I am thinking quite a bit these days about sequencing, and how different Greek is from English, which then raises interesting problems for the translator. I am also wondering more about how students should be translating in first year.
Look at the series of participles in the Greatest Command (Mk 12:28).
εἷς τῶν γραμματέων
ἀκούσας αὐτῶν συζητούντων,
ἰδὼν ὅτι καλῶς ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς
ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτόν· ποία ἐστὶν ἐντολὴ πρώτη πάντων;
The basic sentence structure is εἷς ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτόν. “One (of the scribes) asked him.” As a side note, my friend Dan Wallace told me that he prefers his students to find the verb–subject–direct object, especially in a complicated sentence, and then see where the rest of the words fit in relation to that structure. This is instead of just going word for word. A good idea.
In first year Greek, in order to let your teacher know that you know the difference between a present and aorist participle and understand the concept of relative time, you might translate something like this.