I received this question:


I am working through Visual Latin.  We love the program.  We are on Lesson 10.  I’m confused on the Reading and Translation.  We learned that Predicate Adjectives have to match with the subject nouns that they are describing.  This is not the case in the following sentences:

Opus est bonum.

Opus Dei est bonum

Shouldn’t bonum be bonus??

And in the sentence     Deus complet opus.  Shouldn’t opus be opum since it is in the accusative case.

Thanks for your time.

Here is my reply:

Good morning!

Happy to hear that you are enjoying Visual Latin!

As for opus… it turns out, that’s a strange word.  Even though it looks masculine (ends with -us), it isn’t.  Opus is a neuter word.  Latin is not as packed with exceptions as modern languages like Spanish, or English. But, it does have its exceptions. This is one of them.  I didn’t take the time to explain it so early in the Visual Latin series because I knew that most people wouldn’t catch it.  I guess that makes you “not most people”. 🙂

Since Opus is a neuter word, it hangs out with neuter adjectives.  This is why you use bonum instead of bonus.  Also, all neuter words are the same in the nominative and accusative cases.  This is why Opus is Opus in the sentence you asked about.

By the way, the plural of Opus is Opera.  Pretty cool, huh?