Brian W. Davidson

sharing things I enjoy

The Word Order Hurdle

Seventh graders at HLS start their first year of Greek having already taken a few years of Latin, so they are used to seeing subject-object-verb word order in translation exercises. They are not accustomed to seeing sentences that start with a verb, often a third person verb. For example, given a sentence like ἔχουσιν ἀδελφὸς καὶ ἀδελφὴ γῆν, students would likely begin their translation, “They have …”
It seems like I spend a large chunk of the first trimester shaking a sign like the one pictured below over their heads and chanting along with them, “When I see a third person verb in a sentence, I’m going to look for a nominative subject!”

Every class makes a poster board with this mantra, but I thought this one was particularly cool.

But this one is charming, as well:

Chant it till you dream it!

One response to “The Word Order Hurdle”

  1. […] Errors, Modern Scribes,” post. He also emphasizes the significance of word order in “The Word Order Hurdle.” Looking at the Didache, David Corder examines Aaron Milavec’s preference for the […]