A Question About Little Differences

By Lucius Aelius, in 'Latin Beginners', May 13, 2011.

  1. Well, the description of the board says it's a good place for silly questions, so here's some things that have been bugging me, but not enough that I've felt like bugging my Latin teacher about it. Basically, I find myself bugged by words which have the same English translation in the glossary in the back of the textbook. Because it gives me no idea of the minute differences between words, and that bugs me, because I know there must be some incentive to use one or the other in certain situations. So, the ones I can think of right now are as follows: apud v. cum (def. given as 'with' for both), enim v. nam (def. given as 'for' for both), ergo v. igitur (def. given as 'therefore' for both), and etiam v. quoque (def. given as 'also' for both).
  2. Cinefactus Censor

    litore aureo
    apud is like the French chez. cum would imply accompaniment (he came with his wife) or manner (with great speed).
  3. I do not know French.
  4. Cinefactus Censor

    litore aureo
    Something a little bit looser than at the place of

    cotidie eram apud vos in templo docens
    I was daily with you in the temple teaching

    et ait angelus ei ne timeas Maria invenisti enim gratiam apud Deum
    And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found favour with God

    nam ego hau diu apud hunc servitutem servio
    For I have not served (with) him in slavery for long
  5. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

    Except for apud and cum, the difference between which Cinefactus has already adequately described, these are close enough synonyms that explicating any nuances will be far too involved and probably beyond your level anyway. Even in English there's no easy way to describe to the foreign learner all the subtle differences between "too", "also", "even", and "as well". Ultimately they have to learnt through practice, by reading and listening. So too in Latin, if you want to get a good feel for how these words are used differently, the best way is to read a good bit of Latin and see for yourself. For now I can't really suggest anything better than having a look at the definitions and examples given in a lexicon.

    I can give some tips on usage, however: enim is always post-positive, meaning it must be the second or (sometimes) third word in a sentence or parenthetical statement; nam is always the first word. quoque always modifies the word that comes before it, whereas etiam typically modifies the word that comes after at, or the entire following phrase.
  6. Gratias vobis ago.

    Another thing. I know that "to play ball" is translated "pila* ludere" (because ball is the instrument with which one plays), so would "to play soldier" be "milite ludere" (because one is playing in the manner of a soldier)?

    *Pila here being ablative, because I refuse to use the imaginary macrons.
  7. Nikolaos schmikolaos

    If that worked (I don't think that it does), it wouldn't be for the same reason that pila ludere would - the ablative in pila ludere is the ablative of means, "to play by means of a ball". To use ludere, I would say militem ludere*... but I think that a different verb would be better.

    * L&S:

    Ludere aliquem or aliquid, to play, mock, imitate, mimic a person or thing (only in mockery; cf.: partes agere, etc.): civem bonum ludit, Cael. ap. Cic. Fam. 8, 9, 1; cf.: “ludere opus,” to imitate work, make believe work, Hor. S. 2, 3, 252: “magistratum fascibus purpurāque,” App. M. 11, p. 260 fin.: “ludere causas,” Calp. Ecl. 1, 45: impia dum Phoebi Caesar mendacia ludit, Poët. ap. Suet. Aug. 70.—
  8. Imprecator Civis Illustris

    I'd just say miles ludere. For that meaning, none of the other cases make much sense to me.
  9. Hmmm, well, would it just be simpler for me to say 'to play with wooden swords' (which I believe would be gladiis ligneis ludere), then?
  10. Nikolaos schmikolaos

    That would certainly work, whether it is simpler or not.

    I have to admit that I don't see how the nominative would make more sense than the accusative - I would take the nominative as an apposition.
  11. Imprecator Civis Illustris

    'I play as a soldier'- makes perfect sense to me. What doesn't, however, is how an accusative possibly could.
  12. I think I'll go with gladiis ligneis ludere, then. Seems to be much less controversial.
  13. Imprecator Civis Illustris

  14. Nikolaos schmikolaos

    Didn't you see my L&S reference for the accusative? "Is miles ludit" sounds to me like "he, a soldier, plays".
  15. Imprecator Civis Illustris

    Yes, I did. Did you? Because that's more like "I make fun of a soldier".
    I suppose for added clarity you could say modo militis or ut miles
  16. Nikolaos schmikolaos

    That is why I said that another verb would probably be better... I can't find any citations of ludere cum nom. for "playing such-and-such". However, "civem bonum ludit", based on the letter, clearly doesn't mean "he mocks a good citizen" but "he plays the part of a good citizen (but he isn't really a good citizen)".

    Those might work... I would be more inclined toward the first than the second.
  17. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

    The context still suggests a mocking tone:

    Post repulsam vero risus facit: civem bonum ludit et contra Caesarem sententias dicit

    So ludit here probably does mean "mock" in the literal sense of the English word, i.e. to make fun of by imitating, not just "plays the part", which incidentally would be partes civis boni agere. That doesn't suggest "playing" in the sense of children playing, however, but in the sense of taking on a role, whether on the stage or in real life.

    I would just say militem imitari, or perhaps milite imitando ludere to better emphasize the "playing" part.

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