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In Latin you need a verb to say "please". The verb quaesere mentioned by ktm5124 is a good one, but not the only one. That verb is used typically only in first person singular or plural present nominative, quaeso or quaesumus. Here are some other verbs meaning "ask", "beg", or similar: petere rogare precari orare Because these are verbs, you need to be ...


16

To add to the other excellent answers, I would like to add a colloquial way of saying "please" that is very common in Plautus: sis (= si vis), which means "if you want" or "if you please." All the usages I found were with the imperative. It obviously looks like the present subjunctive 2nd person of esse, but context makes it ...


13

The verb quaeso was used to mean "please" in classical Latin. I did some research, and I think it can easily be added to the end of a sentence. Examples: Silentium, quaeso. (Silence, please.) Conside, quaeso. (Sit down, please.) I'm sure other people will have more insights. But this could be a start. I thought I would make an attempt to translate your ...


12

In Latin there is no equivalent for please, you use some form of I ask, instead. Aparently, having a specific word for please dates back just to the Renaissance, and in many languages it comes from more elaborate formulas like if it pleases you, if you are so kind. I'd offer two possible variants: Ora, quaeso, pro me (or with a different word order: ora ...


12

As a supplement to all the excellent answers above, I'll just point you to Eleanor Dickey's wonderful articles "How to Say 'Please' in Classical Latin" and "How to Say 'Please' in Post-Classical Latin." She's a professor at the University of Reading and has done a lot of work on (among many other things) politeness in the ancient world. In short, they say: ...


9

I have found some alternatives to gratias tibi ago in the literature. I limited my search for simple, conversational thank yous. These fall into two broad groups: Thanks expressed using “thanksgiving”: habeo gratiam This occurs frequently in Plautus, often standing alone for a straightforward “thank you”. It also appears in Terence’s The Brothers. ...


8

The simple imperative in Latin is significantly more polite than it is in English. It's even used when making requests to God in Ecclesiastical Latin: pie Iēsū domine, dōnā eīs requiem sempiternam "good lord Jesus, give them eternal rest". However, if you want to avoid the imperative, there are a few different ways. One is to use a subjunctive instead: ...


8

Roman letters often included the name of both sender and recipient in the greeting. Take, for example, Cicero's letters to Atticus. Epistula 1.1 Scr. Romae m. Quint. a. 689 (65). CICERO ATTICO salutem Epistula 14.5 Scr. Asturae it Id. Apr. a. 710 (44). CICERO ATTICO S. D. Epistula 14.14 Scr. in Cumano a. d. v K. Mai. a. 710 (44). ...


7

This is not a phrase which demands a response, at least not from the available evidence. Most instances of gratias ago do not have the thanked person respond at all, and I could only really find one exception. In Cicero's De Oratore 2.268, we get this exchange: Arguta etiam significatio est, cum parva re et saepe verbo res obscura et latens inlustratur; ut, ...


7

I think the real answer to your question is that the Romans did not say “please”. The habit of attaching “please” more or less automatically to all imperatives is a phenomenon of modern European culture, which emerged (I assume) in courtly speech in the Baroque period. In the same spirit, classical Latin does not distinguish between intimate and polite forms ...


6

This interaction to my ears is decidedly modern, and since most of Roman literature is not colloquial dialogue, it will be hard to find exact matches. However, the request is very simple and overthought. The most common way to thank somebody is gratias agere. Though there are other ways, this is both common and commonplace. If you want to say "you too!" to ...


5

In addition to ktm5124's excellent answer, the first line after the salutation could read SVBEEV. This stands for Sī valēs, bene est; ego valeō, which is essentially Latin for "How are you? I am fine." For the closing (after which you don't need to write your name, since you've already included it in the salutation) there are several options, many of ...


5

In his letters to Emperor Trajan, Pliny the Younger used the salutation Gaius Plinius Traiano Imperatori putting the sender (himself) in the nominative, and the recipient (Traianus) in the dative. This is kind of impersonal and formal (and I would not advise calling your professor Imperator unless you're really trying to brown-nose). Interestingly ...


5

"Questions" that are actually requests using the archaic "potin?" are numerous in Plautus, and they appear in Terence as well. I think based on the evidence that a Roman would readily understand this type of request-phrased-as-a-question but might find it somewhat rude or abrupt: the examples in the corpus always seem to carry a hint of exasperation. ...


4

Primarily when giving thanks to the gods, constructions with grates were also used. For example: vobis (dis) grates ago atque habeo. See more examples by following the link to L&S. Of course there are many more ways to express thanks. I'm thinking about constructions in the final dative case (dativus finalis) such as tibi honori est and tibi laudi ...


4

The closest to this idiomatic phrase I could find was: quaeso, quid narras? sorry, what are you saying? Terence, Phormio, act 5, scene 8 Which, in this particular dialogue, is not quite “sorry, I didn’t hear that, could you repeat it?” but more a rhetorical “excuse me, what on earth are you saying?” However, it does seem that quaeso + verb of ...


4

There are quite a few options, of varying degrees of politeness. A few are: Peto (te) quod dicis iterare is a bit wordy; peto ut hoc iterares is neater. Veniam abs te peto, sed sermonem non cepi would be very polite. Quid dixisti? is rather abrupt.


4

So, I will compile two pieces of my personal experience here to provide an answer. First off, whenever write emails to my teachers, I generally do so in the following manner: Hello, Mr./Mrs./Ms. X! This is the message body. Sam K This format is formal enough for addressing a teacher, but informal enough to sound friendly and approachable. (I ...


2

All excellent answers. I would think that an often-used polite formula like “please” would be brief, although I wouldn’t doubt that Cicero would have constructed whole nuanced sentences to express the idea. One way to approach it would be to look at what it became. “Si tibi placet” became “si os place” in Castilian Spanish and “sis plau” in Catalán. ...


1

I offer this as a partial answer to Joonas’s question. In French, or at least in the written form of the language, you write “vous êtes content” for “you (polite singular) are content”, but “vous êtes contents” for “you (plural) are content”. However, in the spoken language there is no difference between “content” and “contents”, so both sentences sound the ...


1

SAW THIS ON QUORA: John Kerpan, Master of Latin and the Classical Humanities Answered 3 years ago · Author has 1.4K answers and 1.7M answer views If you want to reply to “Thank you” like a Roman, use “libenter”. It means “willingly” or “gladly”.


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In @C.M.Weimer's answer we see an exchange of the following kind: A thanks B for a compliment or a display of esteem/affection B replies with Meritum est tuum, maybe embellished with a preceding interjecton like pol I propose a general formula to cover (all?) other cases, provided a reply is appropriate in the first place: A thanks B for some kind of help ...


1

I started to you et tu when someone said something nice, then I remember it consider a negative connotation over its use in Et tu, Brutus. Don't forget someone died.


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What about "sodes", a contraction of "si audes" giving the somewhat misleading "if you dare"; but Pock. Ox. Lat. Dict. (2001) gives "if you do not mind, please". Wiki gives "audes" as the gentler "if you intend" and synonyms for "sodes"--vis & si vis, seen in brianpck's answer above.


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