I'm wanting to write "I saw this and though of you" in latin, and am struggling with the "of you" section (I'm only a beginner)... Should this be "de +abl" or is there another translation/idiom?

Hoc vidi et de te cogitavi?


Your attempt is absolutely correct, cogitare is commonly used with de + ablative, meaning: "think of". It may be of interest to you that this verb can also be used with a plain accusative object, like: te cogitabam, "I was thinking of you".

But since you asked for alternative idioms: when you say "I thought of you" in this case, you are less saying "I was pondering you", but rather: "You came to mind." As it turns out, you can almost literally translate that to Latin:

Mihi in mentem venisti.

In mentem venire is a common expression used lots by Cicero, for example.

  • 1
    Love the ciceronian expression, it perfectly corresponds to the Italian venire in mente (e.g. mi venisti in mente) – Vincenzo Oliva Oct 21 '20 at 19:21
  • 1
    @VincenzoOliva Some would say Latin never died, it's just called Italian today ;) – Sebastian Koppehel Oct 22 '20 at 12:13

I, at least, would understand your meaning. If I were writing it more emotionally, I would say:

(Hoc) donum spectavi, et fit velut pro oculis meis advenisti.

"I saw this gift, and it was as if you walked in front of my eyes."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.