Each of us was studying a different song.

LenCabral

Member
Hi everyone,

I'm wondering how to translate something like "different" in this example above. I know that the double alius construction can be used for "different" in this sense, but I have no idea how to determine which case/number each "alius" gets. Here's my attempt, which matches the first "alius" in apposition with the subject "uterque" and the second "alius" with the object "carmini." Is this how to do it?

nostrum uterque alius alio carmini studebat.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
You're correct about the agreement, but:

- Note that uterque works only for "each" of two. I don't know if that was your intent.

- If it was, you should also use forms of alter ("the other of two") instead of alius ("another (of more than two").

- Still note, for your information, that the dative of alius is alii rather than alio.

- Uterque is actually not necessary; the two forms of alter are enough by themselves to convey the meaning of "each a different".

- I think the verb discere (constructed with the accusative) would work better than studere.
 

LenCabral

Member
So per your suggestions, nostrum uterque alter alterum carmen discebat.

If I omitted uterque entirely, can I still use alter alterum?

nos alter alterum carmen discebamus.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
You can omit uterque from the first option, too. Although not technically wrong, its use there still seems a bit redundant to me.

Nostrum alter alterum carmen discebat and nos alter alterum carmen discebamus both work.
 

LenCabral

Member
Thank you! As for the second option, why is it not alteri alterum, given that alteri should agree with nos? I'm trying to understand the language better, but this agreement pattern just stumps me, I would never predict it without just seeing it in actual use.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Even though "we" is plural, "each" is singular. Same goes for nos and alter. Logic.
 
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