How would you translate:

You can't get there from here.

Here's my attempt:

Illuc hinc advenire non potes.

Is there a better way to express that?

  • Is it "illuc" = to there, "hinc" = "from here"?
    – tony
    Nov 3, 2020 at 13:35
  • 1
    @tony. OK. Thanks! Nov 3, 2020 at 13:43
  • 1
    Well let's not give up all hope just yet. There's still a few States left to declare.
    – Strawberry
    Nov 4, 2020 at 10:40
  • @Expediti Bipes: Alternatively, "non hinc proficiscereris." = "You shouldn't start from here."
    – tony
    Nov 4, 2020 at 11:59

2 Answers 2


Personally, I'd simplify somewhat and use an impersonal passive: hinc illuc non (per)venitur, 'There is no arriving to that place from this place.' Or, I'd use what you've done but change the verb to possis to indicate a generic 'you' (i.e., 'one').

Otherwise, I believe what you've done is correct. The pairing of hinc and illuc in this way is well attested. For example, here are fragments 246–8 of Ennius (from the tragedy Iphigenia, quoted in Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 19.10.12):

hoc idem est; em neque domi nunc nos nec militiae sumus:
imus huc, hinc illuc; cum illuc ventum est, ire illinc lubet.
incerte errat animus, praeterpropter uitam vivitur.

It's the same with us. Look, now we're neither at home nor abroad: we go here, from here to there; when we've arrived there, it's pleasing leave there. Our mind wanders without direction, the life we live is an approximation of life.

  • A classic Ennius :) Nov 3, 2020 at 22:04
  • @cnread: Literally; "praeterpropter vitam vivitur" = "more-or-less life (subject) is lived (passive verb)"; why is "life" given in the accusative, "vitam"?
    – tony
    Nov 4, 2020 at 12:23
  • @tony, I suppose it would be accusative showing extent of time. Still, in the OLD entry for praeterpropter, this passage is cited, and '(s.v.l.)' – short for '(si vera lectio)' – is printed after the word vitam; so the editors at Oxford have doubts about the form too.
    – cnread
    Nov 4, 2020 at 17:35

Short and crisp suggestion:

Hinc illuc iter nullum (est).

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