Tag Archives: Genitive

Lesson 5 confusion

Some time ago, I received this message:

Love the program so far.

However, confused with Lesson 5 answers. 

The charts in teacher’s worksheet do not match students’ and we are confused by answers for:

#1 Why not ablative and vocative too?

#2 Why just nominative singular?

#5 Why not vocative plural?

#9 Why not also nominative/vocative plural?

#12 Why not also vocative sing/plural, ablative sing, accusative plural, nominative plural?

#14 Why not also vocative plural?

#16 nominative plural, vocative sing/plu, accusative plural?

Thank you!

After an embarrassingly long delay, here is my reply:

Do I have to learn the cases?

This comment popped up on YouTube.

Great videos. but I have a question. in lesson 1C you pronounced CAELUM /djelum/ or something like it. C like an CH. But in this one, you say it as K… why is that? and watching this lesson, i´ve got another question. why do we have to learn this nominatives and adjetives things?? are they gonna be useful latter on???

Here is my reply:

There are two pronunciations for Latin.
I learned the restored Classical Latin in school. In the Classical pronunciation, Caelum is pronounced with the K sound.
Later, I discovered the Ecclesiastical, or Italian pronunciation. Here Caelum is pronounced Chaelum.
I abandoned the restored Classical Latin for many reasons. I talk about all of them in my book, Via. You can find it here: https://dwanethomas.com/via/
As for all the cases, yes. It is worth the time you take to learn them. They are critical. Not only that, but, if you decide later to learn German, Greek, Russian, or many other languages, you will have to learn the same cases. If you have already learned them in Latin, you will have a head start in those other languages!
Have a great day!


Order of the cases

I received this inquiry:

“I really enjoy your videos in your web site and YouTube.  

I am confused as for example nouns Nom, Gen, Dat, Acc, Abl in every other source I use it is in a different order for example www.nationalarchives.gov.uk uses Nom, (Voc),Acc, Gen, Dat, Abl.  What could you advice me to do to avoid being confused?

Also, first declension nouns i.e. Gen you spell ‘ae ‘(pronounced ‘e’ and some pronounces as ‘aj’) and nationalarchives is spelled e.  Could you please help me to avoid confusion as I need to clarify my mind, please?”


Here is my reply:

Continue reading Order of the cases

What kind of Genitive?

Oh, the questions kids ask these days.

I received this inquiry:

“Also, I had a few questions about the chapter.  In line 110, it says nec vallum ascendere.  I get the point that the Germans aren’t climbing the walls because the Romans are throwing spears at them, but how exactly should this be translated?  In the context of the sentence, it did not look like the accusative w/ the infinitive.  

On top of that, after reading this chapter I seem to understand that when the Romans talked about quantity, they used the genitive.  If they had two dogs, they said duos canum (two of the dogs).  This happens in lines 98 (sex milia militum) and 103 (duo milia passuum longum.  Quattuor portae).  However, in line 93 (mille passus) and line 96 (unus passus est quinque pedes), it doesn’t use the genitive.  What’s going on?  

Finally, you said castra is always plural.  Thus it uses plural verbs.  Line 94 says, “Castra sunt militum oppidum.”  This doesn’t make sense translated into English.  How should I translate it? “

Here is my reply:

As for your first question, it is not accusative + infinitive.  The entire sentence hinges on the verb possunt in line 109.  Illi autem nec pila in castra iacere possunt, quod fossa nimis lata et vallum nimis altum est, nec vallum ascendere…

Translate it as, “They are not able to throw the spears into the camp, because the ditch is too wide and the wall is too high, nor are they able to climb….

Now for the second question:

You have discovered something grammarians call the partitive genitive.  When refering to a part of something, or a part of a group, Latin will often use the genitive.  Two of the dogs refers to part of a group of dogs.  This is verb common with neuter nouns… and canis is neuter.  

With milia and all its forms Latin uses the genitive again.  This is called the genitive of the whole.  This is why you will see things like sex milia militium and duo milia passuum longum.  

As for quattuor portae, I will have to figure out what is going on there.  You have stumped me.

Castra is a weird word.  This video should help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG7GXmn5Yes

The sentece you are attempting to translate would be, “The camp is a military town.”  You could also translate it as “Camps are military towns.”