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Segmented Latin

Reading texts in segmented Latin is the best aid to reading comprehension. The idea behind the segmented texts is that they teach you when to pause and to review the meaning you have accumulated so far. Because Latin is an inflected language, it builds meaning based on noun and verb endings, rather than on word order as we do in English. In order to let go of your English word order habits, you need to learn how to read and understand the Latin as you go along, phrase by phrase.

Notice that the finite verbs are marked in yellow, and multi-word phrases are marked in purple to help you identify where a specific phrase stops and starts within a segment.

yellow - note that this yellow marking is used for finite verbs only - not participles, and not infinitives

purple - the main multi-word phrases that are marked in purple are adjective-noun phrases and prepositional phrases, along with noun-genitive phrases (occasionally other types of phrases involving the ablative or dative will also be marked)

Here's an example of how you can accumulate meaning bit by bit, using the clues provided by the segments to piece together the sentence bit by bit, without relying on word order itself to tell you the meaning.

A dog
nominative - he must be the subject! now you want a verb for canis to be the subject of
per pontem transivit
along a bridge he walked
and there it is: the verb is transivit (and, as often in Latin, the preposition comes before the verb - not after it, like in English)
super fluvium
over a river
et frustum carnis
and a piece of meat
could be nominative or accusative case - but since you already have a nominative noun (canis) you don't want another nominative, so you can probably assume this is accusative - now you want a verb for this to be the object of
in ore tulit. in his mouth he carried
great! the dog is still the subject, and the piece of meat is the object (and again, unlike English, the prepositional phrase can come before the verb in Latin)
A dog walked along a bridge over a river and carried a piece of meat in his mouth.















© The segmented texts, annotations and audio files at BestLatin.net are copyrighted by Laura Gibbs, 2006. No copyright is claimed for any images.