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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16
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
15
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4answers
741 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 ...
15
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2answers
4k 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
816 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
549 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 ...
12
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3answers
1k 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
2answers
425 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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2answers
178 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" ...
12
votes
3answers
304 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
160 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
votes
2answers
242 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
votes
2answers
360 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 ...
11
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2answers
143 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
votes
1answer
168 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, ...
11
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1answer
362 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 ...
11
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1answer
270 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 ...
10
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4answers
1k 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 ...
10
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2answers
256 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." Litteras, ...
10
votes
2answers
407 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
214 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
136 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
156 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
votes
1answer
935 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. ...
10
votes
1answer
218 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
863 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
votes
2answers
628 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
votes
2answers
579 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
votes
2answers
158 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
votes
1answer
1k 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
votes
1answer
331 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
167 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
votes
1answer
151 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
votes
2answers
224 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
votes
1answer
725 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 "...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Alea iacta est, plural version?

I was thinking about the famous Phrase "alea iacta est", and I was wondering: how would be the plural version of it? I thought about ALEAS IACTA SUNT Because aleas needs to be in the accusative ...
8
votes
2answers
185 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
152 views

Using cases with jubilare

I heard a song using the phrase jubilate Deo, and it seems that this phrase appears in a psalm as well. I assume the Deo/Domino is a dative. On the other hand, the L&S entry for jubilare also ...
8
votes
1answer
107 views

“Hunt deer with bows, with snares: rabbits,” or referencing a verb from a previous clause

I've been trying to translate the following phrase into Latin: Hunt deer with bows, with snares: rabbits. With my limited grasp of Latin, I have come to this result: Vēnāre cervas arcubus, ...
8
votes
2answers
130 views

Is there a difference between the future participle and the supine accusative?

The purpose of motion can be expressed in several ways. For example, I would consider the following essentially equivalent (did I forget something?): Ille me salutatum Romam venit. Ille me ...
8
votes
2answers
125 views

How to decline a business name that is a Latin sentence?

Suppose there were a podiatry practice named Pes Integer Sit. How would you put this into a complete sentence? Do you simply treat it as indeclinable? For example, would "I am going to Pes Integer ...
8
votes
1answer
142 views

Comparison of Adjective to Noun

My friend wrote this fake holy scripture passage for his nation's religion on NationStates, and I have been translating it into Latin, as any proper fake holy scripture should be. I came upon one part ...
8
votes
2answers
135 views

When was the dual number used in Attic Greek?

I have only studied the very basics of Greek years ago, so the question might be simple, but I couldn't find a clear summary anywhere. Attic Greek has a dual number alongside singular and plural. When ...
8
votes
1answer
79 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
270 views

Jenney's Second Year Latin, Lesson 12, exercise E: Ut clauses and how to translate English infinitives

I'd like some clarification on the possible translations of "to see you." I'm teaching Jenney's Second-Year Latin (1990, Prentice-Hall edition). In the introduction to Lesson 12 (page 138), the book ...
8
votes
2answers
159 views

Can “tam” be correlated by itself with “ut”?

After reading the comments in this question, I wanted to clarify whether a certain proposed usage of tam is appropriate. In it, tam was proposed as an emphatic alternative to sic, when correlated with ...
8
votes
1answer
279 views

Should the phrase “I often saw” use the imperfect or the aorist in Greek?

I'm translating a sentence in my textbook from English to Greek, and that sentence uses the phrase I often saw. For copyright reasons, I'm going to create a new sentence using this phrase. On this ...
8
votes
1answer
103 views

Gender and number in medieval composite active perfect

I am not sure of correct terminology, but let me call the medieval perfect tenses like amatum habeo — as opposed to the classical amavi — the "composite active perfect". One would expect ...
8
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
230 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 ...