So I have the following to translate:

Coronas pulchras filia mea parva portat.

And the book answer is:

My little daughter carries beautiful wreaths.

But what I initially thought:

The little daughter carries my beautiful wreaths.

So, my question is, is there a way to know where "mea" exactly goes? Context of the sentence? The fact that "mea" is closer to filia and parva than it is to coronas-pulchras?

  • 2
    To add to the good answers: You can say "The little daughter carries my beautiful wreaths." by changing mea to meas. It might be more natural to start the sentence with meas.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Dec 22, 2016 at 22:14

2 Answers 2


In Latin, an adjective always agrees with the (pro)noun it modifies in gender, number, and case. Since Latin is inflected, position is not an important deciding factor, though it can be relevant.

Let's first parse the two nouns in your sentence:

  • coronas: feminine, plural, accusative
  • filia: feminine, singular, nominative

All that's left to do is find out which noun each adjective agrees with. In this case it is very easy, since pulcher, -chri, parvus, and meus are all 1st and 2nd declension adjectives and thus have the same endings as the above nouns.

  • pulchras ends in -as and agrees with coronas.
  • mea and parva end in -a and agree with filia
  • Ok, I understand my error now. For some reason I assumed that "mea" wasn't a word you could decline. But why do you call it an adjective ? In my book "mea" is refered to as a pronoun. My guess is that "mea" (that which replaces a noun) is acting as an adjective in this specific sentence, right ? Does this make sense grammaticaly speaking ? Thanks
    – copper
    Dec 23, 2016 at 3:45
  • 1
    @copper meus is indeed a possessive pronoun, but it is an adjective too. Pronouns can be "like" nouns (ego, tu, nos) or "like" adjectives (meus, tuus, noster)
    – brianpck
    Dec 23, 2016 at 14:01

Adjectives always agree with the noun they are modifying in case, gender, and number. Since mea is the nominative feminine singular form of meus, mea, meum ("my" or "mine"), it goes with filia and parva which are also in the nominative feminine singular. Mea thus could not go with coronas pulchras, which is in the accusative feminine plural form.

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