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Questions tagged [grammar-identification]

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

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28 votes
4 answers
7k views

ATM in Vatican City: "Inserito scidulam quaeso ut faciundam cognoscas rationem"

The automated teller machines in Vatican City show this screen when awaiting a card: Could someone, quaeso, break this down word by word? There are a number of things here that I find puzzling or ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
747 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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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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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
  • 387
14 votes
2 answers
17k views

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
13 votes
5 answers
2k views

Causatives in Latin

Many languages I know of have a way of making causative constructions. For example, English uses "make" or "have": I make you do something or have you do something, or even cause you to do something. ...
MickG's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
126 views

Why "impressa" in Æneid IV.659–60?

So Dido's almost finished her long, drawn-out suicide scene, and we get the lines Dīxit, et ōs impressa torō, "Moriēmur inultae, sed moriāmur," ait. It seems like impressa is being used here as ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
7k views

"Tu quoque, Brutus, mi fili?" Grammar question

Someone told me these were Caesar's actual last words. Google confirms this. But I can't find an explanation for what looks to me like weird grammar. First of all, shouldn't "Brutus" be &...
ribs2spare's user avatar
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
12 votes
2 answers
421 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
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
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

What's the difference between mutantur and mutamur?

A quote by John Owen: Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis. I was wondering if you could tell me the difference between mutantur and mutamur?
GoodluckH's user avatar
  • 113
11 votes
2 answers
589 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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10 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to translate the phrase "perfacile factu esse"?

I'm having a hard time translating this phrase from Caesar's De Bello Gallico. I understand, from doing a bit of research, that probat illis introduces indirect speech. Perfacile factu esse illis ...
ktm5124's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
525 views

Is there something special about "corpus"?

Metamorphoses Book V, the story of Proserpina. At this point Ceres has just thrown some soup in an impertinent man's face and turned him into a lizard (as you do). mirantem flentemque et tangere ...
mike rodent's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
347 views

What does "illos" refer to in this passage from Seneca?

While researching an answer for this question, I came across the following passage from Seneca. The bolded part, particularly "illos", left me with some doubts about the sentence syntax: Et quid ...
brianpck's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
765 views

Translation of "...quae parvas aves capit et est."

I was reading Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata to practice my fluency of understanding simple sentences. In the tenth chapter, Bestiae et Homines (page 69), I came across a description of eagles. ...
Middle School Historian's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
634 views

Non Nobis Domine - Sed nomini or nomine

Non nobis Domine, Domine Non nobis Domine Sed nomini, Sed nomini Tuo da gloriam Referring to the third line in Non Nobis Domine, I have seen this phrase written both 'Sed nomine' and 'Sed nomini'. In ...
Eric's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
1 answer
268 views

How to understand 'quae prosum sola nocendo'?

There is a line in Ovid's Metamorphoses II 519, which I don't understand at all (Juno's complaint) 'quaeritis, aetheriis quare regina deorum sedibus huc adsim? pro me tenet altera caelum! ...
Aili J.'s user avatar
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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
2 answers
1k views

In the title "Ars Goetia," is "Goetia" an appositive noun?

Ars Goetia is a well-known book about demonology written in Mediaeval Latin. I'm having trouble analyzing the grammatical structure of the title. Ars is a feminine noun in the singular nominative form....
Asteroides's user avatar
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
  • 211
9 votes
2 answers
995 views

Can Latin do Noun-Noun Adjuncts?

First, to begin, I'm a hobbyist with no formal background whatsoever in Latin. I only know what I can manage to successfully google and read on my own. Anyway, I've read that Latin can't use nouns as ...
Jack Pliskin's user avatar
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
  • 6,874
9 votes
2 answers
552 views

A list of the categories and subcategories of the Latin conjunctions

I am learning Latin. I have bought a grammar book, which is not that great. My professor is using words like adversative conjunction, comparative, conditional, and so on. I can't find any long list ...
Ralph Gottlieb's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
176 views

How is "quod" operating in this sentence of Hyginus?

The first sentence of Hyginus' Prometheus is: Hominés anteá ab immortálibus ignem petébant neque in perpetuum serváre sciébant; quod posteá Prometheus in ferulá détulit in terrás, hominibusque ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
1k views

What sort of grammatical construct is ‘Quod per sortem sternit fortem’?

In the poem ‘O Fortuna’ (anon., 13th c., but made famous by Carl Orff’s setting), there is this verse: Quod per sortem sternit fortem mecum omnes plangite! This is typically translated as ‘...
Brent Bessemer's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
645 views

"quae haec mihi dōna dedistī"

In the story "Atalanta" in Fābulae Syrae by Luigi Miraglia, Venus gives Hippomenes three golden apples to throw during a foot race with Atalanta, to distract her. As he throws the third ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
753 views

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
1 answer
375 views

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
146 views

How do I understand "victís" and "imperitátum" in this sentence from Livy XXI?

In Róma Æterna (second volume of Lingua Latína per sé illustráta), p. 209, in a discussion of Hannibal adapted from Livy book XXI, contains the following sentence: Odiís etiam prope májóribus ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
169 views

"nemo aliquid facit nisi qui" + indicative or subjunctive

In another question, a reference was given to Varro: De subus nemini ignotum, nisi qui apros non putat sues vocari. which was translated as: As to swine, everybody knows — except those who think ...
d_e's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do you parse "futurum est" in Matthew 2:13?

I'm a little confused about a verse in Matthew 2 of the Vulgate Bible. Futurum est enim ut Herodes quærat puerum ad perdendum eum. (Matthew 2:13) Douay-Rheims translates this as, "For it will ...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 12k
8 votes
2 answers
599 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 ...
Mitomino's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
861 views

Why "quod" and not "quo" is used here?

In chapter XXII of Lingua latina per se illustrata: Colloquia Personarum, I have read the following sentence (emphasis mine in the word I find difficult to understand): Hic anulus ex auro puro factus ...
Charo's user avatar
  • 2,082
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Proper parsing of "respondeo dicendum quod"

Anyone who has read the Scholastics, such as St. Thomas Aquinas, is familiar with the basic structure of an articulus: (Here's an example.) Objections ("videtur quod...") Quote from ...
brianpck's user avatar
  • 40.8k
8 votes
1 answer
406 views

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
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
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
8 votes
1 answer
729 views

Formation of participles from deponent verbs

Here I have the deponent verb persequor, persequi, persecutus sum, persecutum. Following standard deponent rules, I am able to form the following (apparently these active participles are active in ...
Copper's user avatar
  • 399
8 votes
1 answer
285 views

Usage of passive in Summa Theologiae

This may be a simple question or may be answered elsewhere already, but I’m curious about the usage of the passive in the following simple sentence from Aquinas: “Ad secundum sic proceditur” He re-...
Chris Loonam's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Infinitive with “cum”

Hi all—I’m making my way through De Bello Gallico and came across the following (from Ch. 3): “His rebus adducti et auctoritate Orgetorigis permoti, constituerunt ea quae ad proficiscendum pertineret ...
CFD's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes
1 answer
429 views

How to say indirect speech + "there is/are" in latin?

I only know to say the "there is/are" in latin we use "est/sunt" , but how about when it is part of indirect speech? E.g " He/she said that there is (something) " I'm ...
Vince's user avatar
  • 765
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
8 votes
1 answer
90 views

Use of subjunctinve in a North & Hillard translation exercise

North & Hillard Ex. 228 includes: Next day Caesar had again an army which, though diminished, was prepared to face all dangers manfully. A footnote states: "Of the concessive conjunctions ...
tony's user avatar
  • 8,732
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

What does "enim et" mean?

A couple days ago, a friend sent me an excerpt from a new game, asking about a Latin phrase in it: Contra Diabolus enim et alii Daemones (In the game, this is the motto of a group of Catholic ...
Draconis's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
712 views

"Veni, O Sapientia..."

I could use a little help with parsing the second verse of this famous Advent hymn: Veni, O Sapientia, Quae hic disponis omnia, Veni, viam prudentiae, Ut doceas et gloriae. I ...
davidrmcharles's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
548 views

What's it called when a verb shares the same root as its object or modifier?

I have noticed in both Greek and Latin that sometimes a verb shares the same root as its object or modifier. This construction looks funny to me as an English speaker, as we don't often encounter this ...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 12k
7 votes
2 answers
614 views

How was the "elliptical dual" used?

In a comment on this answer, TKR brought up an interesting point of grammar I'd never heard of. Αἴαντε [Ajax-DUAL] is an interesting case. Though readers of Homer since antiquity have interpreted ...
Draconis's user avatar
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