Questions tagged [syntax]

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2
votes
1answer
59 views

Which Case is Governed by Verb Obsto/ Obstare?

Continuing from Q: What is the Role of "Quid" in "ne quid obstet"?, with Livius (9.8.6): "ne quid divini humanive obstet quominus iustum piumque de integro ineatur bellum.&...
4
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1answer
202 views

How is “as…as” to be Expressed in Latin?

In expressions e.g. "A change is as good as a rest."; "He was as good as his word."; how is the "as...as" part to be translated? I've found quid sicut bonum ("Word ...
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0answers
52 views

On the (necessary or typical?) relationship between double accusative and causation

I was wondering if there is a syntactic/semantic generalization that can account for the so-called "double accusative" predicative frame in Latin (verbs with person & thing (docere ...
9
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2answers
716 views

Word order in Virgil's Aeneid - why so scrambled?

I can understand why Virgil would like to use standard devices like chiasmus and synchysis to create poetic effect in the Aened. But sometimes the word order is scrambled up so much, I can't work out ...
5
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1answer
64 views

iuvare ut + subjunctive

In English, I might ask you to "help me [to] do" some task. Would the most (classically) idiomatic Latin equivalent be an ut clause (e.g., "iuva ut faciam ...")? My only reason for ...
6
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1answer
111 views

Can valeo be used transitively?

Looking through the entry in Lewis & Strong, I couldn't find any mention of the accusative being used with valeo, except as the object of certain prepositions. However, the following use of magna ...
3
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1answer
52 views

What are the Roles of “Quin” and “Sit” in “fieri non potest quin sit”?

In the question on Sherlockian logic, Batavulus, in his answer gave an alternative translation of the clause "it must be believed"/ "one must believe it", which is: "fieri ...
1
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1answer
49 views

Putting the virus in its place!

My schooldays Latin is very rusty! please help with translating 'pneumonia and the virus are losers' Sunt should go at the end? Victus should be plural and accusative? Thank you!
7
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1answer
142 views

Seneca's Quaestiones Naturales Book VII [25,4] parsing question

Latinistas! I have trouble parsing a passage from Seneca's Quaestiones Naturales (Natural Questions) Book VII COMETS, [25,4] The first sentence — “Veniet tempus quo ista quae nunc latent in lucem ...
6
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1answer
94 views

How do you say “feed on (something)” in Latin

Not the most experienced in Latin, so this may seem redundant to most, but I'm trying to figure out how to say "to feed on (something)". I'm assuming I just change the case of the object ...
8
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1answer
243 views

Constituendi autem sunt qui sint in amicitia fines et quasi termini diligendi (Cic. Amic. 56)

I was wondering to what extent the agreement pattern exemplified with the following sentences drawn from Cicero's De Amicitia can be regarded as the most natural one. I'm asking this question since, ...
4
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1answer
243 views

Is “gate to heaven” “foris paradisi” or “foris paradiso”?

I noticed that the Croatian for "gate to heaven" is "vrata raja", "raja" being the genitive singular (rather than dative) of "raj" (heaven). I was wondering how ...
7
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3answers
2k views

How do you say “Heroes are never forgotten.” in Latin?

Besides, its [of the Latin language] grammar also seems not to allow making statements that you would expect a truly natural language to allow, like "Heroes are never forgotten." The Flat ...
3
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1answer
79 views

Number of adjectives in polite plural address

This question concerns using the plural vos instead of the singular tu for polite address of a single person in Latin. This is not a classical feature but arises later. When using this address, are ...
6
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0answers
58 views

Does the indefinite pronoun/determiner “quă” only exist as an enclitic?

I recently learned that there is an indefinite determiner and pronoun quă used in the feminine nominative singular and neuter nominative/accusative plural with the sense "any(one)" (...
9
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1answer
164 views

Genitive Adjective with no Noun Referent

Praejudicium autem cum dico, non volo intelligi qualecunque praegressum judicium in animo; quasi animus ab omni omnino judicio liber esse debeat: sed judicium quod semel formatum tanti fit, ut eo quis ...
8
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2answers
266 views

On the syntax of 'Cogitate quantis laboribus fundatum imperium (…) una nox paene delerit' (Cic. Cat. 4, 19)

Picking up the thread of analyzing beautiful structures involving participles in Cicero's works (e.g. see this link), I'd like to raise a question about the syntax of the following complex sentence. ...
6
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1answer
78 views

In Latin, is there an “adjective form of nation name” vs genitive “of nation name” distinction?

In Latin, is there an “adjective form of nation name” vs “of nation name” distinction? In English we can say “Church of Rome” or “Roman Church”, or “Embassy of Germany” or German Embassy”, or “Prime ...
6
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0answers
143 views

On the syntax of some datives in a beautiful Ciceronian structure

I was wondering if you would like to share your thoughts on the grammar of the datives in the following texts from Cicero. The second example is a very interesting one provided by Kingshorsey in an ...
4
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0answers
94 views

ad obsidionem urbis vs. ad obsidendam urbem

I was wondering to what extent the two Prepositional Phrases (PPs) in the title of the present question can be taken as functionally equivalent. Consider the following text about Caesar's siege of ...
4
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4answers
222 views

Latin version of “non ho che un” or “je n'ai qu'un”

At least Italian and French have an idiomatic way to say "I have only one friend": Non ho che un amico. Je n'ai qu'un ami. Finnish has the same thing: "Minulla ei ole kuin yksi ystävä....
3
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1answer
220 views

participium coniunctum vs. ablative absolute of transitive deponent verbs

I was wondering why the "active meaning" and the transitivity of deponent perfect participles like cohortatus in (1) are not naturally preserved in the Ablative Absolute in (2). Why is it ...
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1answer
140 views

Can *esse* be elided with a dative of possession?

The possessive dative construction involves a subject possessee, a dative possessor, and a form of esse: Mihi soror est. Dicit sibi sororem esse. In this construction, is esse ever elided? That is, ...
9
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1answer
151 views

Female Names and Heritable *Cognomina*

Suppose I want to speak of the daughter of a man with a heritable cognomen. Let us take Marcus Tullius Cicero as an example. If I want to clarify that the Tullia I am speaking of is his daughter (or ...
3
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1answer
183 views

Impersonal Verbs: Are Active Transitives Possible?

Latin utilizes some verbs that pretty much only occur impersonally, like oportet. One can also regularly form impersonal actives from intransitive verbs like placeo and impersonal passives from ...
3
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1answer
183 views

Agreement and possessive genitive

What we do in the following example? I need to combine two words in a phrase: 'professional' and 'holiday'. There is no adjective 'professional' in Latin or my searching is bad. So I can use the ...
7
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3answers
3k 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 &...
6
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2answers
145 views

Confusing syntax in two sentences

I seem to be confused by the constructions of these two sentences from a Medieval Latin text: Unde vocum alia suavis est illa, scilicet quae subtilis, spissa, clara et acuta est. and Multiplicem ...
7
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2answers
313 views

Subjunctive with adverb “quam”

Passage: “Quam autem civitati carus fuerit, maerore funeris indicatum est.” Cic. Amic. 11 My translation in English: «Moreover, how dear he was to the citizenry was indicated by the grief of his ...
2
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1answer
116 views

A Completed Action in the Mind OR Indirect Speech?

There are currently two theories (of which I am aware) to explain the use of the perfect subjunctive, in examples from the Latin Vulgate, included in brianpck's answer to Q: Memento quod <...
7
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2answers
291 views

Can a predicate nominative ever be a different gender from the subject?

I want to say "My favorite animal is..." and then give the animal. But "animal" is neuter, so I'll end up with a predicate nominative that doesn't agree in gender with the subject! "Meum dilectum ...
3
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2answers
82 views

Active verb with future passive and perfect participle?

How does the active verb "veniunt" work with the word "consideranda"? Almost like a periphrastic? As I have translated below: "Ac initio quidem duo principalia decreta ante omnia consideranda ...
11
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1answer
189 views

Scope of negation with absolute constructions

In Latin and Greek, when a negator appears in an absolute construction (ablative absolute, genitive absolute), it is generally taken to negate the predicate within that construction: hostibus ...
10
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2answers
316 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, ...
2
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1answer
104 views

Confusion between Direct Speech / Subordinate Clause(s) / Indirect Speech

In the 2011 re-make of "Ben Hur" Pontius Pilate (Hugh Bonneville) advised a colleague that Caesar was not about to return a job to him, to which he is unsuited, which he cannot do. The first ...
9
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1answer
148 views

On different expressions of partitivity in Latin

I was wondering whether there is any difference between the following partitive expressions in Latin: ūnus tribūnōrum and ūnus ex tribūnīs 'one of the tribunes' (cf. the so-called 'partitive genitive' ...
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0answers
71 views

Is an Ablative Absolute construction like “portā clausā” ambiguous in Early Latin?

As a follow-up question of two previous posts (cf. here and here), I was wondering if an Ablative Absolute construction like portā clausā is ambiguous in Early Latin as it is in Classical Latin. For ...
6
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1answer
101 views

Analysis of Dative in >>Confessions<<

In Caput VI Liber II Augustine wrote:"Quamvis mihi nondum fideli......" (Although I was not a Christian...) Here he used the dative case (mihi fideli). What's the dative case for? Why is it dative? ...
4
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1answer
59 views

Confessiones, sentence analysis

This is a sentence in Caput V, Liber II of Confessiones of Augustine: Cum interea non satageret idem pater qualis crescerem tibi. Here what's the case of qualis? According to the declension table it ...
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0answers
131 views

Are there “dominant relative clauses”?

As is well-known, the predicate of an AUC construction can be a participle (this is the typical case: e.g., Ab Urbe Condita, whose acronym "AUC" is often used to refer to this very peculiar (...
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0answers
75 views

The longest Ablative Absolute construction attested in the Latin literature?

I was curious about the longest Ablative Absolute (AA) construction attested in the Latin literature. For example, the following one from Plautus has seven AAs juxtaposed (used by him to create a ...
5
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1answer
187 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 ...
4
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2answers
158 views

Using Participles in Latin Tenses

In English, we can communicate progressiveness of an action by combining a form of "to be" with a participle. For instance, "I am acting" is progressive, whereas "I act" is not. I am wondering about ...
3
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2answers
174 views

Infinitival impersonal passives

The impersonal passive is a familiar construction: Pugnatur. "There is fighting / people are fighting / etc." Pugnatum est. "There was fighting / etc." Here a finite passive verb is being used ...
2
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2answers
487 views

“Contra felicem vix deus vires habet” - Need advice on replacing the word “Felicem”

For context, this is for a tattoo I'd like to get but I want to make sure it's syntactically correct as best as possible. I think the phrase is a great one, however I would very much prefer it to be ...
5
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1answer
203 views

Can a “dative of agent” appear in an Ablative Absolute construction?

I was wondering to what extent the syntactic distribution of so-called “dative of agent” and that of “ablative of agent” is different. For example, besides appearing in verbal contexts (e.g., Proelium ...
0
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1answer
89 views

Asking a teacher for more (hopefully extra credit) homework

Salvete, Sodales! I'm a student in his second year of Latin study, but my class has been slow in reading our texts and I've been bored from the beginning. I want to ask my teacher to give me more ...
4
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1answer
310 views

In this passage, why verbo instead of verbum?

There's a phrase from the Gospel that's used in the liturgy -- "sed tantum dic verbo" [et sanabitur anima mea], "but only say the word" [and my soul shall be healed]. Why verbo (dative or ablative) ...
7
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1answer
422 views

Can Gerundives be predicates of Ablative Absolutes?

I was wondering if Gerundives, the verbal adjectives referred to as "future passive participles" by Latin grammarians, can appear as predicates of Ablative Absolute constructions. As is well-known, ...
2
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1answer
197 views

Gerundial arguments selected by verbs taking Genitive: e.g., “Memento moriendi”? “Me paenitet vivendi”?

As a follow-up of two previous questions on Latin grammar, I was wondering if examples like Memento moriendi (cf. Memento mori) and Me paenitet vivendi (cf. Me paenitet vivere) are also attested. ...