Exempli gratia, how would one say 'I am perturbed' in Latin opposed to 'I am human'? The state of being perturbed can change, but the state of being a human being cannot change, so how does one write about each. Does Latin even make the distinction betwixt these two states of existence via inflection? I'm quite the novice at Latin, so sorry for the inconvenience.

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    Please revise either title or content. The title should not reference adverbs if the question is about present tense copula plus predicate adjective and does not appear to involve any adverbs.
    – C Monsour
    Dec 22, 2019 at 15:39
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    As C Monsour says, the title asks about adverbs ("quickly", "very"), but the question asks about adjectives ("perturbed", "alive"). If you change one or the other so they both agree, we'll be able to give better answers.
    – Draconis
    Dec 22, 2019 at 17:40
  • Sorry about that, thanks for mentioning, I must've been too tired at the time to notice. It's been updated to read 'adjectives' as I had initially intended it to. Dec 24, 2019 at 7:02

1 Answer 1


Exempli gratia, how would one say 'I am perturbed' in Latin opposed to 'I am a human'?

I am perturbed = turbor or perturbor, if I am perturbed by someone or something in this moment (generally accompanied by a complement of agent). Otherwise, in order to express a condition or state, you can use perturbatus sum, where perturbatus is a predicate of the subject (ego), or a participle with the function of an adjective. It is important to remember also that perturbatus sum can be "I was perturbed / I have been perturbed / I had been perturbed" as the perfect tense of the verb perturbo.

I am a human = homo sum, were the present sense indicates an unchanging condition (or at least longlasting, or abitual).

Moreover, perturbatus is a predicate of the noun, while homo is a substantive itself, which is more suitable to express a permanent rather than a transient condition.

Other times, you may use the adjective humanus meaning "regarding the human nature", but usually you don't say 'humanus sum'. Here is a famous example:

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto. ~ Publius Terentius Afer

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    Aaah! I see. Gratias tibi ago. Dec 24, 2019 at 7:10
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    As for the three translations you give of perturbatus sum, I think it would be better to eliminate the last one ('I had been perturbed'. Cf. Perturbatus eram). In fact, this construction (perf. participle + esse) is triply ambiguous. For more discussion, take a look at: latin.stackexchange.com/questions/8815/…
    – Mitomino
    Dec 24, 2019 at 16:59
  • @Mitomino Thanks for the comment! Actually as far as I know, it can happen that both the perfect and the plusquamperfect have the same translation, though in different contexts of course Dec 24, 2019 at 17:02

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