How do I use 'solus' correctly?

By bedtime, in 'Latin Grammar Questions', Jun 13, 2016.

  1. bedtime Active Member

    Let me give you can example of what I am trying to do:

    Tu sola cor meum capias.

    I'm not sure if this says, "Only you could take my heart," or if it says, "You could only take my heart." Or, if I could have messed up with declining sola.

    If someone could explain this and use my examples to show how I could write this both ways, I would be extremely appreciative.
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Sola is an adjective agreeing with tu, so it can only refer to it — i.e. "you alone"/"only you".

    If "alone/only" referred to the heart (like "you could take only my heart/my heart alone (and nothing else)"), the adjective would have to agree with the heart.

    If you meant "You could only take my heart" with "only" not referring to any noun or pronoun in particular but just to the action (like "the only thing you can do is take my heart"), you'd need an adverb for "only", like solum or tantum.

    Aside from that, "You could take" would be capere potes rather than capias.

    I'm also not all that sure "to take someone's heart" would be idiomatic in Latin as it is in English.
    bedtime likes this.
  3. bedtime Active Member

    You explained that very well, and you even answered my other thought about how to tie it in with the verb. This helps so much!

    I was using capias in the form of a potential subjunctive (or trying to, at least.) I am trying to convey that you could take my heart, and that this might just happen.

    I found this in L&S:

    A. The heart, as the seat of feeling, emotion, etc., heart, soul, feeling (poet.)...

    The assumption on my part it could be thought of as a soul and taken metaphorically; so as to have one life (soul) taken from them, but this may be a stretch of what it can mean.
  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    It isn't really how one would express "you could" in Latin.

    Tu sola cor meum capias, on its own, would mean "May you alone take my heart", or, if there were some "if" condition mentioned or clearly implied, "You alone would take my heart".
    I suppose it can make some sense. It would just probably be more unusual a metaphor than in English.
    bedtime likes this.
  5. bedtime Active Member

    I have a new translation:

    Deleri possit a te sola.
    It would only be able to be destroyed by you alone.

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