I came across the sentence (in the title) and I am confused about the translation of "tamen". Tamen means however but when I put it on google translate (ignoring its inaccuracy), it didn't even translate the "tamen". Also, "pessime" here seems to be an adverb right? Can someone please give me a nice youtube link about adverbs? (I can't just use the adjective conjugation and say it's abl. or smth can I?)

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    If you know what tamen means why does it matter that a machine translation service that you know is bad at translating Latin doesn't translate it?
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 2:46
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    For Google Translate, make sure to end your sentences with a full stop. Without full stop: "At first he ruled very badly". With full stop: "At first, however, he ruled very badly." Please don't ask me why this is so. Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 7:47

2 Answers 2


First of all, Google Translate shouldn't be trusted. Second, tamen is a contrastive adverb that often has the force of a conjunction. The sentence reads something like: "At first, however, he was ruling very badly" or more naturally "Yet at first he was ruling very poorly."

For most three-termination adjectives (those ending in -us, -a, -um), all you need to make an adverb is to drop the ending and replace it with a long -e. For two-termination adjectives (-is, -e), you use instead -(i)ter; thus leviter from levis, -is.

There are certain circumstances in which an adjective in the ablative or accusative case gets used essentially like an adverb, and primo here is one of them. There are a handful of words you'll see that frequently do this, and Allen and Greenough have a short list of them here.


Pessime is indeed the adverb of pessimus 'worst, very bad', which is the superlative of malus 'bad', so it translates very straightforwardly as 'worstly' or 'very badly', as you would expect.

Conor is a deponent verb, which means it has passive morphology but active or middle/reflexive meaning.

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    Now I want to know whether optime means "bestly" or "wellest" ;-) Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 7:49
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    @SebastianKoppehel Wait, it's not "goodestly"?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 10:36

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