Questions tagged [genus]

For questions about grammatical gender (masculine, feminine, neuter).

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28
votes
4answers
2k views

When is “diēs” masculine, when is it feminine, and why can this word take different genders?

Wiktionary goes into it a bit: Diēs is an exceptional case of a fifth declension noun since it is both used in the masculine form and in the feminine form, instead of just feminine like the rest of ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Examples of “homo” used for a woman

Any beginning Latin learner discovers that English "man" has two translations: homo, when referring to a man as opposed to another species, and vir, when referring to a man as opposed to a ...
33
votes
2answers
751 views

What gender should a predicate adjective be to agree with a series of things with different genders?

I'd like the translate the following sentence into Latin: Pompeii, Rome, and Herculaneum are visited by the boys. However, since these three cities have different genders, I'm struggling to choose ...
13
votes
1answer
399 views

Can masculine 1st-decl. nouns be feminine? (e.g. “Nauta perita”?)

Certain nouns, including agricola, nauta, athleta, pirata, and others, are classified in textbooks as masculine. But are these always masculine, even when referring to a female, as in "Haec femina est ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Where do the plurals of locus come from?

The word locus is masculine in the singular, but it can be masculine or neuter in the plural. Geographical places are loca, but places in a text are loci. As far as I know, this is the only Latin word ...
8
votes
2answers
293 views

Was “Pascha” ever used as a neuter first-declension noun?

Before today, I thought that there was no neuter substantive1 noun with a nominative singular in a and a genitive singular in ae. However, I have encountered references to a possible exception: some ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Is any animal neuter in Latin?

The word animal itself is neuter in Latin, but at least all of the common animal species seem to be masculine or feminine (or common gender): canis, feles, equus, pardus, leo/leaena, lupus/lupa, ursus/...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Which animal names have grammatical gender, and which have common gender?

In Allen & Greenough, §34, I see a short discussion on the gender of animal names: Many nouns may be either masculine or feminine, according to the sex of the object. These are said to be of ...
9
votes
2answers
131 views

Same ending of “Mediolanensis” in “Archiepiscopus Mediolanensis” and “Archidioecesis Mediolanensis”

Why is the ending of Mediolanensis in Archiepiscopus Mediolanensis and Archidioecesis Mediolanensis the same even though the former noun is male and the latter female?
7
votes
2answers
275 views

Inflections of Ζεύς

Διώνη is the name of a Titaness, a nymph, and Phoenician goddess. And according to the Wikipedia article on said Titaness, it's derived from the feminine form of the genitive of Ζεύς. And according to ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the phrase professor emerita grammatically correct?

Since professor has masculine gender, one may think that the phrase should be professor emeritus, regardless of the gender of the person referred to. Is the use of emerita simply a case of grammatical ...
6
votes
2answers
439 views

Male personal names ending in -um

A number of personal names in the works of Plautus end in -um in the nominative singular, which struck me as odd when I first encountered them, since nominative singular -um is characteristically ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

How were names ending in -ιον used in Greek?

In the plays of Plautus, there are some names ending in -um. They are generally formed as Greek names (whether genuine or pseudo-Greek), and the Latin ending -um here seems to correspond to the Greek ...
6
votes
3answers
375 views

Confused about the use of “quae” as an interrogative word

Sometimes, I read that "quae" could be used, not only as a relative word, but also as an interrogative word. Sometimes I read that it's not like that in the correct usage. Quote, from a fellow Latin ...
5
votes
2answers
141 views

How to indicate gender of ambiguous pronoun antecedent

Consider the following sentence (a little contrived, but you can imagine a better example...): Do you like their friends? -I only like her friends. The obvious word-for-word translation does not ...
10
votes
3answers
270 views

Is sal ever neuter?

Are there instances in known literature where sal, "salt", is neuter instead of masculine? If yes (as it now seems), can it be freely used as both masculine and neuter or is there a difference? The ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

When a Greek word is borrowed by Latin, does it keep the same gender?

When a Greek word is borrowed by Latin, does it keep the same gender that it had in Greek? For example, a question arose about the word platysma, a muscle in the neck. It undoubtedly comes from ...
13
votes
1answer
427 views

Wordplay with “Vox Populi” (populus, m vs. populus, f)

Say I want to mock up the idiom "Vox Populi" using not "populus" (m, people) but "populus" (f, poplar tree). Meaning something like "the sound of the poplar leaves rustling". Do I have a way to ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Does Latin have any neuter words for humans?

In Ancient Greek, diminutives are almost always neuter, regardless of the original noun's gender. This leads to words like paidíon, "small child" (from país "child"), which are neuter even though they ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Is there a gender-neutral pronoun for people in Latin?

Sometimes it is preferable to leave a person's gender undisclosed and some people do not fall into the usual two gender categories. This requires some adaptations in languages that indicate gender in ...
6
votes
1answer
62 views

Is “their” being masculine or feminine?

The phrase I'm wondering about is "causas sui odii" — 'the cause of their hatred'. The men are discussing the cause of their (the men's) hatred? or the cause of their (the women's) hatred? If ...
3
votes
3answers
355 views

Mihi legendum/legenda est?

I've another question about Coniugatio periphrastica passiva. If I'm a girl and I wanted to say I need to read, would it be: Mihi legendum est. Or Mihi legenda est. So, does the gerundivum ...