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Questions tagged [syntax]

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Greek: indirect discourse / sequence of moods after κελεύω etc.?

I'm wondering about the proper Greek translation of a sentence like: He ordered me to do whatever I wanted. This sentence has an indefinite relative clause (whatever I wanted) after a verb of ...
5
votes
2answers
179 views

What is the term for extremely loose Latin word order?

For a Latin-language artificial intelligence called Mensa Latina the user manual will need to discuss and therefore refer to the phenomenon in Latin prose where meaning comes from grammar and ...
3
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1answer
45 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?
4
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2answers
71 views

Why the placement of the verse break between John 7:21-22?

I've been slowly working my way through the Gospel of John translating from the Greek. Coming to John 7:21-22, I am a bit stumped as to why editors have placed sentence and verse breaks where they ...
6
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2answers
120 views

When are -ns words used with accusative direct objects?

In English, one common generalization is that "-ing" words only take direct objects when they are verb forms, not when they are true adjectives or true nouns. (There are only a few possible exceptions,...
2
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2answers
44 views

On the use (or not) of genitive in some verses of the Vulgata

I'm a bit puzzled with some verses of the Vulgata, regarding the use or not of genitive. Consider 3 Regnum (1 Kings in non LXX-based bibles). Verses 13-15 in Chapter 10 go as follows: [13] Rex ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

How do postpositions fit into Latin syntax?

In a comment on this answer, luchonacho comments that tenus is a preposition taking the genitive; this seemed odd to me, since I'd never considered tenus anything akin to a preposition. Tenus seems ...
2
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1answer
102 views

Subject-verb agreement when the subject is a dominant participle construction

My question is whether constructions similar to the following English one can exist in Latin, i.e., constructions where (i) the subject is formed by a plural noun plus an obligatory/"dominant" ...
6
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1answer
132 views

How complex a motion event can be in Classical Latin

How natural would you judge the translation of the following English sentence into Latin? He still wandered on, out of the little high valley, over its edge, and down the slopes beyond. '...
4
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2answers
148 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 ...
4
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0answers
99 views

Why can’t we wipe the slate clean in Latin?

After reading Luchonachos’ previous post, whose Latin text contains an adjectival resultative predicate (claudus effectus est ‘he became lame’), the following question came to my mind: Why is it the ...
6
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3answers
206 views

Quo mortuo nuntiato (Cicero) // Ab urbe condita nuntiata (?)

Given my description below on nested/double predicative participle constructions (e.g., quo mortuo nuntiato) and given the well-known parallelism between so-called “dominant” participle constructions (...
4
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1answer
143 views

Latin usage & perfect passive finite verb forms

I understand that a perfect passive finite verb is formed by combining the perfect passive participle with the correct form of 'esse'. My question is this: Does it ever happen that the second ...
7
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2answers
986 views

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? ...
7
votes
1answer
608 views

Making a strong machine vs. making a machine strong

Consider the two English expressions: He made a strong machine. (He built a machine, and the machine is a strong one.) He made the machine strong. (There was a pre-existing machine but it was not ...
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1answer
36 views

Need translation Please of: Promissary of the future

Dear Translation Helpers, Could you please help me translate "Promissary of the Future" into true Latin? I have looked the words up, but they don't seem to make sense as the syntax is different and I ...
6
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1answer
59 views

Can “quam” be used as a mere intensifier to a superlative?

In a question about Augustine, this quotation is given: Frustra itaque nonnulli, immo quam plurimi, aeternam damnatorum poenam et cruciatus sine intermissione perpetuos humano miserantur affectu, ...
8
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1answer
103 views

When and where to use which construction expressing purpose

To the best of my knowledge, the following constructions are used to express purpose in Latin: ut + [subjunctive clause] ad + [accusative gerund] ad + [accusative gerundive] + [accusative noun] [...
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1answer
69 views

Parsing Priapea IV

I'm kind of 'intermediate' Latin, and I can't find a completely satisfactory way to parse this poem (Priapea IV, Bucheler Ed. via latinlibrary): Obscaenas rigido deo tabellas dicans ex ...
4
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2answers
298 views

“Felix est rex is quem omnes cives amant”. Is the pronoun “is” necessary?

Considering the original phrase: The king who all citizens love is happy. (Portuguese: Feliz é o rei a quem todos os cidadãos amam.) Here is a proposed Latin translation: Felix est rex ...
8
votes
1answer
149 views

When to use “ac” instead of “et”?

What's the difference between the conjunctions: "et", and "ac"? Which one corresponds to what kind of situation? Allow me to elaborate for clarification, and to distinguish from similar questions. ...
4
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1answer
36 views

“Alligatus ego vinculis vitae” does it translate to “I am bound by the chains of life.”

I was wondering if this translates well. If it does not translate well to mean that phrase, I would appreciate if you could suggest a way to better phrase it in Latin.
5
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1answer
94 views

“I am divided. I am balanced. I am one.”

I was hoping someone with more experience in Latin could help me confirm whether this translation is correct or not: Ego sum dividitur. Ego sum libratum. Ego sum unum. Does this translate properly ...
5
votes
1answer
140 views

How to continue doing something?

There are many Latin verbs meaning roughly "continue", but I failed to find a description how to use any of them with another verb. I would like to say things like "Keep walking!" and "She continues ...
4
votes
1answer
173 views

I'm really having trouble with “but” (as in “except”) in this phrase

I'm trying to say "No one but [i.e. except] love provokes me with impunity." where love is a metonymic stand-in for the person I love. I hope it makes sense. (You can read it as a personification if ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

Fiat justitia in imperative mood?

I came across the Fiat ivstitia motto. The Wikipedia entry translates it as "Let justice be done". I need a bit of help to understand this. I know justitia is a noun (like justicia, in Spanish, or ...
12
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1answer
147 views

How can participles (inflected forms) be distinguished from deverbal adjectives (derived forms) in Latin?

Many modern linguistic analyses of languages like English draw a sharp theoretical distinction between participles, which are analyzed as inflected forms belonging to the paradigm of some verb, and ...
5
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2answers
84 views

Irreal condition expressed by a prepositional phrase

In English one can say: Without you I would not be here. This is roughly the same thing as: If you had not helped, I would not be here. The exact wording depends on context. In the second ...
8
votes
1answer
164 views

Was Classical Latin syntax complex on purpose?

Whenever I see Classical texts, the syntax of almost every sentence is really complex. On the other hand, medieval or Renaissance texts seem to have a word order that is more similar to modern Romance ...
4
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0answers
136 views

Mr Bean's Latin lyrics

I just saw an episode of Mr Bean and once again heard the choir sing in Latin. Based on what I remember hearing and what I found online, the four segments sung are: Start: Ecce homo qui est faba &...
6
votes
1answer
62 views

Use of Infinitive

Moreland has this adapted paragraph from Cicero's De Senectute. I'm slightly confused about the use of infinitive over here. Moriens Cyrus maior haec dicit: "nolite arbitrari, o mihi carissimi ...
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1answer
72 views

Is the following sentence grammatically correct?

I'm in university and in creative writing they asked us to write a short story. I chose a mystery story and composed this sentence for it: Omni usurpant optimes sapientes virtutes acceptum verum ...
4
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3answers
304 views

What is the correct way to write “The Prince's Book” in Latin?

Greetings Latin StackExchange. One of my hobbies is to write stories and in one of my stories I would like to incorporate an item called "The Prince's Book". My ideal goal is that this item is written ...
4
votes
3answers
590 views

Using “ad” vs. dative

The self-exercises in CAPVT VIII of Wheelock's Latin (7th Edition) include the following sentence (#11): Litterās ad virginem scrībit. He is writing a letter to the maiden. I'm confused about ...
2
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1answer
108 views

What case is virtutis in “prope virum summae virtutis sto”?

Consider the sentence, "prope virum summae virtutis sto." What case is virtutis and why? I'm pretty sure that it is genitive due to description, but I'm not sure. In case it helps, I translated it as,...
7
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2answers
125 views

Translating “We are her sword” into Latin

I'm trying to translate a sentence "We are her sword". It's supposed to be a motto for a warriors' guild under leadership of a female elf warrior in our tabletop RPG game. Other than the obvious ...
7
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2answers
362 views

Why is “et sine ipso factum est nihil quod factum est” translated into past tense?

I'm a beginner and noticing "est" a present tense verb, being translated in dozens of resources as "was." Why? et sine ipso factum est nihil quod factum est = and without him nothing was made that ...
5
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1answer
73 views

Ne … quidem with preposition

What would be the translation of: He does not play even with his brother? Could it be: Ne cum fratre suo quidem ludit? Normally I have seen the structure ne ... quidem with a noun in the nominative ...
2
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1answer
96 views

Can a morphologically singular collective noun be syntactically plural?

In English the noun "family" is singular but it means a group (of people). Syntactically it can be singular or plural: one can say "the family is/are…" with either choice. Can this kind of ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Doing things “out of vanity”

How can I say "he did it out of vanity" in Latin? The only thing I could see is a causal ablative: vanitate sua ita fecit. Are there other options for doing something "out of vanity", "out of pity", ...
7
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1answer
369 views

how to tell when to use cum temporal and when cum circumstantial

So I have never, ever, ever been able to grasp fully any explanation in any textbook of the difference between cum temporal and cum circumstantial, because the examples they give always seem to ...
4
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1answer
131 views

Relative Clause of Purpose with Quo

Moreland has this sentence in Relative Clause of Purpose (Unit 14): Properatis quo celerius adveniatis. which it translates as: You hasten by which you may arrive more quickly. The adjective '...
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1answer
83 views

Epistemic Modality

Before the erudition of Cerberus, the concept of epistemic modality (EM) had passed me by. Now, I have a Q on this topic. North & Hillard Ex. 216: "Whether the enemy were dismayed at so strange a ...
2
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1answer
980 views

How to parse “Dis Manibus” syntactically?

Almost everyone who has ever seen a Roman grave inscription has seen the phrase Dis Manibus or its abbreviation DM. It starts almost every Roman tombstone I have seen. I know it means "to/for the ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Does this adverb phrase apply to one or both verbs separated by 'vel'?

The quote below is from the Instituta Patrum de modo psallendi, an anonymous Carolingian or High Medieval (I myself would date it 800s or 900s) document on singing psalms in Gregorian chant. Source ...
3
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1answer
92 views

Numeral form for one pluralia tantum noun

One pants? One scissors? Oh, no way! This is a follow-up to the @brianpck's question How do I specify how many “litterae” or “castra” there are?, and the accepted answer was to use distributive ...
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1answer
1k views

Homo Novus vs Novus Homo

To my surprise, the English Wikipedia article about the concept of homines novi is called Novus Homo, not homo novus as I would expect. I have been taught that Latin order is almost always ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

Can the absolute ablative be used with a prepositional phrase?

In all cases of ablativus absolutus that I know, there is a main word and an attribute and both are in ablative. For example, me absente is "while I am away" and Caesare duce is "when Caesar is in ...
6
votes
2answers
603 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Passive periphrastic with two datives

I want to translate the following as a passive periphrastic: You must give your money to me! My attempt so far is: pecunia tua tibi danda est mihi Because Latin rarely acknowledges word order, ...