How would you translate "blood for blood" into Latin? This is similar to how you would use "eye for an eye" and things along those lines.

I got sanguis pro sanguine from Google. Is that correct?

1 Answer 1


"An eye for an eye" is, conveniently, a Biblical phrase, so we can look at how Jerome translated it. In this case, the relevant chapter is Exodus 21.

Sin autem mors ejus fuerit subsecuta, reddet animam pro anima,
But if their death follows, he will render a soul for a soul,
oculum pro oculo, dentem pro dente, manum pro manu, pedem pro pede,
an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot,
adustionem pro adustione, vulnus pro vulnere, livorem pro livore.
burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

The phrase we see here is dentem pro dente (and the like): the first one in the accusative case, the second one in the ablative case. So following this model, we would get sanguinem pro sanguine.

But the reason it's in the accusative here is because it's the object of the verb reddet, so it's an appropriate translation for a context like "he will render blood for blood". If you want to phrase it more like "blood for blood will be taken", that would use the nominative case, sanguis pro sanguine.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.