Questions tagged [grammar-choice]

When asking which choice (case, tense, mood etc.) is grammatical in a given situation, use this tag.

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6
votes
2answers
385 views

On the (typical?) ambiguity of "Porta clausa est"

It is often said that Porta clausa est can have two readings depending on the categorial nature of the participle: verbal (cf. clauditur/clausa est) or adjectival (cf. clausa est/clausa fuit), which ...
14
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2answers
816 views

Memento quod <subjunctive>

(A tangent off of a question and comment by David Charles.) This verse from roughly the ninth century: Memento rerum conditor, Nostri quod olim corporis Sacrata ab alvo Virginis Nascendo ...
16
votes
2answers
980 views

What is the difference between -us and -io?

One can derive nouns from verbs by attaching -us or -io to the perfect participle stem. For example, movere gives rise to motus (fourth declension) and motio. The meanings of these derived words are ...
9
votes
1answer
341 views

When to use a genitive pronoun instead of a possessive adjective

The genitive form of the personal pronouns (e.g. mei, tui, nostri, nostrum, etc.) seem to occur fairly often in the following contexts: Partitive genitive: to indicate a part of some whole. Quis ...
8
votes
2answers
546 views

When can the gerund take an object?

Typically the gerundive is employed when one using a gerund with an object seems possible. For example, I have understood that aqua bibenda est and rei faciendae causa are preferable to aquam bibendum ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Is the complement of esse in nominative or accusative when esse is a subject?

Suppose I want to say something like "I like being a human". There are undoubtedly several ways to phrase that in Latin, but I want to do it so that it the subject is "to be a human". The complete ...
9
votes
2answers
417 views

The difference between coniunctivus and imperativus when expressing commands

What is the rule for choosing coniunctivus or imperativus when expressing commands? I know, that imperativus has only second person forms, so one is forced to use coniunctivus for other persons. Are ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Stem for derivatives like figura, statura and cultura

I learned in a recent question that derived nouns like figura, statura and cultura do not always look like the future participle but are actually formed from a different stem. Examples of differences: ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Genitive vs Ablative of Price

In Latin, worth or value can be expressed by the genitive or by the ablative. Here are some examples: Genitive Non pono utrique par pretium: pluris aestimo beneficium quam iniuriam. (Sen Ep. Mor. 81....
12
votes
1answer
608 views

What is the difference between accusative and genitive with meminisse?

The verb meminisse can take an accusative or a genitive object. Also other constructions are possible (see the entry in L&S), but I want to focus on comparing these two in classical Latin. Are ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Choosing between the prefixes e- and ex-

Before a consonant on can use either version of the prepositions e/ex. Both seem to appear in prefixes as well, but ex- is often assimilated. It seems that, for example, words beginning with F take ex-...
4
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0answers
136 views

Is active periphrastic conjugation compulsory in consecutio temporum?

There is a rule which I have learned to know and love by the name consecutio temporum, and it governs the tense of a conjunctive predicate in (many) subordinate clauses. All three Latin Grammars I ...
3
votes
1answer
216 views

What is the grammatical "logic" of impersonal constructions like "Me non solum piget stultitiae meae sed etiam pudet" (Cic. De Dom. 29)?

What is the grammatical "logic" of the impersonal construction with psychological verbs like pudet, piget, paenitet, taedet, miseret? (here is a short descriptive characterization of so-...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

When to use cum + subjunctive and when cum + indicative

So I have never, ever, ever been able to grasp fully any explanation in any textbook of when to use "cum" with the subjunctive and when to use it with the indicative, because the examples they give ...
9
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1answer
2k views

When to use the Greek accusative?

The Greek accusative or the accusative of respect (accusativus Graecus or accusativus respectus) is used like the ablative of respect (ablativus respectus). This construction is a loan from Greek, ...
9
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3answers
3k views

How do you convert 'lectulus' from a noun to an adjective?

I'm thinking that a houseguest who stays on your couch should be something like hospes lectuli. But that sounds more like a guest invited by your couch, which is silly. In my non-expert understanding ...
9
votes
1answer
155 views

The interjection "o" with different cases

I recently came across o beatum te in a letter and I was surprised that accusative was used instead of vocative. Lewis and Short indeed indicate that the interjection o can be used with vocative, ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Reference with hic, is and ille

Consider this example: Ecce Marcus et Gaius. Hic canit, ille auscultat. Here are Marcus and Gaius. The latter sings, the former listens. When there are two or more things one could refer to, hic ...
5
votes
1answer
177 views

Does using quippe in a relative clause require conjunctive?

One can insert the particle quippe in a relative clause to give it a causal or otherwise explaining tone.1 Does quippe require using conjunctive in the relative clause? If not, are there some rules ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

Ordinal adjectives for single things modifying plural noun?

To refer to "the first and second chapters", do I say: capitula prima et secunda or: capitula primum et secundum?
2
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2answers
3k views

Is the adjective in latin put after the noun or before?

E.g Is the legal term essentialia negotii correct use of the grammar(declension, agreement, word order) rules or not? Should it not be negotiorum essentialium so that the case, the number and the ...
10
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1answer
771 views

Difference between Vocative and Accusative usage

What is the grammatical difference between saying something like Bonam Fortunam (in the accusative) and Bona Fortuna (in the vocative) to another person? I have always heard the former, and I do not ...
10
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2answers
330 views

Is it "bene videtur" or "bonum videtur"? Adjective or adverb with verbs/copulae meaning "seem"

With verbs like "seem, appear", one sometimes uses an adverb to express how something appears ("she looked well"), at other times an adjective ("he seemed angry"). How did the Romans do it, ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
644 views

What is the difference between present and perfect conjunctive in hesitation?

I recently said this in our chat room: Ita crediderim, sed certus non sum. A brief discussion ensued about my choice of tense. I wanted to express hesitation, and my gut feeling says that the ...
7
votes
1answer
233 views

When did the infinitive of purpose arise?

In Classical Latin, purpose would normally be expressed with ut, or ad with a gerund, or a supine with a verb of motion, or numerous other ways. However, in later and vulgar Latin (most notably the ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

Is "nolī esse" grammatical?

In the Vatican's Nova Vulgata, Ecclesiastes 7:16-17 reads as follows: Noli esse nimis iustus neque sapiens supra modum! Cur te perdere vis? Ne agas nimis impie et noli esse stultus! Cur ...
3
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2answers
251 views

The difference between ablative absolute and a participle coniunctum

(old misleading title: The difference between ablative absolute and present participle) On participles A&G notes: The present and perfect participles are often used as a predicate, where in ...
15
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4answers
1k views

Is the Phrase "Sola Dea Fatum Novit" Proper Latin?

I have seen this sentence translated as both "Only the Goddess knows fate" and "Only the Goddess knows their fate". That aside, I remember someone telling me that this was not correct Latin, and it ...
8
votes
2answers
563 views

Latin for English "has been" + adjective?

I'm trying to say in Latin, "Our garden has been full of junk for three years" and I can't figure out what tense to put the verb in. In English, "has been" expresses present tense with perfective ...
7
votes
1answer
743 views

How to derive nouns from adjectives?

I know several ways to derive nouns from adjectives: audax > audacia, laetus > laetitia, pius > pietas, magnus > magnitudo. Questions: Are there any rules that govern which one of -ia, -itia, -tas ...
5
votes
1answer
256 views

Are future active participles of deponent verbs used in place of future passive participles? Why?

In form, nātūrus is a future active participle of the (deponent) verb nāscor – which otherwise only appears in passive forms – and is used to mean about to rise and, taken literally, about to be born, ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Latin gender and non-binary gender identity

I am preparing for a large academic event where Latin is used. Latin will be used in the spoken ceremonies and, more importantly for this question, in written diplomas. The gender of the recipient of ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I say "this must not happen"?

I'm used to translating English auxiliary "must" with a Latin gerundive: hic necandus est "this man must be killed". But what if I want to say "this man must not be killed"? I would read non necandus ...
3
votes
3answers
217 views

What case does 'plus' take?

I don't have any information about what case to use with 'plus' (or 'magis'). In dictionaries usually only prepositions take some case, and it is showed in parentheses. In my language, 'more' takes ...
3
votes
1answer
256 views

The usage of present passive infinitive

In Augustine confessions we read: "quid tibi sum ipse, ut amari te iubeas a me et, nisi faciam, irascaris mihi et mineris ingentes miserias?" (book I, cap. V) I can't understand the usage of the ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the logic behind the order of the cases

Most English books of Latin use the order used by Charles E. Bennett: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Vocative, Ablative. But most French books use the following order: Nominative, ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the correct way to say "Noctis Avem"?

I'm looking to use "Night bird" as a name or title for something. I don't know which, if any, of the following would be correct: Noctis Avem Avem Noctis Avis Noctem Avem nox etc. What rules come ...
12
votes
1answer
233 views

How to form the plural of "noun plus noun in possessive case"?

I would like to know what are the rules to form the plural of a noun plus a noun in possessive case. I am not sure if this is a correct description of what I am interested in let me give an example. ...
10
votes
2answers
538 views

How to answer a question?

Respondere looks like a good verb for answering, but how can I say "to answer a question"? I failed to find an answer by looking at dictionaries. These options come to mind: quaestionem respondere in ...
10
votes
2answers
330 views

How do I specify how many "litterae" or "castra" there are?

Certain words in Latin have a special meaning in the plural, which is often translated with the English singular. One obvious example of this is litterae, -arum, which means, "a letter." ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Why *In medias res* and not *In media res*?

Wikipedia gives literal translation as: Into the middle of things. As far as I am aware into – in takes accusative. Plural accusative of medium seems to be media, not medias Even if I am ...
9
votes
2answers
604 views

Hit the lamb with the flower

Page 18 of "Prosodic Phrasing in Adolescents with High-Functioning Autism" by Jessica Mayo, a doctoral dissertation that has nothing to do with Latin (but watch for the relevance, it's coming), ...
8
votes
1answer
104 views

How to describe ministers in Latin?

I want to talk about different ministers in a government in Latin. Minister and ministra are good words for a minister, but how to say "minister of justice and employment" and "minister of economic ...
7
votes
2answers
793 views

Walking "hand in hand"

How can I translate the sentence "We are walking hand in hand" in Latin? I am not sure how to render "hand in hand". A direct translation would be Ambulamus manus in manu. But can I use a nominative ...
7
votes
1answer
107 views

Constantis vs. constantes et similia

Following up on @brianpck's suggestion in this question: In this passage: Maxume vero sunt admirabiles motus earum quinque stellarum quae falso vocantur errantes; nihil enim errat quod in omni ...
6
votes
1answer
98 views

Does 'concrescere' take dative?

I wonder is 'rigido rostro' here in dative or ablative? Under "Dative and verbs compounded with prepositions" (Gildersleeve & Lodge) it is said, that " Many verbs compounded with the prepositions ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

Singulae aut unae scopae?

Tuomo Pekkanen's grammar (§92.1) explains how to express the number of something that is expressed by a plural-only word. Numbers greater than one are expressed with bini, trini etc. but a single one ...
5
votes
1answer
196 views

How to say: "X differs from Y by(in) Z"

I want to say something of this sort: The word "res" differs from the word "rex" by one letter. In "Lexicon totius Latinitatis" I saw under the term "dama": "[Dama] differt a capreis solis ...
5
votes
1answer
165 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 ...