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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20
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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, ...
17
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2answers
2k views

Latin plural of Curriculum Vitae?

Curriculum vitae (often abbreviated CV) is a common Latin locution present in a high number of languages, including English. In English, as in other languages, how to pluralize these foreign locutions ...
16
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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 ...
15
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4answers
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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 ...
15
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2answers
6k views

Do *Mundi* and *Mundum* mean different things?

I came across this expression in the book: The Invisible Man, (H.G. Wells) Griffin contra mundum...with a vengeance From my very basic knowledge of Latin (I'm a Bio. student) I take it that contra ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Is "esse est percipi" grammatical, even with infinitives?

According to the Crash Course Philosophy video today, George Berkeley summarized his empirical philosophy with the phrase "esse est percipi", to be is to be perceived. However, it feels somewhat ...
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 ...
13
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2answers
333 views

"Dies unus"—non primus?

Genese 1:5 Hieronymus traduxit: Appellavitque lucem Diem, et tenebras Noctem: factumque est vespere et mane, dies unus. Cur "unus", non "primus"? Nonne numerum ordinalem significat? Nonne "unus" ...
13
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2answers
430 views

How to speak a language with a third declension adjective?

Most Latin adjectives related to names of countries and languages are of first and second declension: Latinus, Graecus, Anglicus… If I want to express that I speak in any such language, I will ...
12
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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
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2answers
492 views

Does Latin have a mechanism to disambiguate possessive pronouns of the same gender referring to distinct persons?

Question: does Latin have a grammatical mechanism to disambiguate the ambiguous use of `his' in the third of the three following English sentences? Person A wrote a book. Then person B wrote a ...
12
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3answers
465 views

How to resolve ambiguity with reflexive pronouns

A comment to an answer of this question mentions that ambiguity can arise with a reflexive pronoun when both the independent clause and the clause with the reflexive pronoun have third-person subjects....
12
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1answer
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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
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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 ...
12
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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. ...
11
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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 ...
11
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2answers
268 views

What cases were used in compounds?

In Greco-Latin compound words, I generally use the bare stems for all but the last component, joined together with stem vowels (in Greek) or i (in Latin). For example, certifaciō (> certify) comes ...
11
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2answers
284 views

Can Latin "inde" introduce a temporal clause?

Lines one and two of book 2 of Vergil's Aeneid sparked this question: Conticuere omnes intentique ora tenebant inde toro pater Aeneas sic orsus ab alto: I had two interpretations. My first ...
11
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1answer
745 views

Which is more correct, "status quo" or "statu quo"?

I always heard and read the expression "status quo" but I just found the alternative spelling "statu quo" in the Italian translation of Motivational Interviewing by Miller e ...
11
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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 ...
10
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2answers
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Could we say "dies mirabilis" as we say "annus mirabilis"?

"Annus mirabilis" is an expression which refers to a wonderful year like 1905 for A. Einstein and modern physics. What would be the equivalent for a single day? Is "dies mirabilis" the correct form? ...
10
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2answers
2k views

How to say "To serve, not to be served" in Latin?

I would like to know how to translate the phrase "To serve, not to be served" in Latin. It doesn't have to be a word for word translation. But, I want to know the phrase that would give the ...
10
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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
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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." ...
10
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2answers
259 views

Why are "esurivi" and "sitivi" used in perfect, but "hospes eram" in imperfect in the same context?

There is a fragment of Gospel of Matthew (in Vulgata): (...), esurivi enim et dedistis mihi manducare, sitivi et dedistis mihi bibere, hospes eram et collegistis me (...) My question is: Why ...
10
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1answer
182 views

"Ignis solis propinqui"

Linguā Latīnā Per Sē Illūstrātā Ioānnis Ørbergī pāginā 207 scrīptum est: Ignis sōlis propinquī cēram, quā pennae iūnctae et fīxae erant, mollīvit et pennās ussit. Cur nōn "propinquus" dīcit?
10
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1answer
253 views

How to write a sentence with two genitives describing one noun

I would like to translate the following sentence into Latin. Minerva is the goddess of wisdom and of wool. My first guess would be, Minerva est dea sapientiae et lanae. But I'm not sure ...
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, ...
10
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1answer
122 views

How do you say "imply" in Latin?

I need to know how to say the present, past and future tense of "imply" in Latin. I don't know much Latin, I just need the grammatically correct way to say: "Implied ______" For example, for "Implied ...
10
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1answer
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Translation of "since 1950" (for example)

I'm in the midst of designing a graphic for my parents' 50th anniversary celebration, and for obscure reasons I want to include the proper Latin equivalent of "since 1967", in the same way that a ...
9
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4answers
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Why is this a correct sentence: "Iūlius nōn sōlus, sed cum magnā familiā habitat"?

In Familia Romana Cap. 5 there is this sentence: Iūlius nōn sōlus, sed cum Aemiliā et cum magnā familiā in vīllā habitat. I'm struggling to understand why this sentence is grammatically correct. ...
9
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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
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2answers
877 views

Is it acceptable/regular to use diacritics (macron) in written texts?

I'm building the brand for a web development company, and I'm using Latin for the name and slogan. However, as I am not familiar with the language, I would like some help clarifying meanings to avoid ...
9
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2answers
465 views

Manilius nesciebat quid scribebat

When the formidable classicist A. E. Housman published his critical edition of Manilius' Astronomicon, he stated in his infamous preface, "When Scaliger says at v 39 Manilius nesciebat quid scribebat ...
9
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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), ...
9
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3answers
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Dropping "to be" and other verbs in Latin?

Some languages, like Indonesian, can drop the verb to be when the meaning is obvious. They are zero-copula languages. I heard that some Latin authors wrote some sentences with this feature. Do you ...
9
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2answers
376 views

Translating "destroy the bad" for a tattoo

I am considering a tattoo in Latin, and I want it to say "destroy the bad", or perhaps "get rid of the evil". I want the translation to be short due to space constraints. I looked online and I found ...
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
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1answer
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How to emphasize adjectives?

In English, and most modern European languages, we have one single word, "very," which is accepted as the regular way to make an adjective more extreme. Is there a common way to do this in Latin? Ways ...
9
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1answer
500 views

Plural of axis mundi

The phrase axis mundi is used frequently in archaeology and art history to describe certain places as a "world center" or "center of the universe" in Indigenous or ancient/...
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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1answer
227 views

Usage of adjective solus

I'm trying to translate the sentence "The whole state was thanking this man's brother alone." (that is, the brother the only one being thanked) My try is: Tota civitas fratri huius soli gratias agebat....
9
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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 ...
9
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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, ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Variable Interpretation of Memento Mori

I'm given to understand that "memento mori" literally translates to "remember dying," which is in turn frequently taken to mean "remember that you will die." Could someone also interpret it to mean "...
9
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1answer
303 views

Can -c replace -que in other words than atque and neque?

The enclitic -que in the words neque and atque can be shortened to produce nec and ac. Are there other instances where -que can turn into -c? Can this be productive, or can it only happen in very ...
9
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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
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3answers
868 views

Why is Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum in the feminine?

I often consult a website called Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum of Latin writings on music theory and practice. Note that the web address changes every couple of years. Why "musicarum latinarum&...
8
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2answers
5k views

In: Ablative or accusative

In chapter 4 LLPSI it says "sacculum suum in mensa ponit". Ponit means put or sets, so indicates a movement. As far as I know in in Latin in the meaning of into or onto (as is the case here) takes the ...

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