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Lines 166–173 of chapter XXIII of Lingua latina per se illustrata. Familia Romana reads (emphasis mine in the word I find difficult to understand):

      Mārcus: "Posthāc bonus discipulus futūrus sum..." Mārcus dīcit 'sē posthāc bonum discipulum futūrum esse, semper magistrō pāritūrum esse nec umquam in lūdō dormītūrum esse.' Magister nōn crēdit eum prōmissum factūrum esse.

      Puerī: "Posthāc bonī discipulī futūri sumus..." Puerī dīcunt 'sē posthāc bonōs discipulōs futūrōs esse, semper magistrō pāritūrōs esse nec umquam in lūdō dormītūrōs esse. Magister nōn crēdit eōs prōmissum factūrōs esse.

My question is about the last prōmissum in this text. I interpret eōs in the last sentence as an adjective modifying the name which follows, in the same way that I believe eum is used as a demonstrative adjective which modifies prōmissum at the end of the first paragraph. I don't understand why it's eōs in plural but the following word, prōmissum, is in singular. Shouldn't it be prōmissa, in plural?

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A promissum, -i is a frequently substantivized perfect passive participle of promitto. In this sense, it's just a "promise," and facere promissum is one way of saying, "to keep [not make!] a promise."

In both sentences, eos and eum are being used as personal pronouns, not adjectives.

Magister nōn crēdit eum prōmissum factūrum esse.

The construction is an accusative with infinitive. In the simplest terms, this involves changing a sentence like the following:

He says that X [nominative] is Y-ing.

to this:

He says X [accusative] to be Y-ing.

Thus, the painfully literal translation:

The teacher does not believe him [eum: accusative] to be about to keep [facturum esse: agrees with eum] the promise [direct object of facere].

A much better translation:

The teacher does not believe that he will keep his promise.

Once you understand the translation of the above sentence, the last sentence that you are concerned with makes more sense:

Magister nōn crēdit eōs prōmissum factūrōs esse.

Literally:

The teacher does not believe them [eos: accusative] to be about to keep [agrees with eos] the promise [direct object of facere].

More idiomatic:

The teacher does not believe that they will keep the promise.

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  • The pupils are apparently making a collective promise. ea promissa would also be possible. Nov 7, 2023 at 8:27
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It's absolutely them making a promise, promissum. This is the object of the ACI.

The infinitive of the ACI is facturos esse and the subject (in accusative) is eos. The object of this verb in infinitive is the promise, also in accusative.

Notice how the structures of the two paragraphs are parallel, the first having one boy and the second having several. The words pointing to the boys change thus from singular to plural, but other words don't. The fact that this one word didn't change therefore also hints at it being an object rather than a subject.

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