Considering the original phrase:

The king who all citizens love is happy.

(Portuguese: Feliz é o rei a quem todos os cidadãos amam.)

Here is a proposed Latin translation:

Felix est rex is quem omnes cives amant

Is the pronoun "is" necessary?

2 Answers 2


Not sure where you got that is from. The original phrase, which seems to be from a 1845 book of Latin exercises, does not has it. For instance, see here.

In any case, is as pronoun means "he", or as demonstrative, "this/that", so maybe the phrase with the is could be translated as

Happy is he the king who all citizens love


Happy is this/that king who all citizens love

  • 1
    Appreciated. The translation to latin I got is from someone who translated from the portuguese version. But any way, I couldn`t found a reason as well.
    – Lyu
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 7:37
  • 1
    It could easily be a happy king is he whom all citizens love with felix fronted for emphasis.
    – Anonym
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 19:04
  • In this context, where is agrees with the subject, I think he would be a less likely translation: this/that is better. It gives extra emphasis but it is optional. P.S. A defining relative clause (subjunctive) might be more appropriate here, in which case is is desirable: felix est rex is quem omnes ament.
    – Cerberus
    Commented May 29, 2022 at 16:21

The best of Latin: the best of English: happy is the king; he (is), whom (quem) all citizens love. To omit "is" may be acceptable; but, the assertion becomes sloppy. Guys with the erudition of Cicero would not thank you.

  • I don't get this argument at all. The antecedent of the relative clause is rex.. Why does it need a demonstrative in apposition? What's sloppy about omitting it?
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 21:40
  • @Colin Fine: Here, "king" is being emphasised (possibly for a dramtic effect); HE, whom...Omit "si", which you may do, the emphasis is reduced; assertion is weakened.
    – tony
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 9:11

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