Not being able to speak Latin I really cannot find a way to say this that I think is satisfactory. (I don't want a Google translate saying that has such personal meaning)

I would like to portray this in the sense of my own children that are alive but not with me. In a way that represents the fact we will be together again in the future and until then I think of them always.

I understand that Latin has singular words for things we have to describe with many. So was hoping someone with experience may know of some words that have exceptional meaning to what I'm wanting to portray.

I have been unable to distinguish how I can have the importance, and in the order of;

The love of my children is most important part then the fact we are not together.

EDIT: As someone pointed out in comments I am talking of one boy and one girl.

So far I have the following;

"Nātōs amō meōs, quī etsī mēcum nōn iam sunt."

"I love them that are born of mine, even if they are not with me"

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    The default gender in Latin is masculine. So, a (classical) speaker would most often refer to a group of boys and girls as "boys." If this is an issue (it doesn't have to be, but some people are sensitive to the gender distinction), you could include the gender of your children for us to work with.
    – Nickimite
    Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 21:21

3 Answers 3


A relative clause in English often well translated with a participle in Latin. Depending on which way you want to phrase it, you can use absentes (those who are not present) or praesentes (those who are present).

The simplest phrasing would be, I think, filios meos absentes amo, "I love my children who are away". But the nuance needs to be changed a little, and we should also avoid sending the message "I love the absence of my children", which is a valid reading of filios meos absentes amo.

I would prefer to keep the phrasing concise, but of course not at the cost unintended meaning. The simple idiomatic choice seems to be to say add et and say filios meos amo et absentes, "I love my children also when they are away". I find this much more powerful than an unwieldy explanation with relative clauses.

There are ways to say explicitly "no longer" (such as non iam), but with children there is context: they are with you when young and move out when they grow up. When a child is away, I find it implicitly clear enough that they were with you at an earlier time.

What remains is to pick the most suitable words. I find filii to be the most suitable choice for your own children. They are not just boy and girl but son and daughter — liberi sounds too general to me. There are options for "love", for example amare and diligere. I think these are the main two options and both are suitable. You can also use both if you want to emphasize that you feel at your best in their presence and you esteem them highly. I find amare alone to be a better fit. You could also structure the whole thing differently and say something like fili mihi carissimi sunt ("my children are very dear to me"), but I think that diminishes your own agency and I prefer to use an active verb for this purpose.

The word order is pretty flexible but not insignificant. The remark et absentes, "also/even when away", should probably go at the end for clarity. By putting the main verb first you give it a lot of emphasis, and I think your act of love is worth emphasizing.

After these considerations, my suggestion (with a rough translation back to English) is:

Amo filios meos et absentes.
I love my children even when they are away.

If you want to say "far away" instead of just "away", you can change the end to …et longe absentes.

I found a way to put this in dactylic hexameter. Of course it comes with some poetic licence, but I hope I didn't twist the message too much:

Longe absens quoque amatus adest mihi filius omnis.
Also when far away, each child is close to me, loved.

The English translation is rough; if someone can suggest a more fluent phrasing, I'd be happy to hear.

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    I have to choose this as an acceptable answer. You have managed to explain the finer details in a very understandable way. Although it is not as "poetic" as I may have first expected I think it is very fitting. I wanted to make sure I didn't portray my love of children generally!!! It's important I am referencing my own children 😐. This is so close to what I want and I learned a great deal, thanks Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 10:03
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    @Rafael The difference between amo and diligo is quite complicated as the linked question indicates. When it comes to classical usage, I think amo is more apt. But I'm not against diligo; it's a matter of preference. I just wanted to steer away from "I esteem my children highly", which feels a bit sterile for this purpose. While diligo can be read in different ways, I think amo doesn't leave room for such a sterile reading.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 10:29
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    Incidentally, I cannot be the only one in this thread thinking of Timeo Danaos et dona ferentis (Aeneid 2,49) ;-) Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 11:18
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    @SebastianKoppehel I had to change my approach quite a bit, but I found a way to put it in hexameter. It doesn't parallel the line from the Aeneid, though.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 11:41
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    Nice elisions; they make the absence suitably heavy.
    – Hugh
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 16:27

It is good that you clarified your children are still alive, because the English "are no longer with me" can easily sound a bit like a euphemism. It seems your children are in a different place than you; in other words absent, which is in fact derived from the Latin absens. (Absens can in fact also euphemistically refer to a deceased person, but it ususally does not.)

My absent children are absentes liberi mei, and "I love" is of course simply amo.

To stress certain parts of the sentence at the expense of others, in order to perhaps express what is most important, Latin often uses its relatively free word order, isolating certain important words, putting them in a prominent position. But it is difficult to come up with fixed rules.

I suggest: Liberos amo meos absentes. This makes sure that absentes is de-emphasized, which I think is all we need.

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    What is the literal translation of your phrase, @Sebastian Koppehel?
    – Nickimite
    Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 23:33
  • I think it would translate into "I release love for the ones that are absent." Which is nice but not quite what I was looking for. I wanted to specify/emphasise that it is my children that are absent. And also that we will be together again.. as if this is only temporary. Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 5:44
  • Edit: "Liberos" masculine plural of Liberi [Plural of offspring]. So "I have love for my offspring [plural] who are not with me." Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 5:48
  • While I appreciate the input I am looking something a lot more meaningful. Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 7:21
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    @JamieLindsey Only a quick grammatical note: liberos is just the accusative of liberi, which is a masculine plural form of liber. It's a bit of a weird word, because liber just means "free", but the plural, depending on context, takes on the special meaning "children". Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 13:36

How about filios amo etiam absentes (or filias amo etiam absentes if they are all girls) — I love my children [sons] also while they are absent.

EDIT: since it seems you want something different stressing the love, how about emphasizing it by using two different terms for love?

filios amans diligo viatoresloving [my] children, I cherish [them as] wanderers (assuming the separation is temporary)

amanter filios diligo etiam exsuleslovingly, I cherish [my] children also [as] exiles (assuming the separation is permanent)

  • Thanks, I appreciate the difference from the alternative answer. I think I am really looking for something with a lot more meaning than simply I love my kids who are absent. Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 7:22
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    I'm afraid it's difficult to know what you would consider meaningful given the limited information available. Are you looking for something that has a literary reference? A poetic meter? Or a particularly emphatic phrasing?
    – gmvh
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 7:26
  • I have updated my question a little to give better clarity. But I would really like to be emphatic in regards to the love for my kids part. I want something that is, I guess, poetic also. I want something meaningful as opposed to a direct translation. Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 7:31

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