Nonnullus in the singular

By Toutaric, in 'Latin Grammar Questions', Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Toutaric New Member

    So, I have been having some trouble intuiting the situations in which one uses "nonnullus" in the singular. Should it be conceptualized in manner of a collective noun?
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    It's an adjective rather than a noun, but it will generally be used with collective/uncountable nouns. It means that there is a quantity of something that amounts to more than none at all; that is, it means basically "some". It can be used in litotes with a sense like "no small".

    For example:

    Nonnullam bello gloriam peperit = "He gained not-no glory in war", i.e. "He gained some glory in war" (depending on context, it can imply "He gained quite some glory in war", "He gained no small glory in war").
    Toutaric likes this.
  3. Toutaric New Member

    Thank you! What about the plural forms, though? Were I to say, "Femina senex nonnullos canes habet, et per ipsos domus sua valde putet", would I be using the plural form correctly?
  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Yes. Plural forms mean "some", "a few", "quite a few", "a (good) number of", etc.

    However, sua should be eius (if you need to learn or just review the rules concerning reflexive vs. non-reflexive, you can have a look here), and anus would probably be more usual than femina senex.
    Toutaric likes this.
  5. Toutaric New Member


    Many thanks! I'll go read that. I think, though, that the most effective way for me to get into the swing of using them correctly is to actually be corrected when I make a mistake. :)

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