49 votes
Accepted

Why is "ille" used in Winnie ille Pu and Hobbitus Ille?

It's true that in Classical Latin, ille is a demonstrative pronoun (corresponding to that), not an article; indeed, articles as we know them in English do not exist in Classical Latin. However, that'...
27 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "dies illa" from Dies Irae

This means "illa" definitely doesn't refer to "dies". But it does! The word dies can be feminine, and it is here. The feminine gender is rarer but it is the typical choice for a special day like an ...
14 votes

Why is suus in the accusative feminine singular in this sentence?

This is a really common stumbling block for those approaching Latin from the background of a language like English, so it merits a careful step-by-step explanation. I'll break my response into two ...
  • 36.9k
14 votes
Accepted

Does Latin have a mechanism to disambiguate possessive pronouns of the same gender referring to distinct persons?

Two key mechanisms of disambiguation come to mind: Using hic (latter) and ille (former) is one way. Simple example: "A and B meet. The former eats, the latter drinks." — A et B conveniunt. Ille ...
13 votes

Meaning of "dies illa" from Dies Irae

It is the feminine nominative and refers to dies. It means “that day.” You do not say why you think you can definitely rule it out, but I guess you think dies is masculine, which is indeed the case. ...
12 votes

Is there a gender-neutral pronoun for people in Latin?

It is important to distinguish between syntactic gender and semantic gender. As we all know, a word like centuria, "group of ca. 100 soldiers", is syntactically feminine, but semantically it is ...
  • 18.9k
12 votes
Accepted

Why does "e" occur in forms of 'vōs' but not 'nōs'?

Yes, the forms of vōs did originally resemble those of nōs. But there was a sound change in Latin whereby the sequence vo became ve; this is an example of dissimilation. Apparently this only occurred ...
  • 28.7k
12 votes

What is the difference between suus and eius?

All forms of se, including suus, normally refer to the subject of the main clause of the sentence. Eius, however, normally does not refer to this subject, but to someone else. So the two words have ...
  • 18.9k
10 votes
Accepted

The function of "quo" in "Quō quisque est sollertior, hōc docet īrācundius"

Lewis & Short have hidden this in their entry for qui/quae/quod (and not, as I would have thought, in the dedicated entry for quo) – II,E,2,b: Quo, abl. neutr., with compp. (with or without hoc, ...
9 votes
Accepted

Do Possessive Pronouns Always Agree with the Thing Being Possessed?

In my opinion, the most likely translation of the sentece is: Our sea has many docks Mare Nostrum was a common name given by the Romans to the Mediterranean Sea around the I century AD, since the ...
  • 10.6k
9 votes
Accepted

Comparing quicumque, quilibet, quisquis, quivis

quisquis and quicumque are relative pronouns, so they introduce a restricting clause: Quisquis es, noster eris. Whoever you are, you will be one of us. ...scilicet omnibus quicumque terrae ...
  • 256
9 votes
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What do "hic" and "ille" refer to in this passage from Ovid's Tristia?

Of course, as with so much in Latin, there's more than one answer, none of them incorrect. The first answer is yes, using hic and ille like this to mean "the latter" and "the former&...
9 votes

What do "hic" and "ille" refer to in this passage from Ovid's Tristia?

When hic and ille are used like this, they refer to the distance of words: hic refers to the closest noun, ille the one that came first. In your example, you have first pontus and then aer. Hic ...
  • 41.5k
9 votes

Does Latin have a mechanism to disambiguate possessive pronouns of the same gender referring to distinct persons?

Yep, it's called the reflexive adjective, suus, -a, -um. It declines like an adjective and goes with the noun it's modifying. Examples: Marcus reads a book. Marcus librum legit. Marcus reads his [i....
  • 41.5k
9 votes
Accepted

Difference between αὐτός and οὗτος

Yes, the meaning is different. αὐτός, when used in the nominative, is an emphatic pronoun meaning "he himself". So your second sentence would mean "He himself says...", with some implicit contrast ...
  • 28.7k
9 votes
Accepted

Usage of quidquid: "dominetur piscibus aquatilibus ... et quidquid in terra movetur"

You can't have a dative be the subject of a clause. quidquid...movetur is a new clause. It's something like "rule over...[everything] whatever moves on the land." You don't need to add ...
  • 41.5k
8 votes

What do "hic" and "ille" refer to in this passage from Ovid's Tristia?

I'd like to offer an addition, which was originally posted as a comment but requested to be turned into an answer by OP. As explained in the other two answers, iste, ille and hic are used to refer ...
  • 181
8 votes
Accepted

Why is "quī" used immediately following a plural accusative noun?

The case of a relative pronoun indicates its role inside the subordinate clause, not the main clause. Since the servōs in the main clause are the subject of pārent in the subordinate clause, a ...
  • 14.9k
8 votes
Accepted

Reference with hic, is and ille

You may be able to find nouna...nounb, isb...sed illea, but that's an unusual pairing, and you'd probably want to read it more literally, i.e. "he did X, but the former/latter did Y." The most common ...
  • 41.5k
8 votes

A question regarding the agreement of possessive pronouns

Adjectives always agree with the noun they are modifying in case, gender, and number. Since mea is the nominative feminine singular form of meus, mea, meum ("my" or "mine"), it goes with filia and ...
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8 votes
Accepted

A question regarding the agreement of possessive pronouns

In Latin, an adjective always agrees with the (pro)noun it modifies in gender, number, and case. Since Latin is inflected, position is not an important deciding factor, though it can be relevant. Let'...
  • 36.9k
8 votes
Accepted

Unnecessary genitive being used with 'suum'

You are confusing gĕnu, -ūs ("knee") and gĕnus, -ĕris ("origin, lineage, stock"). The latter is a 3rd declension neuter noun, so the accusative singular is the same as the nominative singular. Hence,...
  • 36.9k
8 votes
Accepted

Is a relative pronoun commonly used as a third person pronoun? (Metamorphoses I.583-587)

Quam here is being used as a normal relative, and could not be replaced with illam, since the relative clause quam non invenit umquam is the accusative subject of the verb esse in the accusative and ...
  • 28.7k
8 votes
Accepted

Why is -d used instead of -m for most neuter pronouns

There isn't really an answer to the "why" question beyond the fact that in Proto-Indo-European, some of the case endings for pronouns were different from those for nouns, for unknown reasons. Among ...
  • 28.7k
8 votes
Accepted

Mors mea or mors meī?

Another use of the genitive that you've left out is subjective genitive, which is what this is. These are discussed in, e.g., Gildersleeve and Lodge, Latin grammar §363. Allen and Greenough, New Latin ...
  • 18k
7 votes

Why is "quī" used immediately following a plural accusative noun?

Relative pronouns (like quis/quis/quid) don't agree with their antecedents for case; instead, it gets that from its position in the subordinate clause. Note that they still agree in gender and number, ...
  • 3,317
7 votes

Where did the missing forms of nemo go?

"Nemine contradicente" is a kind of set expression in Latin. The plural forms are probably missing because it sounds goofy, in any language, to say "I spoke with no ones." Ipse loquor Latine ...
7 votes
Accepted

What does the -met ending mean in "vosmet" or "temet"

It's for emphasis, and older than the use of ipse as an intensifier. From Allen & Greenough §143.d: Emphatic forms of tu are tute and tutemet (tutimet). The other cases of the personal pronouns,...
  • 41.5k
7 votes

What is the difference between "ubi" and "in quo" as relative adverbs?

Well, it is a simple answer to the question itself...ubi is not a relative pronoun, even if it is sometimes used as one. Ergo, it is always safe to simply use in quo, as, when translated idiomatically ...
  • 346
7 votes
Accepted

Is 'hoc' ever pronounced short?

Based on metric evidence, it was always pronounced "hocc" with a geminated c, but still spelled hoc. I went through all the 124 appearances of the hoc in Virgil's works. Whenever hoc was followed by ...

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