Questions tagged [syntax]

Syntax are the rules for how sentences and phrases are constructed in a language, including word order and how words change based on their relations to other words (snl.no/syntaks).

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4
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2answers
129 views

Using two future tenses together

I was trying to translate something to Latin, and I ended up writing something that made me feel uncertain. For the purposes of this question, I stripped all unnecessary content to focus on what ...
6
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3answers
144 views

On the dative of reference

If I want to say in Latin I speak Latin easily, I say: In Latīnā facile loquere possum. But if I want to add to this the idea that it is in my opinion that I speak Latin easily, do I simply use ...
12
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1answer
635 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 ...
6
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1answer
191 views

In an indirect statement, could there be two infinitives in the dependent clause for different purposes?

The sentence is "The sailor realized that he himself ought to give the money back to the girl." My translation is "Nauta intellexit se debere dare pecuniam retro puellae." (If there are any errors ...
8
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1answer
107 views

Usage of "Have to" before The Middle Ages

Medieval-esque phrases like "habeo abire" and "is habet scire" do not break the rules of Classical Latin, but I know that they were much more common afterward. This construction interests me greatly, ...
7
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0answers
200 views

Greek: unattainable wishes about the present

This is a question about how a specific type of unattainable (counterfactual) wish about the present is expressed in Greek. I'm looking for a good way of translating sentences like the following into ...
6
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2answers
193 views

Can an indirect question be the subject of its governing clause?

All examples of indirect questions I could find are objects of their governing clauses. A model example would be: Scio, ubi fueris. I know where you were. Here the indirect question quid feceris ...
6
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2answers
318 views

Is "ire" used correctly here? "Iosaphatum salutem ite."

Can ire be used in this way? "Iosaphatum salutem ite." (I go to Iosephat for shelter.) Furthermore, is the two accusatives correct? This sentence is based on a Sanskrit construction, and I do not know ...
3
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1answer
131 views

Syntax of a Greek passage from Dionysius of Halicarnassus

I'm trying to puzzle out the syntax of a passage from Dionysius of Halicarnassus' Demosthenes (chapter 2). Dionysius is talking about styles of speech (λέξις), and has just finished discussing the ...
13
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1answer
357 views

Are there instances of free indirect discourse in Latin or Greek?

Free indirect discourse is a type of narrative device which has some similarities with direct discourse and some with ordinary indirect discourse, but is different from both. Here's an English example,...
4
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1answer
80 views

Greek: syntax of dilemmas in the past

I want to find out how Greek expresses the protases of conditions like the following: What was I to do? If I remained in Athens I would be killed; if I left, I would lose all my property. This is ...
7
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1answer
581 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
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2answers
257 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 ...
12
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3answers
671 views

Can esse be used with a present participle?

I do not recall ever seeing esse in any form used with active present participles (like faciens). One could imagine something similar to the English distinction between "he does" and "he is doing" in ...
7
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2answers
464 views

Does this Latin phrase make sense grammatically?

I'm writing a poem, and I want to close each part with a Latin phrase. The one I'm talking about now is non serm ab rex regum ergo nos sponte nostrum resurget Using various online resources, I ...
11
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2answers
180 views

When did the grammarians first recognize a question?

I previously asked about indicating a question in writing, and I got interested in how questions were recognized in the first place. To know if a question mark would be used after a question, one ...
9
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1answer
231 views

Do the locatives militiae, terrā, marī occur by themselves?

Textbooks tell us that the only common (in the sense of not proper) nouns that have a locative case are rūs "countryside" and domus "home". However, I'm familiar with two expressions that use ...
7
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1answer
201 views

Slippery when wet

Sometimes people are warned of slippery surfaces with signs saying "slippery when wet". I would like to know how to phrase such a sign in Latin. Translating a full sentence is easier: This road is ...
8
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2answers
238 views

Phrasing "it remains to"

The phrase "it remains to" is pretty common in mathematics. It can be used in other contexts as well, but let me restrict my question to the abstract realm for concreteness. For example, this would ...
6
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1answer
139 views

How do you translate these verbal adjectives? (Greek)

I'm reading a passage from Plato's Republic which was adapted by my textbook author. I have some questions about the use of verbal adjectives in this sentence (ἀποδοτέον and χρηστέον). Καὶ ταῖς ...
5
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3answers
281 views

When I am the subject and the direct object of a phrase

I want to translate the following French quote from Paul Valéry: Je ne suis pas toujours d'accord avec moi-même. Which roughly translates into: I don't always agree with myself. I want it to ...
5
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1answer
168 views

Can the articular infinitive be a dative of means? (Greek)

I am translating this sentence from English to classical Greek. There is great danger that the students may harm themselves by not taking care of themselves. Let us decide how to help them. My ...
10
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2answers
694 views

Difference between filiī and liberī

I was reading Orberg's Lingua Latina per se Illustrata and I found the following sentences: Marcus et Quīntus sunt dūo filiī. [...] In familia Rõmāna tres līberī sunt. Now I deduce both words ...
5
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5answers
226 views

Happily necessary condition for lamentable hypothetical result

How would you translate this famous English sentence into Latin? I don't think I've come across the Latin grammatical conventions to express this kind of causal relation between the protasis and ...
6
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1answer
169 views

Combining verbs with ecce or en

I am puzzled about the syntactical role of ecce and en. I feel comfortable using them with nouns (ecce camelopardalis meus, "here is my giraffe" or "look, my giraffe"), and I would like to know if ...
7
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1answer
174 views

How to translate this line from Xenophon? (Const. Lac. 9.1)

I'm working on this line from Xenophon, and I'm having a little trouble with the second clause. ἄξιον δὲ τοῦ Λυκούργου καὶ τόδε ἀγασθῆναι, τὸ κατεργάσασθαι ἐν τῇ πόλει αἱρετώτερον εἶναι τὸν καλὸν ...
8
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1answer
199 views

Passives Without Accusatives

(Split off from my previous question about gerundives of deponent verbs.) For a transitive verb, it's fairly simple to convert a sentence from active to passive: X-nom VERB-active Y-acc = Y-nom ...
6
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2answers
223 views

Composing a question with hortari and an ut-clause

When I was composing this question yesterday, I wanted to ask this: Which words would you suggest me to use? I wanted to do it using hortari and an ut-clause. I was looking for a question form of ...
6
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1answer
104 views

Unnecessary genitive being used with 'suum'

I am not sure how to translate Augustus affirmāvit genūs suum ab Iove ortum esse. One can logically conclude that this much of the sentence is correct... Augustus affirmed that ... ...
9
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1answer
211 views

Negative Future Imperatives

In reading through Book VI of Vergil's Aeneid, I came across the following line: 851 tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento I believe this is translated as "you, Roman, remember to rule the ...
8
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3answers
340 views

What's the logic behind "eritque Israel in proverbium" (Vulgate bible)

In the Vulgate bible, I encountered the sentence, Eritque Israel in proverbium, et in fabulam cunctis populis. And Israel will be a proverb, and a story for all people. (1 Kings 9:7) I'm curious to ...
6
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2answers
288 views

Can the gerundive be used like an adjective?

Can I use a gerundive like I would use an adjective as in the following example? It sounds fine to me, but I am somewhat suspicious; my intuition has failed before. Infans lavandus clamabat. The ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Reference with hic, is and ille

Consider this example: Ecce Marcus et Gaius. Hic canit, ille auscultat. Here are Marcus and Gaius. The latter sings, the former listens. When there are two or more things one could refer to, hic ...
5
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2answers
146 views

How to indicate gender of ambiguous pronoun antecedent

Consider the following sentence (a little contrived, but you can imagine a better example...): Do you like their friends? -I only like her friends. The obvious word-for-word translation does not ...
10
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1answer
548 views

The syntax of swearing

How to swear in Latin? I am not looking for vocabulary, but syntax. Did the Romans only swear using interjections, or did could swearing be used within a sentence? There are several ways to swear in ...
11
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3answers
402 views

How to work around the missing cases of vis?

The word vis does not have singular genitive and dative forms. This makes it difficult to use vis. (I was reminded of this difficulty by this Star Wars question.) Can you suggest methods of working ...
11
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2answers
673 views

Jenney's First Year Latin, Lesson 37, comparatives with "quam"

I'd like some clarification on which cases are appropriate during the use of the word "quam" with comparatives. I'm teaching Jenney's First-Year Latin (1990). In Lesson 37 (page 426 of the 1990 ...
8
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1answer
459 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 ...
11
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4answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

Is it possible to use και as both coordinating and correlative conjunctions in the same sentence?

As a textbook exercise, I'm translating the following sentence from English into Greek. Farewell, dear country! The war will be long, and I shall flee through the rivers and the marshes. (T1 = my ...
8
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2answers
388 views

Consecutio temporum et praesens historicum

Sometimes in an intensive narrative the present tense is used to refer to past events. Such use of the present tense is called praesens historicum. It is formally present but semantically past. How ...
4
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3answers
619 views

Why is the Greek definite article τη duplicated in this sentence?

I was translating a simplified version of Two Friends and a Bear, one of Aesop's fables, listed as #65 in the Perry Index. The text begins with the sentence: Δύο φίλοι τῇ ὁδῷ τῇ εἰς τὴν χώραν ...
6
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1answer
131 views

Is it idiomatic Latin to paraphrase a condition using an imperative plus a future indicative?

In English, there's a common construction which consists of two coordinated clauses, the first with an imperative verb, the second with a future-tense verb: Take the first left and you'll find my ...
13
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5answers
476 views

How do you show an infinitive for reason?

For instance, if you say, "I came here to eat," or "We want something good to eat," you are using the infinitive "to eat" to express reason or purpose. How do translate something like this in Latin?
7
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1answer
198 views

Verb forms after "tamquam si"

In Suetonius's Vita Horati, a letter from Augustus to Horace is quoted, which includes the sentence: Sume tibi aliquid iuris apud me, tamquam si convictor mihi fueris. The Loeb translation gives: "...
10
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2answers
545 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 ...
5
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1answer
347 views

Indirect question vs. relative clause

In circumstances where the same meaning can be expressed by an indirect question depending on a verb of speech, or by a relative clause modifying an (implicit or explicit) object of that verb, which ...
8
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2answers
589 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 ...
10
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1answer
261 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 ...
7
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1answer
211 views

Does the name take the same case as "appellatus"?

Consider the following sentence with a tentative Latin translation: Let us meet in the building called Taberna. Conveniamus in aedificio Taberna appellato. In which case should I decline the ...