Questions tagged [grammar-identification]

Use this tag when asking about a grammatical structure you cannot name and want explained.

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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 ...
Mitomino's user avatar
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The function of "quo" in "Quō quisque est sollertior, hōc docet īrācundius"

In A&G on indefinite pronouns there are two sentences of a similar structure: Bonus liber melior est quisque quō mâior. (The larger a good book is, the better.) Quō quisque est sollertior, hōc ...
d_e's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
425 views

Can the supine ablative be used for motion?

I came across an Asterix translated into Latin. In the first story page the village chief notices that Asterix and Obelix return from a hunt and says: Asterix atque Obelix venatu redeunt! My question ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Agreement in "medio tutissimus ibis"

Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book II, line 137 gives us the aphorism (in) medio tutissimus ibis The English translation for this is typically given as "In the middle, you will go most safe." How does "...
chwarr's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
746 views

Nonne "a fortiori, a priori, a posteriori" solecismi sunt?

Are the terms a fortiori, a priori, and a posteriori bad Latin? If so, how and when did they become established? I understand that the dative case never takes a preposition in Latin—a most welcome ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
11k views

"Et in terra pax hominibus bona voluntas" [sic!]

I have a German Christmas song of the 16th century, which is bilingual, German–Latin. The lyrics go as follows (I translated the German parts into English): O how beautiful the group of ...
Jonathan Scholbach's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
392 views

Why is the subject in the infinitive clause in accusative case?

Dōrippa: Nūlla fēmina mē miserior vīvit, Sanniō. Melius est mē mortuam esse quam sine amīcīs in hāc urbe vivere!" Sanniō: Quid ais: 'sine amīcīs'? Nūper nōn modo Lepidus... Why is mē mortuam ...
Kotoba Trily Ngian's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
169 views

Using genitive and infinitive to describe characteristics

Answering this question, I recalled a somewhat rare construction used to express that an action is characteristic of someone. Pekkanen's Ars Grammatica (§77.1) gives two examples: Cuiusvis hominis ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
Meta's user avatar
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2 answers
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Ars gratia artis

I would like to know the meaning of the following Latin expression, as well as a grammatical analysis of the individual words in this context: ARS GRATIA ARTIS as it appears in the following logo ...
Jack Maddington's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why is it "nomen mihi est" for "my name is", but it's "tibi nomen est" for "your name is"?

I understand that there is no strict order, but why is it that this specific order is preferable over something like "mihi nomen est" or "nomen tibi est". The image below is from ...
hifromdev's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
417 views

Understanding the stem(s) of 'struere'

The present, perfect, and participle stems1 of the verb struere are stru-, strux-, and struct-. The -s- in the perfect stem and the -t- in the participle stem are nothing unusual, but they seem to ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
407 views

Understanding the grammar: «illis Evangelii nuntiandi praebens mandatum»

The following is the Latin text from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), Prologue, Chapter 1, Section 2: 2 Ut haec vocatio in toto resonaret orbe, Christus Apostolos misit, quos elegerat, ...
Der Übermensch's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
587 views

Active verbs with passive meanings

Every beginning Latin-learner is familiar with the idea of deponent verbs: verbs that have passive forms but active meanings. I am curious about a small subset of Latin verbs that aren't just ...
brianpck's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the significance of the different declensions and conjugations?

I've been slowly trying to teach myself Latin with the help of this site. I've gone past the parts where it talks about first, second, third etc declension nouns, and it all seems quite arbitrary as ...
TheIronKnuckle's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

'Credo' with dative problem

Here is a small problem with 'credo', there is an example in my dictionary saying that 'crede mihi (dat.)' means 'believe me'. Gildersleeve & Lodge gives credere under Dative with Intransitive ...
Aili J.'s user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
136 views

Passive verbal noun, oblique cases

As far as I know, present infinitive is used as verbal noun for the nominative and accusative, and gerund is used as verbal noun in other oblique cases (genitive, dative and ablative). I would like to ...
MaPo's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
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Syntax of sentences with the verb "pudet"

In Lewis and Short, I have seen that the verb pudeo is chiefly used as an impersonal verb. In fact, I have found some examples of such usage in chapter XXIII of Lingua latina per se illustrata. ...
Charo's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
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Simplex sigillum veri

G. Polya in How to Solve It translates simplex sigillum veri as "simplicity is the seal of truth".* In this discussion on latindiscussion.com, most people seemed to agree that the Latin is ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
434 views

Why are descriptive subjects in the genitive?

I notice that in the De Naturis Animantium of Suetonius, he uses the genitive to describe the subjects of behavior. So, for example, he writes est [...] anatum tetrissitare ("it is of ducks to ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
816 views

Where is the correct position to set right or left of muscle names for anatomical names?

Muscles and bones have Latin names as can be found on wikipedia. I need to name muscles and bones with their Latin name and I also need to specify if it's the left or the right muscle in the human ...
Bruno Bieri's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
167 views

Why "decorem indutus est" instead of "decore indutus est"?

Psalm 92 v. 1 Dóminus regnávit, decórem indútus est: * indútus est Dóminus fortitúdinem, et præcínxit se. The Lord hath reigned, he is clothed with beauty: * the Lord is clothed with strength, and ...
Pascal's Wager's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
421 views

Can a noun be qualified by two juxtaposed adjectives?

I read online (I'm sorry, I can't remember where) that if two adjectives refer to the same noun, you have to use a conjunction like "et" or "-que". Socrates sapiens senex vir est. ...
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
200 views

Is "rogamur ab eo ut veniamus" grammatically correct?

It is grammatically correct if I turn any Main active verb in the Indirect commands into passive ones? Active - rogat nos ut veniamus - He asks us to come. Passive - " rogamur ab eo ut veniamus &...
Vince's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
481 views

What is the subject of "venit" in this sentence from Naufragium?

Reading Naufragium by Erasmus (1523), I came across this sentence. I include the whole sentence for context, but I'm only asking about the part in bold: Circumspicienti tandem venit in mentem de ima ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
115 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 ...
Aili J.'s user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
529 views

grammar of "sapientiae tuae non est numerus"

in Confessions we read: magnus es, domine, et laudabilis valde. magna virtus tua et sapientiae tuae non est numerus. while the meaning is quite clear, I can't clearly resolve the literal ...
d_e's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
387 views

How often is "et" used as an adverb, and what might distinguish that usage?

The conjunction et, in addition to its common use as a coordinating conjunction meaning and, can also be used adverbially, encompassing similar meanings as those found in words like etiam, item, etc. ...
Ethan Bierlein's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
151 views

Use of "if" in a translation of Pliny the Elder's Natural History

Following John Bostock's 1855 translation of Pliny the Elder: The Natural History, II 44–45: I know not whether she ought not to be considered as our instructress in everything that can be known ...
Abhishek Yadav's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
447 views

LLPSI: "Mārcus Quīntum ad terram cadere uidet."

I am attempting to come to a elementary understanding any clauses in the Latin sentence "Mārcus Quīntum ad terram cadere uidet" on page 73 in the work entitled "Lingua Latina Per Se ...
Mr. Blythe's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
539 views

Grammatical structure of "Obsidibus imperatis centum hos Haeduis custodiendos tradit"

@Mitomino points out in this comment that my understanding of what modifies what in the sentence shown below from De Bello Gallico (VI.4.3) is mistaken. I'll diagram my understanding below. Can you ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
662 views

"gerund + genitive" vs "gerund+accusative" ("scribendo epistulas" vs "scribendo epistularum")

So far I was thinking the way of saying "He spends time in writing letters" (example from A&G) might be terit tempus scribendo epistulas or terit tempus scribendis epistulis. But can ...
d_e's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
463 views

Why Does Cicero use the Third-Person Singular Instead of the Plural Form?

Cicero, de Oratore (2.25.108): "...in quibus hoc praecipit ratio et doctrina ut vis eius rei, quam definias sic exprimatur ut neque absit quicquam neque supersit," "...on which ...
tony's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
896 views

The Purpose of "Natu"

Following on from the question "Using Genitive & Infinitive To Describe Characteristics"; Joonas (26/6/19): "adulescentis est maiores natu revereri." = "It is of a young person to respect his/ her ...
tony's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
224 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 ...
d_e's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
180 views

"Renegatus": an active perfect participle from a non-deponent verb?

Several dictionaries' etymologies of English "renegade" trace it to Medieval Latin renegatus, an apostate, one who has denied his religion and gone back to another. Renegatus in turn is the ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
120 views

What construction is used with φάθι εἶναι? (Plat. Rep. 6.508e)

I think I have the gist of this short sentence, but I would like a little more clarity on one detail. What construction is governing the phrase φάθι εἶναι? I have parsed φάθι as the 2nd singular ...
ktm5124's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
833 views

The grammar of the expression "mihi cordi est"

Recently I encountered the phrase "mihi cordi est", after googling it I saw it is quite common phrase that seem to mean "it pleases me". For example: "vita horrida, arida, atque dura, mihi cordi est". ...
d_e's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
190 views

Use of the passive in Caesar "agros populabantur" to indicate state of action

At first there seemed to me to be a grammar error in De Bello Gallico I.11: Helvetii iam per angustias et fines Sequanorum suas copias traduxerant et in Aeduorum fines pervenerant eorumque agros ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
243 views

AB + ablative, AD + accusative. Does it apply to other similar verbs?

Stumble upon these 2 sentences: UNDE VENIT MEDUS? TUSCULO VENIT. QUO IT MEDUS? ROMAM IT. Both are telling me from where Medus came from a to where he is going. I notice that the name of the towns ...
Johhan Santana's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
167 views

Syntax of Ille: "numquam est ille miser cui facile est mori"

What is the syntax of ille in the sentence: "numquam est ille miser cui facile est mori"? I get that cui is indirect object, but what is the function of the demonstrative pronoun ille in the sentence?
Raucous's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
378 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 ...
d_e's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
65 views

Any idea what's going on with the middle term of this dedication?

So I think the words are clear enough—Nobilissimo Principi FREDERICO GEORGII ffilio Celsissimi, GEORGII Nep: Augustissimi, CAESARI destinato, M. BRITANNIAE spei, Delicijs, Animaq. desideratissimae, ...
lly's user avatar
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