Would someone be able to help me translate the following into Latin?

Love has no age, no limits, and no end.

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    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Feb 2, 2019 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


This is, I think, 'love' in the sense of 1 Corinthians 13,13, nunc autem manet fides spes caritas tria haec maior autem his est caritas. Trying to stay in keeping with the style of the original, I would write est caritati neque aetas nec fines nec exitus, '[there] is for love neither age, nor limit, nor end'.

  • Since John Galsworthy's original quote is, I think, "Love has no age, no limit; and no death", exitus can indeed be quite appropriate here. A very minor problem of Tom's translation is the ambiguity of exitus in this context: i.e., after Nom.pl. fines, it is not clear if exitus must be interpreted as Nom. sg. (intended reading, I think, as synonym of mors) or as Nom. pl (as synonym of fines).
    – Mitomino
    Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 19:18
  • I changed my mind several times before submitting the answer : should it be est or sunt? There doesn't seem to be a hard-and-fast rule for the verb's number in such cases, and I usually settle for agreement with the nearest subject. It's not a big deal!
    – Tom Cotton
    Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 22:30
  • I agree that both est and sunt are possible in this construction and both sound natural, but my minor point above had to do with the ambiguity of exitus in that context (NB: this ambiguity remains whatever copular agreement est or sunt is chosen in that context).
    – Mitomino
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 1:34
  • thank you, tom. using your translation, would it be correct to capitalize the word “’Est’, and omit commas (as in your text as written?)
    – Janet F
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 20:35
  • Personally, I'd put it all in capitals, like all Roman public monuments used.
    – Tom Cotton
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 21:53

I suggest:

Amori nulla est aetas, nullus limes, nullus finis.

This is a fairly direct translation of the original English phrase. I think a possessive dative with nullus is a nice choice, but there is freedom in picking the nouns. I recommend taking a look at my choices in any of the many online Latin dictionaries. The words limes and finis are quite close to each other in Latin, but one can reasonably read them as "limit" and "end", respectively.

  • As for your interesting proposal that "a possessive dative with nullus is a nice choice" here, I was wondering if there is a relevant stylistic difference between repeating nullus and nec (cf. Tom's translation supra). Another minor point: unlike finis, is limes really appropriate in this context (i.e., when talking about love)?
    – Mitomino
    Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 19:03
  • @Mitomino The difference between using three copies of nullus or nec is to a large extent the difference between asyndeton and polysyndeton. Either way, the expression gets certain power from repetition. I find nullus to be somewhat more emphatic, so I chose it. // I'm not sure about the choice of limes. It means a number of things, not just fortifications. I'd gladly welcome new ideas!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 14:06
  • There is a curious analogy between English, Italian, and Latin, by which end, fine, and finis both mean "objective" (as in to what end?) and "conclusion/limit" (as in the end of the year). However, in Italian the noun is masculine in the former case, and feminine in the latter, making me wonder whether it's the same in Latin...
    – giobrach
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 15:14
  • @giobrach Please ask that as a separate question! I'd be very interesting in knowing how gender effects meaning for words like this.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 15:16

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