Yesterday, I posted on Facebook and on my blog.  I commented on the fact that it takes me so very long to grade.  

At the moment, I have suspended all new grading for the coming year.  I am simply unable to keep up.

Several people wanted to know why.  “Why does it take so long to grade?  Don’t you have answer keys?”

The answer is, “Yes.   Of course, I have answer keys.  Created them myself, in fact.   So far, I have written about 800 pages.  Here is the problem.  Each student needs particular help with each particular sentence.  Some mistakes are common.  Some are quite complicated.  It took me a half hour to respond to this email.  I receive about 100 emails like this every day.”

Take a look (This is from Henle Latin 1, exercise 330, by the way):


1 When each peaceful Gaul is in the protection of Caesar’s winter quarters we will leave and travel into Italy.  Pacata esset = had been pacifiedContendit means, hastened, or hurried.   Also, Caesar is actually leaving the garrison (praesidia) behind in winter quarters.  He himself is hurrying into Italy.  When all of Gaul had been pacified, Caesar left the winter quarters and hastened into Italy.  -4

2 The centurion in the front of the battle line asks for whose plan Caesar approves of.  Ante proelium = before the battle.  He is asking about the plans (consilia).  Probata essent is passiveBefore the battle, the centurion asked which plans had been approved by Caesar.  -3

 3 Do you really know who sent the envoy?  Missi sint is passiveQuo does often a subjunctive clause in Caesar’s Gallic wars. However, the sentences already subjunctive because of the introductory question. Num scis means, “You do not know, do you?”  In this case, quo, is asking the question, “where?”  This changes the sentence to, “You do not know where the envoys were sent, do you?”  -2

4 When you lead a column through a difficult and narrow place, be sharp to suddenly see barbarians.  The column of soldiers (agmen) is the subject of the sentence.  Visa est is passive.  It means was seenDuceretur is passive.  It means was led. This changes the sentence to, “When the column was led through a difficult and narrow place, the battle line of the barbarians was suddenly seen.”  – 3

5 Is it not known if the legion that is in camp is to be left by the envoy?  Scitisne means, “Do you know?”  Relicta sit is passive.  Here it means, was left.  This changes the sentence to, “Do you know if the legion which was in the camp was left by the lieutenant?”  -2

6 When the grain was set fire to by the cavalry, the soldiers in camp always dig to fortify the wall.  There is no semper in this sentence.  Remove “always”.  The soldiers are actually fortifying (muniebant) the camp with a wall and a ditch (vallo fossaque).  -3

7 When Christ of Judea was shown by Pilate to be a Jew a large shout was raised: “We have no king but Caesar. Destroy him! Crucify him!

I think it is the passive verbs that are throwing you off.  Watch this video:

Also, you should review the videos in this Lingua Latina lesson:

And, finally, review lesson 17 in Henle Latin:


As I have said, I am looking for a solution.  I do not want to leave the work above to mothers who do not know Latin.  At the moment, I cannot afford to “hire” someone.  Besides, if I hired someone, I would likely spend as much time training them as I spend answering emails.  So, I am a bit stumped.  Still looking for a solution.

So, I am a bit stumped.  Still looking for a solution….