not Present tense at the moment!

          That leaves you with the choice between Imperfect and Perfect: it doesn't end in the giveaway -BAT; so that leaves PERFECT as your answer.

          To answer the 2nd half of the question, you need to know how verbs change their STEMS: in other words, the "PRINCIPAL PARTS". Hopefully you will have learnt here for example that CEP-- comes from CAP-IO.

The VOCAB pages elsewhere on this site always show you each verb's PRINCIPAL PARTS.

 

 

  c) Still with TENSES, a 3rd type of question involves changing one tense to another - usually keeping the person & number the same. 

      Sometimes they simply say:

"mansit" (line 2): change this verb into the Present tense.

      More likely, in recent years, it is phrased more obviously in English:

"mansit" (line 2): this means "he stayed". How would you say in Latin "he stays"?

      Notice you will probably again have to know your PRINCIPAL PARTS ("mansit" from "maneo" in this question)

The GOOD news is that they can only ask you to change verbs into the PRESENT tense; and they will only ever be 1st or 2nd conjugation (like AMO or MONEO).

 


 

 

  5.  SUBJECT and OBJECT

"ambulabat" (line 3): give the Latin SUBJECT of this verb.

"portaverunt" (line 5): what, in Latin, is the direct OBJECT of this verb?

         There is something about this question that wreaks havoc with even the (usually) most confident examinees...!

One of the first points you probably learnt about a sentence is that the SUBJECT is the name for the PERSON/THING DOING THE VERB, and the OBJECT is the PERSON/THING HAVING THE VERB DONE TO IT.

NO PROBLEM, HEY?

It still doesn't stop people throwing this basic knowledge completely out of the window, and answering either of these questions by writing down some other part of the verb they give (usually some bit of the present tense), something like "ambulo", or "portat". WRONG!!

I suppose the confusion comes because they don't actually say:

"Give the Latin NOUN which is the SUBJECT of..."

or "Which NOUN, in Latin, is the direct OBJECT of..."

THAT'S WHAT THEY MEAN, THOUGH!

Whether they ask for the SUBJECT or the OBJECT, they want you to write a NOUN, not a verb - and by the way, they want it (as they tell you!) in LATIN too! It's no good writing it in English!

Here's the routine you should go through:

   SUBJECT:

  1. Translate the verb (here: " he/she was walking")
  2. Ask yourself WHO was walking
  3. Find this word by translating the sentence, and check that you have a NOUN with a NOM ending (e.g. "servus")
  4. Write this as your answer - IN LATIN!

 

   OBJECT:

  1. Translate the verb ("they carried")
  2. Ask yourself WHAT did they carry
  3. Find this word by translating the sentence, and check that you have a NOUN with an ACC ending (e.g. "gladios")
  4. Write this as your answer - IN LATIN!

 

DID I MENTION THAT YOU NEED TO WRITE YOUR NOUN IN LATIN?

 

 

 

      ENGLISH INTO LATIN (all levels)

     A lot of people seem to throw up their hands in horror at the thought of translating into Latin. Quite why they suppose it to be so difficult - or at least, so much more difficult than Latin into English - I can never understand. Even at the top Level 3 of the CE paper it is very "do-able".

It is also worth a large number of marks!

   If you can cope well with the 2 sentences you are asked to translate, you will earn yourself a hefty proportion of the overall marks for the whole paper!

    HERE'S THE PROOF!


A Latin CE paper is marked out of 75, which it is then possible to convert to a percentage (although schools which simply award grades don't always bother).

10 marks are awarded for the non-language Question 4.

So, the whole of the actual language element is in fact out of 65.

Generally, the 2 Eng-Latin sentences are worth 7 marks. Even if you take this as a percentage of the full total (including Qu. 4), you can see that it almost reaches 10% of the total marks. Some schools, particularly if you offer Level 3, will even 'weight' this question extra (particularly in relation to Qu.4).


 
   PLENTY OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO TRY TO DO IT WELL, THEN!

 

    On top of which, they couldn't really make it much easier for you : you always know exactly what to expect, and they even provide all the vocab (and related grammar) you need for the questions at the bottom!

So, pluck up your courage and here we go....

    This question actually deserves some TOP TIPS of its own:

English into Latin: TOP TIPS

 1. MAKE FULL USE OF THE VOCAB AND GRAMMAR HELP THEY PROVIDE

        There may be help with stems, genders etc. as well as the actual words they want you to use.

 2. KNOW YOUR BASIC GRAMMAR 

     ....which isn't by any means as much as you need for the Latin into English questions!

 3. BE SYSTEMATIC

         I recommend a process of "marking out" the sentences in advance so that you know what endings to use before you start (see below)

 4.  REMEMBER TO PUT THE VERB AT THE END

       Here's a free mark for no subject knowledge whatsoever - don't throw it away!

 

         The "MARKING OUT" METHOD 

       I recommend that you practise this question by actually writing down the English sentence separately first, and then showing below each word its job in the sentence - a sort of 'instruction manual' to follow when you come to put the words into Latin.

      This involves locating the verb before anything else, and highlighting it somehow (underline it, circle it, colour it in...). This then gives you lots of help about the nouns in the sentence: just remember a noun in front of the verb will be the SUBJECT (NOM case), and a noun directly after the verb will be the OBJECT (ACC case). 

   LET'S LOOK AT A LEVEL 1 SENTENCE IN STAGES (all vocab would be given): 

     SENTENCE:      The slave-girl is preparing the food.

     HIGHLIGHT THE VERB:   The slave-girl is preparing the food.

     NOW MARK NOM & ACC:     The slave girl is preparing the food.
                                                          NOM                                  ACC

     ANSWER (with the VERB AT THE END!):     ANCILLA  CIBUM  PARAT.


         I even used to advise my old pupils to do this "marking out" actually on their exam paper - why not give yourself as much of a chance as possible? 


    GRAMMAR NEEDED FOR EACH LEVEL

  •     For LEVEL 1 you only have to know 1st & 2nd declension nouns in the Nom & Acc singular, and 1st & 2nd conjugation verbs in the Present tense. 
  •    Extras for LEVEL 2: now you also need Nom & Acc Plural of the same nouns, and the Imperfect tense of the same verbs; you may also have a basic (-US -A -UM) adjective to put with a noun.
  •    LEVEL 3: Nom, Acc & Abl of declensions 1,2 & 3; Present, Imperfect & Perfect tenses of all 4 conjugations; use of prepositions; adjectives of -US and -IS declension.


   HERE'S AN EXAMPLE OF A LEVEL 2 SENTENCE using the "marking out" method:

       SENTENCE:  The slaves were watching the tired women. 

       HIGHLIGHT THE VERB:  The slaves were watching the tired women.

       MARK NOM & ACC:  The slaves were watching the tired women.
                                            NOM pl      Imperfect               ACC pl

       ANSWER (VERB AT THE END!):  SERVI  FEMINAS  FESSAS  SPECTABANT.

 

           ADJECTIVE AGREEMENT

                  Even at Level 2, this used to be what I would call "the easiest exercise in the book"! Nearly every time you have to make an adjective agree, you only need to put the same ending on the adjective that you have already put on the noun it agrees with (as in the sentence above: FEMINAS FESSAS).

   The only times this doesn't work are if you have EITHER an -ER noun in the Nom Singular (in which case the adjective just keeps its -US ending) OR a 1st declension noun which is masculine (such as nauta or agricola). Here the adjective needs 2nd declension endings to match up with the masculine gender.

e.g.  The little boy was afraid of the angry sailors.

      PUER  PARVUS  NAUTAS  IRATOS  TIMEBAT.

   It doesn't matter whether you put the adjective before or after the noun, although, by convention, they are usually written after it unless they have the idea of quantity (many, the rest of, sixteen.. etc.) which should go first.


        HERE'S A LEVEL 3 EXAMPLE WITH "MARKING OUT" (remember, they'll even tell you which cases the prepositions take...):

         SENTENCE:  We saw the brave citizens n the market-place. 

        HIGHLIGHT THE VERB:  We saw the brave citizens in the market-place. 

        ADD IN CASES etc.:  We saw the brave citizens in the market-place.
                                             Perfect           ACC Plur       IN +  ABL sing 

        ANSWER (VERB AT THE END!):  CIVES  FORTES  IN  FORO  VIDIMUS.


    Making 3rd declension adjectives agree with 1st or 2nd declension nouns (or vice versa) can be a bit trickier: you can't use the "easiest exercise in the book" method, because the endings are of different types. Here you have to match case, number & gender more carefully:

                  e.g.    Many soldiers were hurrying into the town.

                            MULTI  MILITES.......    (both words nom plur masc) 

            or:           The sad girls are standing in the road.

                            PUELLAE  TRISTES.........  (both words nom plur fem)

         I suggest you re-read these examples several times, as well as the TOP TIPS.

AND, IF I HAVEN'T REMINDED YOU ENOUGH ALREADY:
 

PUT THE VERB AT THE END!


 

 

    

EXTRA DETAILS FOR LEVELS 2&3

      
      In general, everything I have written about Level 1 in the sections above is equally relevant to the higher levels. You should certainly read the sections on Noun Cases, Gender, The Preposition "IN" and Subject & Object, which really need little extra information, and are just as likely to be asked in Levels 2 & 3 as in Level 1.

     I will add here however some extra information that may be useful for the sections on "Find from the Passage..." and "Verb Questions", as well as some other types of questions that sometimes appear. 

 

        LEVEL 2

            

              "FIND FROM THE PASSAGE..."

           First read the Level 1 info section above. As well as the more basic Parts of Speech, you are now quite likely to be asked to find the following:

                         
        PRONOUNS: Personal, Demonstrative, Reflexive;
                                 COMPARATIVE or SUPERLATIVE ADJECTIVES
;
                                 TENSES new to Level 2: FUTURE & PLUPERFECT;
                                 Parts of the IRREGULAR VERBS "EO" & "POSSUM".


          A "GRAMMAR PACK" for each level is available (click here) on this site (including a sheet on Grammar Definitions) to help you to identify these "items". As you can see, many of them would come under the heading of the "PICSI'S" already mentioned for Question 2. You should be prepared to answer questions about these.

         One helpful hint: like Present, you will only find the FUTURE tense in Direct Speech. This also applies to PERSONAL PRONOUNS (EGO, TU etc.) and IMPERATIVES. 


 


               VERB QUESTIONS

                        Once again, read the Level 1 information first. Now you can also be expected to recognise Future & Pluperfect tenses; but they can only ask you to "change" a given tense into the PRESENT or the IMPERFECT - and only of AMO or MONEO verbs at that.

           e.g. "deleverunt" (line 2): this means 'they destroyed'; how would you say in Latin 'they were destroying'? 

 (Ans. of course "DELEBANT".)

         Be aware too that they may ask questions about the Irregular verbs EO (and its compounds) and POSSUM. 

  


         

 

             PRONOUN QUESTIONS


           One question that can sometimes come up from Level 2 onwards looks like this:

                  "eos" (line 4): Give the nom. masc. singular of this pronoun.

          Here they are checking your recognition of the pronoun "IS EA ID". They could equally well ask about parts of "EGO", "TU", "NOS" or "VOS" (the Personal Pronouns); "SE" (the Reflexive Pronoun); or "HIC" and "ILLE" (often called DEMONSTRATIVE ADJECTIVES rather than PRONOUNS: "DEMONSTRATIVE" is the key-word here!)

           You should be prepared for this type of question; fortunately the answer you are asked for can only be the NOM MASC SING of the word, e.g. "IS", "ILLE", "TU", or in the case of "SE", the first case that exists (in fact, the ACC).


             Also, they may ask something like this:

                    "eam" (line 2): to whom does this pronoun refer?

          This is asking you to name the person (or thing) that the pronoun is standing in place of in that line. Here, being feminine, "eam" will mean "her": ask yourself WHO is the "her" they are talking about? Your answer will be a character by name or "job", e.g. "Athena", or "the goddess", whichever word actually appears in that sentence.

 


 

                 COMPARATIVE and SUPERLATIVE

 

           Questions on this topic often use the giveaway word "DEGREE" (see the Level 2 Grammar Definitions sheet, available as part of the Grammar Pack - click here):

        e.g. "fortiores" (line 3): which degree of comparison is this? Give the adjective in its Positive form, nom masc singular. 

          Knowledge of this topic will lead you here to the answer COMPARATIVE (you can tell by the "-IOR-" letters in the middle: a SUPERLATIVE adjective most usually ends "-ISSIMus"). The term "POSITIVE" simply means the original form of the adjective, i.e. the vocab word you would learn; in this question "FORTIS".

          Beware of the FIVE ADJECTIVES that have very irregular Comparatives & Superlatives! They need careful learning (they are in the Level 2 Grammar Pack): namely BONUS, MALUS, MAGNUS, PARVUS and MULTUS - otherwise known as the FAMOUS FIVE!

 

 

 

 

 

       LEVEL 3 

           Please read first the notes above on Levels 1 & 2. Everything there so far is equally relevant to you!

      Extras new at this level now may include:


              "FIND FROM THE PASSAGE..."

                     They may ask you for more complicated structures now (for example, in one of the 2010 papers they asked for "..an Indirect Command"). Be prepared for questions on the HIQUPPPS listed in the notes for Question 2.
      A 'Grammar Definitions' sheet is available in the Level 3 Grammar Pack (click here).


              NOUN QUESTIONS

                      Referring to the chart of "CASES", there is now one more reason that a noun may be in the ACC or ABL: namely if it is part of a Time Expression (ACC - HOW LONG; ABL - WHEN/WITHIN WHICH). If you are asked the "WHAT CASE?" question about a word such as "ANNOS", "DIEBUS", "HORAS" or other similar "Time" nouns, a little bell should start to ring!

 

              VERB QUESTIONS 

                    There are no new tenses to spot, but watch out for questions about more complicated parts of the verbs:

         e.g. "Missus" (line 2): this is a participle. From what verb does it come? Give the 1st pers sing, pres indic act. 

     This sounds complicated, but all it actually means is for you to write the 1st Principal Part of the verb (here "MITTO").

               3 more Irregular verbs now appear: VOLO, NOLO and FERO. They can have linked questions:

          e.g. "pro Graecis pugnare nunc noluit" (lines 2-3): "pugnare" is an Infinitive. Why is this part of the verb used here? 

       The answer is that it is a so-called "PROLATIVE" Infinitive, used after "noluit": "he refused TO FIGHT...".

 

               PRONOUN QUESTIONS

                      Be ready now for "IDEM", "IPSE", and "QUI" (although they often call "IDEM" an adjective.... you really don't want me to start a debate about whether it is a pronoun being used adjectivally, or an adjective being used pronominally - do you!?!)

       e.g. "eodem" (line 1): give the nom masc singular of this 'adjective'.

                    Answer: "IDEM".  Simple, hey?
 

 


 

 

         OTHER "HIQUPPPS-RELATED" QUESTIONS 

                   ....may now come up: here below are some examples and tips about how to answer them.

                       

      1.  PARTICIPLES

                 The question usually asks "WHICH PARTICIPLE is....." 

    See the Level 3 Grammar Pack for full details on how to tell them apart. For now, if the word looks as if it has been formed from the Supine Stem (4th Principal Part), it will be a PERFECT (or PAST) PARTICIPLE PASSIVE (e.g. "vulneratos"). If not, it will be a PRESENT PARTICIPLE (e.g. "exspectantem"). 

        2.  PASSIVES 

                 If they ever use the term "VOICE", this will be to distinguish between tenses that are ACTIVE or PASSIVE - in fact, if they ask "What VOICE is....", you can be pretty sure that the answer will be PASSIVE!

                 To recognise a Passive verb (more officially!), look either for the particular Passive Person Endings:
                                     
           
  -R
                                                 -RIS
                                                 -TUR
                                                 -MUR
                                                 -MINI
                                                 -NTUR
                                                                       e.g. "servabantur"

        or a verb in TWO WORDS, consisting of a PERFECT PARTICIPLE and a TENSE of "SUM" 

                                                                       e.g. "conspecti sunt".

              Sorry - this is not the place to go into how to translate the passive when you see it in a passage.  Don't be too disappointed.... 

 

           3.  SUBJUNCTIVE

               "rediret" (line 4): in what mood is this verb? Why has this mood been used here? 

             You may be in quite a bad one by now, but take heart: at CE, if they ever use the word "MOOD", there is only ever going to be one answer: the SUBJUNCTIVE! 

           WHY a verb is subjunctive, however, needs a bit more thought.  

        It's true that for CE, a subjunctive verb is only found after the conjunctions UT or NE; but saying that won't be enough to satisfy the examiners and earn you full marks on this question. They want to know if you can tell the difference between the two constructions PURPOSE CLAUSES (sometimes called FINAL clauses) and INDIRECT COMMANDS.

             A page of the grammar pack goes into these clauses in more detail. For now, the key clue to tell them apart is in the idea of a "Command".

            There are only a certain number of verbs that will be found in the main part of the sentence (generally before the "UT" or "NE", and not in its clause) that will suggest somebody 'ordering' someone TO DO something (the basic idea of an Indirect Command). AT CE, there are only FOUR:

                                    IMPERO  -  I order/command
                                    ROGO  -  I ask
                                    MONEO  -  I advise/warn
                                    PERSUADEO  -  I persuade
 

           All these 4 could then go on: ".....to do something",

                    e.g.  "He ordered them TO attack"
                            "We will persuade her TO stay"
                             "I asked my friend TO help"
                             "His father warned him NOT TO trust the old man"

          (Although English uses an Infinitive here, in Latin the subjunctive is generally used.)

         So - in broad terms, if you see one of these 4 verbs (the PRIM, or possibly MR PI verbs!) before the UT or NE in a sentence, it will be an INDIRECT COMMAND; if there isn''t a PRIM verb in front of UT or NE, it's a PURPOSE CLAUSE.

         See if you can spot which is the Indirect Command out of the two sentences below (I'm being a little bit unkind, but it's for your own good...!) Run your cursor over the "Answer" line to see if you're right.

             a)  FEMINAE MILITES VOCAVERUNT UT AUXILIUM ROGARENT

             b)  FEMINAE MILITES ROGAVERUNT UT SE IUVARENT


        Answer:  the Indirect Command is in letter b): "rogo" comes before the "UT". In letter a) it's after it, actually in the Purpose Clause itself.

         Bear in mind that these PRIM verbs will not be in the subjunctive themselves: it will always be the verb in the UT or NE clause.

 As a result, to FIND a subjunctive, it is always a good idea to look for UT or NE first!

 


 

 PHEW!

You probably feel like you've just run a Marathon after all that - but at least you'll have sent those Persians back where they belong!

Why not go back to the top now and have another read through?

OK, maybe tomorrow.....