If there appears no macron on a vowel, which is part of a monophthong, then how can I define whether it is a long vowel or a short vowel? enter image description here

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    Using images instead of text makes it impossible to search for specific words, impossible to copy specific parts, unindexable by search engines, and totally useless for people that rely on text-to-voice translation to read the question. There is also no citation for where the image was copied from. Commented Sep 4, 2023 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


No way to know. That's what the macrons are for!

For example, alium means "another", while ālium means "garlic"; anus means "old woman", while ānus means "ring"; malum means "bad", while mālum means "apple tree"; and so on. You just need to learn the long and short vowels as part of learning a word.

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    Learning vowel lengths correctly applies to both vocabulary and morphology. To work out the vowel lengths of a given word, one needs to check both a dictionary for the word and a grammar for the ending.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Aug 31, 2023 at 11:18
  • Long-o malum means 'apple'; it's long-o malus that means 'apple tree'.
    – gaufridus
    Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 7:37
  • @gaufridus long-a, rather, but the point is a good one. Also it's convenient to mention that mālus (and pirus and other names of trees ending in -us) are all feminine, unlike most other words in their declension.
    – Wtrmute
    Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 0:09
  • @Wtrmute Well, that's a somewhat embarrassing error; thanks for pointing it out.
    – gaufridus
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 23:17

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