In his great hymn Pange lingua for Vespers at Corpus Christi, S Thomas writes:
Verbum caro panem verum
verbo carnem efficit ...
We are going to translate it together. Are you sitting comfortably?
You will only be able to translate it by first asking and answering certain questions. Such as these.
Here we go.
What is the subject? That is, what is in the nominative? Verbum ... but caro as well. They are in what is often called 'apposition'. They stick together. Verbum means the Word in the sense of the Second Person of the Blessed and Undivided Trinity. Caro means flesh; so Verbum caro means the Word [who had become] flesh ... i.e. the Incarnate Word.
What is the verb? efficit, meaning makes.
What is the object? That is, what is in the accusative? panem, verum, and carnem. Let me persuade you to put carnem in the fridge for a moment and to deal first with panem verum. That means true bread.
So far, we have "The Word [made] flesh makes true bread ...."
Time to polish off carnem. Let's pause for a moment. Consider (1)"He beat the boy black and blue"; (2). "He beat the black and blue boy". In each of these English sentences, 'black and blue' is in grammatical agreement with (i.e. it tells us more about) the boy. But they are different. (2) means that the boy was black and blue before the beating. (1) means that the blackness and blueness was the result of the beating ... i.e. the end, purpose, result, of the verbal action.
Carnem is like (1). It is the result of the verbal action.
"The Word [made] flesh makes true bread [to be] flesh".
Oops ... we've left out verbo, which, incidentally, has a lower-case v. Its ending makes clear that it is either dative or ablative. I will tell you for free that it is ablative.
"The Word [made] flesh by a word makes true bread [to be] flesh".
You can't translate Latin, as you can a lot of modern languages, by attacking each word in the order in which it comes in the sentence. You have to work out grammatical things like what is the subject, what is the verb, what is the object etc. etc.. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time.
By 'wasting', I mean wasting.
Because the sense in Latin depends on the inflexions (i.e. the syllable at the end of a word which changes, as with verbum ... verbo; caro ... carnem), a poet is able to group the words in a beautiful or pointed way. The patterning of this couple of lines is, in my view, perfectly exquisite.
The great Anglican scholar John Mason Neale translated these lines, very simply, very finely,
Word made Flesh, by word he maketh
Very bread his Flesh to be.
Have you booked yet to attend the Latin Mass Society Latin course this summer in Pantasaph?