1. Watch out for words that resemble each other.

            tamen (however), tametsi (although), tandem (finally)

     prōcēdō (go forward), proficīscor (set out), prōgredior (step forward, advance)

     continenter (continually), continentur (they are contained)

2. Learn the synonyms or near synonyms.

            prōcēdō (go forward), prōgredior (step forward)

     discēdō (go away, depart), exeō (go forth)

     igitur (therefore), itaque (thus, therefore)

     dēnique (finally), tandem (finally)

     autem (however, on the contrary), tamen (however, nonetheless)

contendō (strive, struggle, hasten), festīnō (hasten, hurry), mātūrō (make haste, hasten), properō (hasten, hurry)

cūr (why, wherefore), quā dē causā (for what reason), quārē (also quā rē--why, for what reason)

     adveniō (arrive, come to), perveniō (reach, come to, arrive at)

conficiō (perform, accomplish), efficiō (bring about, produce, accomplish), perficiō (do thoroughly, finish)

     adductus (led to, influenced, induced), inductus (led on, induced, influenced)

     bellum gerere (to wage war), bellum īnferre (to make, carry on war)

     commōtus (moved thoroughly, disturbed), permōtus (moved deeply, alarmed, disturbed)

arbitror (deponent--think, consider, believe), exīstimō (think, believe), jūdicō (judge, decide, think), putō (think, believe, judge)

3. Translate "ea" as "those things." It can be feminine nominative singular, but it's usually neuter plural.

4. Translate "fīnēs," "fīnibus," etc. as "territory, country." This is an example of metonymy.

5. Distinguish between actual present and historical present.

Belgae proximī sunt Germānīs, quī trāns Rhēnum incolunt. (actual present: "The Belgians are closest to/ neighbors to the Germans, who live across the Rhine." This is still true.)

In tertium annum profectiōnem lēge cōnfirmant. (historical present: "They fixed by law their departure for the third year." This only happened once in the past.)

6. Translate "ad" + gerund(ive) or the accusative supine "for the purpose of" or "to." These constructions are similar to a purpose clause.

Helvētiī . . . cōnstituērunt ea, quae ad proficīscendum pertinērent, comparāre. (gerund: "The Helvetians decided to gather those things that related to their departing.")

Ad eās rēs cōnficiendās biennium satis esse exīstimāvērunt. (gerundive: "They thought that two years was sufficient for accomplishing these things.")

Ad Caesarem grātulātum convēnērunt. (supine: "They assembled at Caesar's [camp, base] to congratulate him."

7. Recognize indirect statement: a verb of saying, speaking, thinking + accusative subject + infinitive.

Dīxit perfacile esse tōtīus Galliae imperiō potīrī. ("He said that it was easy to gain control of all Gaul.")

Helvētiī arbitrantur Orgetorīgem ipsum sibi mortem cōnscīvisse. ("The Helvetians believed that Orgetorix himself had committed suicide.")

8. Expect that the subject may occur later in the sentence rather than at the beginning.

Bellō Helvētiōrum cōnfectō, tōtīus ferē Galliae lēgātī . . . convēnērunt. ("After the war against the Helvetians had been concluded, envoys from almost all of Gaul came together.)

9. Learn to deal effectively with the ablative absolute.

flōrentibus rēbus, "although their state was flourishing" (lit., "with the state flourishing")

     datā facultāte, "if an opportunity were given" (lit., "with an opportunity having been given")