Everything happens for a reason; nothing just happens

By Anonymous, in 'Latin Phrases', Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Anonymous Guest

    I would like to know if anyone can translate for me into latin "Nothing Just Happens" as in "everything happens for a reason, nothing just happens"

    I would like to get a tattoo with either of those Latin phrases.
  2. QMF Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Virginia, US
    The affirmative "everything happens for a reason" is easy:
    omnia causa fiunt
    "nothing just happens" is a little harder. My attempt:
    nihil solum fit.
    I don't like it by comparison.

    Wait for other suggestions.
  3. Interficio Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Virginia, USA
    Hmm Im not sure about qmf's second one as I read it as Only nothing happens, but thats just me.
  4. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

    • Civis Illustris
    This is tricky. I agree with Interficio that the use of solum together with nihil would most likely make it mean "only nothing happens". I do think nulla res would work better than nihil, since nulla is equivalent to non ulla "not anything." That avoids the meaning "merely nothing happens," making it instead "anything doesn't merely/just happen." It also broadens the meaning of "nothing" a bit.

    What I'm less certain about is the word solum itself. Technically, this adverb means "alone" or "on its own," not "merely/just." However, it does make sense to say "not anything [i.e. nothing] happens on its own."

    Modo is the basic word for "merely/just", but it also has the temporal sense of "just now", which means it should probably be avoided. To reduce the ambiguity one might use tantummodo "merely just/so much just", a fairly common and well-attested word; but it's also a bit long and looks cumbersome.

    Since I can't really decide which of these is best, I'll just give them all and let someone else decide: Nulla res [solum/modo/tantummodo] fit.

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