suus vs. eius; subjunctive mood

By gerases, in 'Latin Grammar Questions', Aug 23, 2009.

  1. gerases Member

    I thought I got that concept of "suus vs. eius", but while looking at examples in Rosetta Stone, I realized I didn't. There would be a picture of a man with his bicycle and the latin would be "vir et birota eius". I thought that it should be "vir et birota sua" because we're referring back to the subject "vir". However for a picture where a man is eating an apple it said "vir malum suum edit", which is what I would expect. Why are they using eius in the bicycle case? Isn't eius referring to someone else's bicycle?

    Also, in Wheelock chapter 29 "Subjunctive of Result":

    Hoc tanta benevolentia dixit ut eos non offenderet -- 'he said this with such great kindness that he didn't not offend them". But according to the definition of the subjunctive mood, it describes the mood of "potential, tentative, hypothetical, ideal, or even unreal action" (p. 186). So how is it any of those in this case?
  2. Cato Consularis

    • Consularis
    Chicago, IL
    Suus is used reflexively, meaning it links a noun in the predicate part of a sentence with the subject. Vir et birota eius is simply two nouns in apposition; there's no reason to link them with suus (position and the conjunction et are more than enough to establish the relationship). But if we add a verb--say, Vir birotam agitat - "The man rides a bike"--then suam would be appropriate to emphasize the bike belongs to him.

    The ut clause here is one of result. Usually this is explained as a potential subjunctive, but I agree the result is presented not as something potentially true but as something that actually happened. However this isn't always 100% true for result clauses--their similarity to purpose clauses is no accident, and one could easily assume in the example above the next sentence going something like Attamen offendebantur. - "But they were still offended anyway."
  3. gerases Member

    I see. So as soon as there's a verb, then it's important. I thought eius can never refer back to the subject, but I see how apposition can change that.

    If I remember correctly, all of the examples in Wheelock for Subjunctive of Result were not hypothetical but having already occurred, which got me scratching my head. In the example I gave why would following the sentence with "Attamen offendebantur" make it more subjunctive?

    Before I forget, in the program, there were series of examples about kissing and hugging. For example in one picture there was a girl hugging her dad and the Latin was "Puella patrem amplictur". Why the heck the passive? Same about kissing "Puella patrem osculatur".

    Also, the word for TV is "telehorasis" and I think the accusative they came up with was "telehorasim" as in "puella telehorasim spectat". But that doesn't correspond to any declension I know. I would expect "telehorasem" or something. Pretty cool that they have words for modern things like that though!
  4. scrabulista Consul

    • Consul
    osculor, -ari, -atus is deponent. I couldn't find amplictur.
  5. gerases Member

    Oops, I haven't reached that chapter yet. But I know where to look for the answer now. Thank you.
  6. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    litore aureo
    Perhaps it is meant to be amplectitur, from amplector (another deponent verb).
  7. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

    • Civis Illustris
    More accurately: as soon as there's a verb that does more than simply state the existence of persons or things, then it's important. When nouns are merely being connected by the verb esse "to be", the reflexive is not used. For you picture caption, something like hic sunt is implied.

    By the way, the reflexive possessive pronoun does not necessarily indicate that the noun it modifies belongs to the grammatical subject of the sentence, only the notional subject. This is the case when the main verb is impersonal, for example, but also in a sentence like: Socratem sui cives interfecerunt "Socrates' own fellow-citizens killed him."

    I'm not sure about what Cato was saying, but I would advise against thinking of the subjunctive as the "potential, tentative, hypothetical, [whatever]" mood. The fact is that the subjunctive cannot be accurately defined by such a limited description of its use. There are many situations in which the subjunctive is used without suggesting anything "unreal" or merely imagined, such as in (actual) result clauses, certain cum clauses, indirect questions, relative clauses subordinate to indirect discourse, etc., etc. It's just not possible to both accurately and succinctly define the subjunctive mood, so in order to gain a full understanding of it you must learn every single one of its uses separately. These "shortcut" definitions may provide a good overview of what the subjunctive tends to suggest, but they are not comprehensive and thus I think quite likely to lead beginners as much astray as be of good use to them.

    Osculator and ampectitur are deponent verbs.

    A few third declension i-stem nouns in Latin have an accusative singular in -im, like sitim for sitis "thirst", for example. The word in question is based on a Greek root, however, which leads me to believe it may represent the occasional Greek accusative singular ending -ιν.
  8. gerases Member

    Bull's eye.
  9. gerases Member

    That's very cool! You put my mind at ease. Thank you!

    Got it.

    Thank you for this one as well. It's great that there are such knowledgeable people out there. And it also keeps me motivated.

    Sweet. By the way, what's a good Latin-English dictionary?
  10. Iohannes Aurum Technicus Auxiliarius

    • Technicus Auxiliarius
    For good value, there's the revised and updated version of John Traupman's The New College Latin and English Dictionary. It contains many Neo-Latin terms and is priced at $5 US. I use it all the time.
  11. gerases Member

    Great, I do see it on Amazon.

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