Could you give some examples of sentences showing the difference between Opinio and Sentencia?

Aren't both good translations for "opinions?"

"Through" and "opinion" seems to be translated by both: opinio, and sententia.

How I understood what I found in dictionaries and books:

Only "opinio" means "idea" and "hypothesis" (true?)
I know that "sententia" can also mean a sentence, a maxim, a concept

but when they both mean "opinion" what is the difference between those 2 words, are they "perfect" synonyms?


2 Answers 2


sententia is something you've given thought to and which relates to a given situation, a view; from this follow its uses as "thought expressed in words", "sense, sentence", "intention", "decision, judicial sentence", "moral maxim".

  • meā quidem sententiā ('at least in my view')
  • ex sententiā; praeter animī sententiam ('agreeably; against one's liking')
  • Quot hominēs, tot sententiae. ('There are as many opinions as there are people', proverb)
    • There are still stronger expressions of certainty, like jūdicium and arbitrium.
    • Compare also suō arbitrātū ('according to one's wish').

opīniō is a universal expectation, an idea about something, like from prior experience; also a belief which can turn out to be true or false; a reputation.

  • ut opīniō mea est/fert ('as I believe, I suppose that')
  • in eādem opīniōne esse ('to believe so too')
  • praeter opīniōnem ('against expectations')
  • opīniōne alicuijus mortis turbārī ('to be distressed believing that someone died')
  • saepius opīniōne quam rē labōrāmus ('often our problems are rather imaginary than real' Seneca, Letters to Lucilius 13.4)

In the sense of “In my opinion...” both are perfectly fine and in practice synonymous. My impression is that Meā (quidem) sententiā... is used more frequently by Latin speakers today, possibly reflecting usage in standard sources, but I have seen meā opinione also (apparently ex or dē meā opinione is another option).

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