Latin Exercises

R. Seltza

Well-Known Member
Hello,

I'd like to improve my Latin & I was wondering if you guys would be able to give me some practice sentences/phrases to translate & perhaps even some grammar questions (like what was done for Lysandra). Godmy also recommended this a while ago & definitely isn't a bad idea. I mostly prefer to do English to Latin translations but a couple of Latin to English ones every now & then wouldn't hurt.

Thanks in advance.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Hi,

I'm not entirely sure what your level is so I'll start with very simple things and turn to harder ones if I see it's too easy.

Translate this sentence and parse your translation, justifying why you used each form you used:

The king gave a ring to the queen.
 

R. Seltza

Well-Known Member
“The king gave a ring to the queen.”

The King – Noun (Sentence Subject) – Nominative Case – Singular – Rex
Gave – Transitive Verb – 3rd Person Singular – Active Indicative – Past Tense (So Imperfect) – Dabat
A Ring – Noun (Sentence Direct Object) – Accusative Case – Singular – Anulum
To [The] Queen – Noun (Sentence Indirect Object) – Automatically Dative – Singular – Reginae

So, it would be, rex dabat anulum reginae (or rex anulum reginae dabat since verbs have a tendency to be slapped on the end of a sentence).

Is there a particular way or format that I should parse my translation or is the way that I did it above good?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The way you did it above is fine.

Your translation is grammatically correct and not impossible. We can imagine that, in a certain context, the king habitually gave a ring to the queen, which would justify the imperfect. However, when you see the sentence "The king gave a ring to the queen" without any context, the interpretation that's more likely to come to mind is that the king gave a ring to the queen on one occasion, which would require a different tense.
 

R. Seltza

Well-Known Member
Just to make sure, what tense would that be exactly? How would the imperfect tense correlate with the king habitually giving the queen a ring. In English, "gave" is the past tense of "give", so I immediately thought of using the default past tense in Latin (pluperfect), which I guess isn't the best thing in this scenario.

My interpretation of verb tenses in Latin are as follows (in accordance with what I have in my notes).
I used the verb amo BTW.

Continual [To Be]:
Present: I am loving
Imperfect: I was loving
Future: I will be loving

Completed [To Have]:
Perfect Present: I have loved
Pluperfect: I had loved
Future Perfect: I will have loved

Is my interpretation correct? If they are, wouldn't the most viable options (despite slight changes in meaning) be present (the king gives/is giving), imperfect (the king gave/was giving), & pluperfect (the king had given)?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The perfect tense corresponds not only to "I have loved" but also to "I loved".

The imperfect isn't the "default past tense". The imperfect is used most of the time either when you're talking about some point in the middle of a continuous action, where in English you'd often say "I was [verb]ing", or when you're talking about a habitual action as in "I used to [verb]" or "I [habitually] [verb]ed". In other cases, the English preterit will most of the time translate to the Latin perfect.
 

R. Seltza

Well-Known Member
So dabat should really be dedit (as in "the king gave/has given").

We could probably keep practicing this concept in the next exercise.
 

R. Seltza

Well-Known Member

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Not really. Is there something wrong with a wood in the singular, like "I was walking in the wood (that wood you know, near my house)..."?
 

R. Seltza

Well-Known Member
I believe the term "wood/woods" came from the presence of trees. Usually the area of vegetation in question is referred to as "woods" because the said area has more than one tree, so it makes more sense to call it "the woods".
 

R. Seltza

Well-Known Member
This is true at least where I'm from. In Belgium, maybe you guys have a different kind of situation going on, lol.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Well, I'm sure I've seen "wood" in the singular before, in that sense of a "wooded area". But anyway, make it singular or plural, it doesn't matter for our purposes.
 

R. Seltza

Well-Known Member
“I was walking in the wood, when suddenly I heard a cry.”


[I Was] Walking – (In this case) Intransitive verb – 1st person singular – active indicative – imperfect – ambulabam

In – Preposition (Ablative Case Requirement) – In (of course…)

[The] Wood/Woods (Translated as “forested/wooded land”) – Singular Noun – Automatically Ablative (by PCR) – tellure (silvestris as an adjective must agree in case, number, & gender, so that would be Silvestri).
Note: singular makes more sense here because the term “woods” in English doesn’t really correlate with multiple wooded areas & would probably be misinterpreted in translation if we were to do so.

When – Conjunction – Indeclinable – quando

Suddenly – Adverb – Indeclinable – subito

I Heard – Transitive verb – 1st person singular – active indicative – perfect – audivi

[A] Cry – Singular Noun (direct object) – Accusative case – clamorem


So, it would be In tellure silvestri ambulabam, quando subito clamorem audivi.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Your sentence is grammatically acceptable.

However, two things could have been translated better:

- Tellure silvestri strikes me as unnecessarily convoluted and outlandish in prose (perhaps you could find a phrase like that in poetry). Why not simply silva?

- This sort of "when" is more usually cum. (There are exceptions, but you need to learn what's usual.) Quando is more generally used as the interrogative "when".

Well done on the tenses.

Now, it's time for some Latin-English. Translate:

Marcus cum uxore cenabat, cum servus litteras a Iulio attulit.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Pacifica, I would definitely say "woods" rather than "wood".
Imagine you have a wood near your house, and you go walking there. Can't you then say that you went to "walk in the wood"?

To my mind, "the woods" is sort of indefinite, and hence maybe more expectable in a context-less sentence. However, I thought you could say "the wood" when talking of a particular wood(ed area).
 

R. Seltza

Well-Known Member
Tellure silvestri strikes me as unnecessarily convoluted and outlandish in prose (perhaps you could find a phrase like that in poetry). Why not simply silva?
silva or nemus are the words to use, rather than tellus silvestris.
I was thinking about silva, but I thought that had more of a connotation with a forest, which isn't really what I wanted to use. I wish I knew about nemus earlier.

This sort of "when" is more usually cum. (There are exceptions, but you need to learn what's usual.) Quando is more generally used as the interrogative "when".
I knew that it was mainly used in an interrogative way, but I thought it could also be used non-interrogatively. I guess cum (or quom) is the way to go.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I knew that it was mainly used in an interrogative way, but I thought it could also be used non-interrogatively.
It can, but it isn't very usual in this sense. One non-interrogative sense where it's more usual is "since, given that".
 

R. Seltza

Well-Known Member
Marcus cum uxore cenabat, cum servus litteras a Iulio attulit.”

Marcus – A guy’s name… - Nominative Subject – “Marcus” (of course…)
Cum (or Quom) – Preposition – Indeclinable – “With”
Uxore – Ablative (by PCR) – Singular Noun – “Wife”
Cenabat – Transitive Verb – 3rd Person Singular – Active Indicative – Imperfect – “Was Dining”
Cum (or Quom) – Conjunction – Indeclinable – “When”
Servus – Singular Noun – Nominative – “Servant”
Litteras – Plural Noun (Direct Object) – Accusative – “Letters”
A – Preposition – Indeclinable – Another Way of Saying “of” or (in this case) “From”
Iulio (or Julio) – A name – probably meant to be Ablative from a’s PCR – “Julius” (or “Julia” maybe?)
Attulit – Transitive Verb – 3rd Person Singular Active Indicative – Perfect – “Carried/Brought Forth”

So this translates to “Marcus was dining with [his] wife, when [a/the] servant brought forth letters from Julius/Julia.”
 
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