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So essentialia negotii is transaction's essentials. How would one say The transaction's essential things, transactions' essential things, essential things of the transaction and essential things of the transactions?

Are

  • negōtia essentiālia trānsāctiōnis for "transaction's essential things(or aspects)"
  • negōtia essentiālia trānsāctiōnum for "transactions' essential things"

Wrong?

Are we failing to refer to ALL transactions by using plural instead of singular? To each their own, each transaction needs its own essential things but all need theirs.

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EDIT: Note that this answer applies to an earlier version of the question; see the revision history for details.


The genitive in (Classical) Latin is, in fact, never accompanied by an article—because Latin has no articles at all!

Like in (Ancient) Greek, the Latin genitive is marked by a special ending on nouns and adjectives. This ending varies by declension—different words inflect in different ways—but is almost always one of -ae, , -ius, -is, -ūs, or -eī.

Latin also has the preposition , but it's not used to express possession (it's more like "down from" or "concerning" than "of"). In the Vulgar Latin/Romance that would later become Portuguese, the various genitive endings fell out of fashion, and the meaning of expanded to take their place; that's where Portuguese de comes from.

  • I am sorry I had no time to read your answer. Was it against etiquete to change the question half a minute after you answered? – George Ntoulos Sep 12 at 0:44
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    @GeorgeNtoulos Generally, editing a question in a way that invalidates an existing answer is discouraged. In this case though I'll just post another answer to the new question. – Draconis Sep 12 at 1:27
  • Thank you very much my internet is not very good. I just gave it some thought and figured it out that the question was pointless. I did not think what was the implication of there being no definite article. You can see the edit was just 20 or so seconds after your answer. I am deeply sorry. – George Ntoulos Sep 12 at 1:30
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The transaction's essential things

Essentiālia negōtiī

transactions' essential things

Essentiālia negōtiōrum

essential things of the transaction

Essentiālia negōtiī

essential things of the transactions

Essentiālia negōtiōrum

negōtia essentiālia trānsāctiōnis

"Essential affairs of the transaction"

negōtia essentiālia trānsāctiōnum

"Essential affairs of the transactions"

The latter two are switching the meaning of negōtium, which can mean "transaction" but can also mean "affair" or "topic".

Are we failing to refer to ALL transactions by using plural instead of singular?

When you're talking about essentiālia negōtiī, you presumably have a particular transaction in mind. If you want to talk about all essential things, you don't need to specify negōtiī at all; you could just say something like essentiālia omnia.

  • How can negotium mean transactions? en.wiktionary.org/wiki/negotium. This is the wiktionary though which I question its credibility. Like Oxford University Press publishes Oxford English Dictionary. What is the equivalent dictionary in Latin. If one considers Oxford University to be the authority on the English language which university is the authority on the Latin language? OED is OUP's "best" dictionary(or so I have been told I bought Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary and Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary 10 years ago) which dictionary is that university's best dictionary? – George Ntoulos Sep 12 at 20:31
  • In romance languages the closest meaning to transactions a negotium has is business. If transactio are a Latin Word why not use it instead? – George Ntoulos Sep 12 at 20:32
  • @GeorgeNtoulos Negotium is a word with a lot of meanings. Most generally, it means a matter, an affair. So in a business context, it means a business affair of some sort, a contract, a deal, a transaction, etc. Transactio is a more specific word, more like a legal term, not something I'd expect to hear in casual conversation. – Draconis Sep 12 at 20:52
  • @GeorgeNtoulos As far as the best dictionary for Latin—that would make a good question! I have my opinions on the matter, but others might be able to provide additional resources that I don't know about, and making it a question of its own makes it googlable for future readers. – Draconis Sep 12 at 20:53
  • @GeorgeNtoulos I'm not sure that "transaction" is the best English translation of negotium, especially in the phrase essentiales negotii. This might make another good question. – Ben Kovitz Sep 15 at 16:15

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