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My question stems from a passage of Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata Familia Romana in chapter 13 on page 99 beginning at line 120 as follows.

Question

What is the role of “Hōc annī tempore” in the sentence below and how if at all is it related to “aestāte”?

Passage

“Hōc annī tempore diēs nōn tam calidī sunt quam aestāte et noctēs frīgidiōrēs sunt.”

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Hoc...tempore is known as an ablative of time:

Time when, or within which, is expressed by the ablative...

cōnstitūtā diē on the appointed day

prīmā lūce
at daybreak

quotā hōrā?
at what hour?

tertiā vigiliā
in the third watch

Etc.

So the translation here would be:

At this time (hoc tempore) of year (anni).

It's simply letting you know the time during which the clause occurs.

By the way, if you come across an unusual accusative phrase that seems to sit apart from the sentence and refers to time, it's probably the accusative of time. You use the ablative when a specific point in time is referenced, and you use the accusative when you want to express duration through time.

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  • My error with this sentence came from the thought that hōc was a pronoun before an antecedent without the notion that it could be a demonstrative adjective before tempore.
    – Mr. Blythe
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 5:30

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